Today, I will be sharing how I set up my self-employed business a few weeks after I arrived in Canada.
I already touched on this briefly in my earlier post about My First Few Days in Canada and trying to get everything done at once.
Before I arrived in Canada, I already went through the requirements for setting up my business in Ontario via Service Ontario.
Since it’s just me, I set up as a sole proprietor so this is what this post will be covering.
If you have a corporation or something more elaborate in mind, you will likely require the services of a lawyer before you set up.
If you can’t afford a lawyer, I believe the small business center at your local library should be able to assist with this.
Setting up as a sole proprietor was so easy and took me less than 30 minutes.
Who’s a Sole Proprietor?
A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business run and owned by only one individual. It’s a simple and uncomplicated business structure.
A sole proprietor is responsible for all the profits, losses, and decisions in the business. A sole proprietor is also responsible for filing taxes.
Registering as a Sole Proprietor in Canada
You can choose to register a business name or operate under your own name.
If you choose to do business in your own name (DBA), you don’t need to register as a sole proprietor.
You can just register your own name and bill clients in your name. This is fine as long as you keep track of everything for tax purposes.
I had no interest in doing business under my own name so I knew I would be registering as a sole proprietor before I arrived in Canada.
The registration method varies from province to province. I registered as a sole proprietor in Ontario.
I went to the business application page on Service Ontario HERE. I didn’t need to conduct a business name search because my business name is very unique so I already knew no one would be using it.
I answered a series of questions about what type of business activity I would be conducting before entering my trade name, business activity and products/services I will be providing.
Once the information was confirmed, I was taken to the payment portal where I was charged $60 for the business license, which is renewable every 5 years.
A few minutes after making the payment, my master business license was sent to me by email and I was in business, sort of.
Registering the business was one step on a long checklist for setting up my self-employed business in Canada.
For setting up in other provinces, you can have a look at Register With Your Province or Territory.
Self-Employment Set Up Costs
So far, I’ve spent about CA$ 494 setting up my self-employed business in Canada. Here’s a snapshot of my start-up expenses:-
Why are my costs so low? It’s just me and my business is completely online so I have no overheads.
When I work with people offline, they provide the equipment and anything else required for the work so it costs me nothing beyond transportation to get to their location.
If you have a more people-intensive business, your set up costs will probably be higher.
Since I finished with the basics, I’ve spent a lot of time networking and building my contacts while also working on personal projects.
I work out of the library and coffee shops when I’m not at my contract job. I also work from home sometimes but I’m not too crazy about that. I will share more about my living situation in a later article.
I’ve been considering using a co-working space instead of the library and coffee shops but that could possibly increase my costs.
My weekdays are full but I try to keep weekends free to focus on myself and rejuvenate while dreaming of my next beach vacation.
Dp you require assistance with putting together a thorough immigration application that represents all your experience and future intention when you settle in Canada?
Have a look at my consulting and coaching services HERE.
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