Setting Up My Self-Employed Business in Canada

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 had already gone 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

Self-Employment Set Up Costs Ontario

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 setup 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.

Related Content

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.

Do 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.

Pin it for Later – How To Set Up as a Sole Proprietor in Canada

Setting Up My Self-Employed Business in Canada

Abi has lived and worked abroad for over 13 years. She loves traveling, reading, and writing. She is a big believer in following your dreams and has been marching to the beat of her unconventional drums for a long time. She funds her adventures by making smart financial decisions and investing wisely. Her top personal finance tools include trading with Questrade, investing change on MOKA, and no-fee banking with Tangerine and Neo Financial. Learn more about Abi HERE.

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