Start a business in Ontario
10 steps to start a business in Ontario for entrepreneurs
Starting a business can be exciting, but it can be hard to know where to begin. The following steps will help you get started on creating your business in Ontario.
The information provided in each step is a guide. It is not a substitute for legal or financial advice.
- 1. Conduct market research
You need to conduct market research to help you understand the industry and market that you will be operating in.
- 2. Prepare a business plan
A business plan explains your business idea, short and long-term business goals, and what resources are available to start and operate your business.
- 3. Decide on the ownership structure for your business
There are four types of business structures in Ontario and each serve different legal and tax needs.
- 4. Register your business online
If your business has employees, facilities, or offices in Ontario, you must register using the Ontario Business Registry.
- 5. Confirm licences and permits
You may need licences and permits to run your business according to federal, provincial, or municipal regulations.
- 6. Confirm if you need to charge HST
Most businesses in Ontario are required to register with the federal government for a GST/HST account and collect GST/HST on taxable sales.
- 7. Understand your tax obligations
If you are self-employed, an unincorporated business or in a partnership, you must report your personal income.
- 8. Consider business insurance
Although business insurance isn't mandatory, it's highly recommended, even if you operate a home-based business.
- 9. Understand the regulations
Learn the regulations that may apply to your business.
- 10. Get funding or more help
Financial help and more resources are available for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
One-on-One Business Support
Ontario's 47 Small Business Enterprise Centres give entrepreneurs the information and expertise to help them get started and succeed. Regional Innovation Centres help Ontario's entrepreneurs who are in early-stage or growing innovation and technology companies.
Find a Small Business Enterprise Centre near you
They provide advisory services and workshops that equip businesses with foundational entrepreneurship skills and continuing supports, including training, mentorship and grant opportunities.
Get the full list of locations.