Small business: advice, support services, regulations
How new or existing small businesses can get advice, support and information on government regulations.
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Get guidance and a grant for your small business
If you’re starting, expanding or buying a small business, apply for training, mentoring and a grant through Starter Company Plus.
What you get
Through Starter Company Plus, you can:
- get one-on-one guidance from a Small Business Enterprise Centre advisor
- participate in business workshops, seminars or networking events
- topics range from writing a business plan to budgeting to marketing campaigns
- talk to a mentor with experience in starting, expanding or buying a small business
You can also apply for a grant of up to $5,000.
These supports are available if you want to start a new company, expand an existing company or buy a business in Ontario.
Who can apply
You can apply if you're:
- 18 years of age or older
- an Ontario resident and Canadian citizen (or permanent resident)
- not attending school full-time or returning to school
To qualify for a grant, you must be able to make a contribution in cash or in kind. It has to be for least 25% of the grant amount.
How to apply
Business support services and advice
You can get helpful business advice, support and services at these offices and centres.
Small Business Enterprise Centres
These centres can help you start or grow a business. These centres offer:
- free consultations with a qualified business consultant
- internet and computer access for business research and planning
- review of business plans
- consultations through a lawyer or accountant referral service
- up-to-date information for entrepreneurs
- access to directories, trade indexes and books
- workshops and seminars
- guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations and other documents you need to start a business
- import and export information
- information on patents, copyright and trademarks
- mentoring and networking opportunities
Business Advisory Services
Our 12 Business Advisory Service offices can help you expand your business in Ontario and around the world. They offer:
- access to government programs and events
- market intelligence
- market development support, including help with exporting
- financial analysis and other benchmarking tools
- access to financial assistance
- support for innovation and new technology
- networking and expert advice
- information on government regulations, licences and permits for business.
Regulations set the standards and rules that ensure that the marketplace is safe and fair to everyone.
If you plan to — or currently — operate a business in Ontario, you could be affected by certain government regulations.
See the government’s online registry of regulations to:
- find out how new or proposed government regulations could affect your business
- comment on some proposed regulations
Search business permits/licences
To search permits and licenses, use Bizpal — an online tool jointly managed by the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments.
For more information on small business in Ontario, contact:
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
777 Bay Street, 21st Floor