In this article I will discuss how to incorporate in Ontario for sole proprietor businesses, specifically how to incorporate your business in Ontario online for the quickest and most economical route.There are three steps to incorporate in Ontario:1) Researching and selecting a business name2) Going through the Ontario business registration process3) Obtaining the additional licenses and certifications needed to do business in OntarioPart of the third requirement is to obtain certain tax related material, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), payroll tax account, import and export tax account numbers, etc. Before I get into incorporating your business online, let’s spend some time discussing sole proprietorships.Many business registrants choose to register a sole proprietorship because it is the easiest to register and typically owned and operated by only one person, the owner (most business owners are individual operators). A sole proprietorship can be discontinued or ended just as easily it is formed. The registration fees are not as steep as they are for corporations.However, as an owner, your assets and liabilities can be construed as being part of the business in the event the business is sued. Therefore, you as an owner have no limited liability. You are personally responsible for all implications resulting from your business. As you can imagine, many are willing to go through a more extensive Ontario business registration process and pay higher fees to limit their liability exposure.Ontario Business Registration OnlineWhen you incorporate in Ontario, you may do so in person or online. I prefer the online method because it is simple and convenient in that you can do it anytime you want. Because the Ontario business registration system is mature and well developed, the online business registration platform is quite comprehensive and can be used to not only obtain your business number but also your tax account number, as well as other similar accounts such as the GST, Payroll, import and export.It will typically cost you around $60 to register or renew a business name and around $12 for a business name search. With this function you can search all business names that are already registered to avoid exposure to any lawsuits and trademark infringements.How to Incorporate in OntarioWhether you do it online or in person, the same set of procedures have to be followed when you incorporate in Ontario, which starts with registering with the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, the legal entity that is responsible for all business incorporation in Ontario.As an entrepreneur, you cannot start conducting your business operations without first registering your business name. The specific branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services that you will want to register with is the Companies Branch, the sub entity responsible for business incorporation. The registration process costs $60 as stated above if done online, however this fee is $80 if you were to register in person, yet another reason to opt for online services instead.Also as stated above, you must conduct a business name search prior to registering your business as the search paperwork is needed to be filed as well. Business searches typically cost between $8 to $12, though some service providers charge a higher amount. The amount you are charged depends on how extensive your search is.Ready to incorporate in Ontario? Start by visiting the Ontario Government ServiceOntario website. Once there select the Register option and scroll down the page to click on “Do It Online Now” to start the process. You will start by conducting a business name search and subsequently registering it. If you are not comfortable completing the search and application online and would rather do it in person, simply print the forms available on the website and take it to the local office to file in person.Once you are finished with the business name search, go ahead and populate the information asked in the various fields. You will have to specify the type of business operations, the type of entity you are registering and where your business will operate out of. You will also need to indicate whether you will hire employees. You must provide a business address (not a PO Box), as well as your name and the business name under which you wish to operate.Once done that’s it. You just need to provide your payment details by entering your credit card information and you are done. Your card will be charged $60 and you have your business registered. If you choose to register via mail, print the forms from the website and send it to the stated address (also available online) along with a check for $80.This article was a brief guide to incorporate in Ontario. To read a more detailed, step by step guide, visit my home page on Ontario business registration to learn more. Also read my section on why incorporate in Canada for a better understanding of the reasons behind incorporating a business.
So You Want to Start A Nutrition Business!It is a great time to be in the business of helping others live a healthier lifestyle. The business of nutrition and wellness is good business! The market is huge and growing.According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over 34 % of the population are overweight and more than 33 % are obese. Many of the remaining30+% can benefit from learning more about being fit and eating well.Yet many of the experts in food, nutrition, health and fitness are not business experts. So they start a business and then struggle to make enough money. A few simple changes can make a big difference.Here are five steps to tune up your wellness business. Follow this advice and to get more clients to hire you and earn more income.1. Run your business like a business not like a hobby. What does this mean? This means you work. It does not mean you simply work when it is convenient. When you are not engaged delivering services to your clients you are marketing your business to attract more clients. This also means you pay attention to your money including incoming sales and outgoing expenses and investments.It means investing in your business and not trying to do it all on your own. You need to spend money to make money. Do what you do best and delegate or hire the rest. That may mean spending can get ahead of income because you are investing for the business you want to have – not the one you currently have.One way to test if you are running your business like a business owner or hobbyist owner is to give yourself a performance review. Do you meet or exceed expectations? Or need improvement. Do you deserve a raise or a promotion? How about appointment to head up a key project in your company? What is your area for growth (aka weakness) in the coming year2. Be crystal clear on your niche and know your ideal client very well. Often times there is resistance to selecting a specific niche due to the fear of not having enough business. Actually the opposite is true. It is much easier and more effective to market to niche. You can more easily become the expert in your specific niche.A niche makes marketing your business more affordable. When you carve out a specific niche, you can target your marketing message and make it more clear, precise, and easy for your ideal client to hear and say “s/he gets me!”3. Have a marketing message that makes clients want to find out more. There are two common mistakes entrepreneurs make regarding their marketing impact statement or E-Speech. One is talking about yourself and your services and credentials on your website home page or when answering the question what do you do.The second mistake is a marketing impact statement that is vague or confusing. This mistakes is often due to a lack of clear understanding of your ideal client and the pain or problem your business satisfies. Make your marketing impact statement all about your client, their problem and your business solution. Speak to them in their own words – everyday language not jargon.4. Integrate all the parts of your business into a systematic, profitable business model. Small business owners often have a variety of marketing tools and tactics but no systems, no strategies, no business model. A website, blog, social media, advertising, health fairs or brochure will not be effective unless they are integrated into an overall strategy to grow the business. A profitable business model is a written and graphic description of how the business makes money from client attraction strategies through all client contact, customer service, additional purchases and referrals5. Put it together and put it to work. Success results from taking action. Many times, it is easier to stay stuck in the planning and learning mode. Stuck in your office instead of out in front of customers. Stuck waiting for perfect. Running a successful business means getting to know as many potential ideal clients as possible. When you offer an intimate business service such as health and wellness, face to face is the best way to build the know, like and trust steps that precede buying your services.
You should involve the expert services of an accountant as soon as you have decided that you are going to set up a business in New Zealand. You will need to take a number of key decisions right at the beginning and your accountant can help you get these decisions right. Not that many of these decisions cannot be rectified later, but, if you get them right in the first place, you can get on with establishing your business. You should note that the Inland Revenue recommends that every business owner has a business agent (normally an accountant) to oversee tax affairs.Unless you have a substantial amount of business experience, you are going to need a lot of help in establishing a successful business. You will find that a good accountant is a one-stop shop for a whole host of business services that you may require. Their services range from accounting & taxation to business advisory services such as business planning and business organisation. Obviously, your accountant is going to charge for their services, just like any other professional. But don’t be afraid of asking about their fees in advance so that you know exactly what their advice is going to cost.Here are 3 popular business structures:Set up an appropriate business entity with the help of your chartered accountant. The three most common business structures in New Zealand are sole traders, partnerships and limited companies. Here are just a few salient features for each one:Sole traderThe owner or proprietor owns the business outright and is completely in control. The owner is entitled to all the profits (or suffers all losses) of the business and is personally liable for the business’ debts. There are much less registration formalities and business can generally commence immediately.PartnershipTwo or more people “join hands” to run the business and they share the investment and management duties. They share profits in a predetermined percentage and each partner is personally liable for all the debts of the partnership. It is always advisable to draw up a partnership agreement in writing so that there are no ambiguities or disputes later. Here again, only minimal registration is required.Limited Liability CompanyThe company is a separate legal person and trades in its own right. The legal process known as incorporation and the reservation of the company’s name needs to follow procedures laid down in the Companies Act. The liability of the shareholders and directors is generally limited to their investment in the shares of the company, unless they’ve provided personal guarantees to lenders or can be proven to have traded recklessly.So, with the help of your chartered accountant, you’ll be able to choose the structure that suits your business objectives. If you are about to start a business in New Zealand, all the best. Get the best start possible by hiring a top-flight accountant.Many people thought that Mark Gwilliam FCCA was crazy to leave the UK and the security of well paid jobs at Barclays; Arthur Andersen and KPMG. Now he chooses the hours he works; the people he wants to work with; lives in stunning New Zealand with his family and works from home.