Going into Business 101
Quebec is teeming with people ready to start a business, with new, incongruous, sometimes questionable but often innovative and value-creating ideas. These geniuses, these visionaries, these entrepreneurs hasten to implement their ideas as soon as the opportunity arises. Sometimes the business plan is not refined and even the administrative aspects are not done, but an entrepreneur with an idea does not stop there. Go let’s get started! In this article, I present some points to consider when starting a business: a “ checklist ” for entrepreneurs.
Strategy and business plan
One genius idea and off we go! The business plan, which normally should be the first step in starting a business, often takes a back seat. On the other hand, this step is crucial and will allow you to position your company well in the field of activity and vis-à-vis the competition.
Not one to fill pages and pages of text? Instead, opt for a simplified model.
An idea, a company? In Quebec, it is possible to do business under the name of a company which can take several legal forms. The choice of the legal form of the company is one of the first steps and you must be interested in it. Solo lessee, group of associates? You can refer to the Quebec Enterprise Register for more details on each legal form.
Depending on the legal form chosen, there is also the step of registering the business with the Quebec Business Register which may be necessary.
Businesses are required to register for the GST and QST file with Revenu Québec as soon as sales exceed $30,000 per year. At that time, the company must collect the GST and the QST (therefore charge it on its sales invoices) and remit it to the government each month, quarter or year. In addition, you can claim a refund for all taxes paid on business expenses at this time.
The business expands and begins to have employees. As soon as there is an employee employed, the company has the obligation to deduct source deductions and remit them to the Government of Quebec.
Moreover, who says employee says payroll management. You have to choose a system to manage the payroll. There are systems integrated into the accounting system and external systems. We suggest opting for a system external to the accounting system, such as ADP, Nethris or Employer D. Although the cost may seem higher to you when making the choice, do not hesitate, you will not have to produce T4s and Relevé 1s at the end of the year. In addition, you will be assured that remittances of source deductions will be made on time and that deduction rates will be up to date at all times.
Head full of projects, too many projects and insufficient funds. Or even would it be that operational working capital is higher than expected? When you start a business, you have to make a budget. What will be the cash inflows and outflows?
You can also use a very well-made small Quebec application to help you. This will give you a lot of credibility if you have to look for financing to make up the shortfall.
And if you have to consider obtaining financing, plan ahead, the game is not won. There is of course the classic bank loan, but you will be asked for guarantees. There is also equity financing, such as Femmessor, which supports women-owned businesses, or the BDC, which allows capital repayment holidays. There are also a multitude of government and municipal grants. For example, the City of Quebec has various grants for young entrepreneurs or technology-based businesses.
Professional deformation, I can’t help talking to you about the choice of your accounting system. You will incur expenses when setting up your business and during its start-up. It is important to compile everything in an accounting software in order to have a quick and rigorous follow-up on the financial situation of your business. Your accounting system will also serve as a tool for you to file your GST QST returns. For the choice of your accounting system, although there are several accounting solutions, I definitely recommend Zoho. We have produced several web capsules and articles to help you get started:
Website and social media
In 2018, we can no longer do without these marketing tools. Take the time to think about what you will need, because the web is the best way to reach your customers. Your website is your virtual storefront and can also be an important source of income if you sell online. The BDC offers a wealth of advice in this regard.
Going into business takes a lot of energy, there are so many things to do. Evaluate your strengths and seek expertise in the areas you know the least. A word of advice, keep an eye open even if you delegate or subcontract part of the work. You’re the boss after all, it’s part of your responsibilities!
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