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Starting a Business

You can find business start-up advice all over the internet. What you'll find here is great start-up advice in the unique context of Bruce County. Meet real advisors, join local networks, match your skills to real business opportunities. Explore the possibilities with us and, even better, bring them to life here in Bruce County.

So you’re starting this brand new journey called entrepreneurship, or maybe thinking it might be a good option. On the other hand, maybe you’re an experienced entrepreneur, but you’re not sure what path to take next. No matter what your story, we can help! Not sure what it takes to get started? Looking to take your business to the next level but not sure how to get there? Let us guide you in the right direction! Can’t find what you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! We would love to assist you in your business start-up or expansion!

The Essentials

Planning is the most important step. Not having a well-researched business plan is like going on a journey without a map. A good business plan will not only allow you to visualize your dream as it is being created but also acts as a reality check on the viability of the idea. We created a Lean Business Plan Template to help get you organized. 

Option 1: Sole- proprietorship or Partnership You must register a business name with the Province of Ontario if you plan on conducting business using a business name which is different than your personal name. Online registration for a five-year period costs $60 and takes about 20 minutes to complete. You will receive your Master Business License and Business Identification Number upon registering. You can register your business online here.

There are a few necessary steps to take when looking to incorporate. We suggest you enlist a lawyer to assist you in this process. Here is some information to get you started on incorporating a business.

For most businesses, it is mandatory to register and collect Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) (13%) when you reach $30,000 in revenue over four consecutive calendar quarters or less. Before this mark, registration is voluntary for most businesses. For more info about HST and Input Tax Credits please visit Canadian Revenue Agency at or (1-800-959-5525). You can also apply for a Payroll and Import Number through the online registration system, if required.

Some types of business are considered regulated. These businesses are controlled by regulated bodies to ensure that they are operated in a satisfactory manner. Opening a day care? A restaurant? An agricultural or agri-food business? A financial business? These are just a few of the business areas that might subject you to specific business requirements. Not sure if your business is regulated or not? Check out or let us help you discover.

Things to Consider

All businesses require some type of business insurance, whether it be general liability, inventory and assets or vehicle insurance. Contact your local insurance provider to see what they recommend. You will need to check this one off the list prior to commencing operations.

Whether you’re going to be operating your business from your kitchen table over-looking the lake, or from a commercial location in one of the County’s beautiful downtowns, your municipality has by-laws in which you must follow. Call or check out your local municipal website to make sure there aren’t any by-laws you need to take into consideration when starting your business adventure.

When registering your business name, you can apply for Workplace Safety Insurance (WSIB). Most businesses within Ontario must register for WSIB within 10 days of hiring their first worker. In addition, those entrepreneurs in the construction industry may fall under mandatory requirements to have WSIB coverage. Discover what your obligations are at the WSIB website. We would be happy to guide you through this process!

Futurpreneur Canada has developed two useful templates to get you started: Financial Statement Template and Operating Cashflow Statement.

As an employer, you will need to be aware of the minimum standards you are required to follow. You can find the document in its entirety here.

Don’t forget to see if your business venture qualifies for any government issued grants!

Request a conversation

If you're intrigued by the possibilities of opening or expanding a business in Bruce County - yet you aren't finding the info you need - send a message to a real human being in the Bruce County Economic Development office. We're experts at connecting people with communities and we're very helpful. We look forward to seeing you bring your business ideas to life in Bruce County.