Get Started

Starting your own business can be a great opportunity. Find relevant information on how to get started on topics such as writing a business plan, marketing, budget development, and more.

Idea to Production aims to assist Entrepreneurs in maximizing their success and realizing their dream by taking their ideas and contributing to the creation of a successful business.  I2P’s purpose is to provide a centralized resource for starting entrepreneurs with quick access to contact lists, FAQ, how-to-guides, current news, and information about upcoming webinars and workshops.

Startup Considerations

Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is a template of how you are going to run your business, what it will cost, where is the money coming from, and how you plan to grow it. This document will be asked for by lenders and will help keep you on track. Check out these resources for free business plan templates.

Register your business name
A person/people who are engaged in business for trading, manufacturing or contracting purposes must register the business name (provided the business name is one other than your own name). This can be done at an Alberta Registry Agent office. Service Alberta registers societies and non-profit companies directly.

Registry Offices:

Do I need a GST Number?
Depending on your type of business and your earnings, you may or may not need a GST number. Generally speaking, businesses that earn less than $30,000 do not require a GST number.Please contact the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

Canada Revenue Agency
If you have employees you will require an employer registration number. You can register for this with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Do you require a worker’s compensation board assessment number?

What zoning regulations apply to your business?

Register your business with the County

Are there any special licenses that are required for your business? E.g. Food Handling Licence.

What type of insurance will you need?

Who will handle your bookkeeping, year-end accounting/taxes, marketing, and legal matters?

Other Check Lists:

BDC Business Start Up Check List

What Type of Business Organization do you Choose?

There are various structures you can choose from. Here is some basic information to consider:

  1. Sole proprietorship
    With this type of business organization, you are the sole owner, and fully responsible for all debts and obligations related to your business. All profits are yours to keep. Because you are personally liable, a creditor can make a claim against your personal assets as well as your business assets in order to satisfy any debts.
  2. Partnership
    A partnership is a non-incorporated business that is created between two or more people. In a partnership, your financial resources are combined with those of your business partner(s), and put into the business. You and your partner(s) would then share in the profits of the business according to any legal agreement you have drawn up. In a general partnership, each partner is jointly liable for the debts of the partnership. In a limited partnership, a person can contribute to the business without being involved in its operations. A limited liability partnership is usually only available to a group of professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, or doctors. When establishing a partnership, you should have a partnership agreement in place. This is important because it establishes the terms of the partnership and can help you avoid disputes later on. Hiring a lawyer or other legal professional to help you draw up a partnership agreement will save you time and protect your interests.
  3. Corporation
    Another type of business structure is a corporation. Incorporation can be done at the federal or provincial/territorial level. When you incorporate your business, it is considered to be a legal entity that is separate from its shareholders. As a shareholder of a corporation, you will not be personally liable for the debts, obligations or acts of the corporation. It is always wise to seek legal advice before incorporating.