What British Columbians Need to Know Before Starting Their Business

What British Columbians Need to Know Before Starting Their Business

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Today, the Spraggs Law team discusses what British Columbians should know before starting their business.

There is a multitude of things that British Columbians need to know before starting their business. With British Columbia being home to a staggering 500,000 small businesses, we field business law-related questions frequently.

Today, we outline what we recommend British Columbians know before starting their first (or next) business.

#1 Understand Which Business Structure Suits Your Needs

The three types of small to medium-sized business structures are as follows:

  • Corporation: which is also known as as a “limited liability company”
  • General partnership: which involves one or more partners
  • Sole proprietorship: which consists of just one owner 

When it comes to starting a business in BC, there are significant differences between the three. Sole proprietorships, for example, are best suited for self-employed individuals due to their fewer registration requirements and low set-up costs. Incorporating a business is more involved, what with name registration and a company’s articles of incorporation both being required.

The BC Registry has further details on how to quickly identify which of these three business structures best suit your needs.

#2 Secure Funding

Another key point of consideration for potential business owners is securing sufficient funding.

This should be factored into your initial business plan. Business owners should have enough funding in place to cover all initial start-up costs, daily operating expenses for a minimum of three months, and all registration fees.

To avoid potential interpersonal conflict, it is recommended to turn to a loan or personal line of credit to secure funding vs. turning to family, friends, or associates.

#3 Complete All Necessary Registrations

Lastly, completing all necessary registrations is non-negotiable for any type of business.

The government of British Columbia has made it simple to register sole proprietorships or general partnerships through their online portal, the OneStop Business Registration Service. Corporations are required to file an Incorporation Application via the BC Registry Services. We here at Spraggs Law are happy to assist with these processes.

Other potential registrations include:

  • The Provincial Sales Tax, which is a retail sales tax applicable for all taxable goods or services purchased, acquired, or brought into British Columbia
  • The Goods and Services Tax, which is a sales tax applicable for all taxable goods or services sold in BC (if your annual profit is over $30,000)
  • WorkSafeBC, which is a mandatory registration required for corporations who intend to hire employees
  • Canada Revenue Agency, which is required for any business type to register for if they are hiring employees and paying salary, bonuses, vacation pay, and/or tips
  • Restaurant Liquor License, which is needed if you own a restaurant and will be serving food as the primary focus of your business

Do You Need Help Ironing Out the Legalities Around Starting Your Business in BC? The Spraggs Law Team Is Here to Help

Give us a call at 604 359 1627 for a free consultation to discuss how we can offer personalized assistance based on your unique needs and goals as a business owner in British Columbia. 

Please note: This article does not contain legal advice. If you would like advice on your specific situation, please contact Spraggs Law.

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