Answers to Canadian Small Business Questions
In a time where the economy is doing very badly and jobs are scarce many have turned to starting their own business. Whether it be their main source of income or a supplement to a current income staring a business can at the very least be a learning experience and at best become something that could rise to support your family.
Developing A Business Plan
The first step is to develop a business plan. E-commerce has rapidly become a driving source for many new businesses in the past 20 years and you may want to look into ways you can make money online with your business. Things like Ebay businesses, blogging, creating videos and earning revenue from ads on such sites as YouTube have taken center stage in the online economy. Some of these ideas have been around for quite awhile as others are still in development. For use in the guide below we will assume that the business is related to selling items online, possibly on Ebay or ones own website but most of the guide could be applied to any business.
What You Need To Know To Run A New Business
When I first started my online business, my very first business, like many I was oblivious to what it it took to actually run it. Below are a list of answers to questions I had to figure out on my own.
What types of certificates do I need?
- Business registration
- Vendor's Permit
Do I need to keep receipts, keep financial records?
- Yes. You should invest in a good book keeping program. We use Quickbooks which allows you to enter each transaction, print your reports and keep track of inventory. Keep all receipts as backup and enter each receipt into your Quickbooks on a regular basis. There is nothing more annoying than attempting to enter all your receipts into the system at the end of the year.
- One good tip is to designate one credit card for business and use it for everything associated with the business that way all of your expenses will appear on your credit card statements.
- If conducting business online Paypal is ideal as you can receive money and purchase from your Paypal account. You can also download a file from Paypal containing all of your transactions for the year and open it right in Quickbooks.
- Keep in mind a business online and run from your home can allow you to write off part of your heat, electricity, telephone usage and internet. If you own a vehicle part of its use can be written of as an expense as well.
Are there government grants to help finance a small business?
- Yes. There are many programs available check the website http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2868/
- Some grants are available only for certain types of companies and others are available for those that have previously been on unemployment insurance. This is a big help for those who have been laid off.
Should I do my own business taxes?
- If you feel comfortable doing it then by all means go ahead, but don't be afraid to hire a professional to handle it. The government is less likely to question tax forms filed by a professional and it can be a big help in the case of an audit.