How should I structure my business?
When you’re starting out, you must choose whether to operate as an unincorporated sole proprietorship, incorporate your business federally with Corporations Canada, or incorporate provincially with the relevant authority. If you have partners, that adds another layer of complexity to consider. At Exceedia Consulting Ltd, we can help you identify the best option and mitigate the risks associated with whatever path you select.

How should I finance my business?
You may choose to dip into your personal savings or hit up family and friends, take on debt or give up part of your equity. There’s no right or wrong way to start a business, but Exceedia can help you work through the pros and cons of each option. With the tightening of Canadian mortgage rules in 2018, many entrepreneurs may have to lean toward private lenders or the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad.’”

Is this a viable business? (i.e., Can I quit my day job?)

Businesses live and die by cash flow. When you work with our firm, we can help create financial projections that forecast when and from where your revenue will come. You’ll also need to estimate things like start-up and operating costs, debt repayment costs, and how much you (and your partners) may want to draw from the business over time.

How should I set up my books?
First and foremost, keep your personal finances and your business finances separate. That means a separate bank account for business deposits and withdrawals, and a separate credit card for business expenses if possible. You do not need to incorporate to be able to set up a business bank account.

What are my tax obligations and opportunities?
Depending on the location, size and nature of your business, you may need to deal with corporate and/or personal income taxes, payroll taxes, sales and commodity taxes like PST and GST/HST, and more. On the flip side, you may be eligible for certain tax deductions or credits. When it comes to tax planning, Exceedia can help you understand your obligations and take advantage of opportunities.

How will I know how well my business is doing?
If you want to be successful, you have to know how to read your numbers and understand what they tell you. Our dedicated team can help you set up systems to gather the right data, teach you how to read your financial statements, and point out which reports and ratios you should be watching closely.

What should I look out for in 2018?
In the past, many solopreneurs leaned toward incorporating their businesses to gain tax advantages; however, new tax rules may make incorporation a less advantageous option than it used to be.

It is important to keep an eye on interest rates in light of the Bank of Canada’s recent rate increase. If you’re borrowing to start a business, you need to be careful about how much debt and the type you take on. Pre-planning is important to ensure you don’t have have flow problems.

What happens if or when I want out?
When most people start a business, they focus on the target market, the initial setup and the capital requirements. What they don’t think about is their exit strategy at the end of the day. Whether you’re in it for the long haul or open to whatever opportunities come your way, it’s wise to have a game plan in place from the get-go. At Exceedia, we begin with the horizon in mind.


Got any other advice for those looking to jump into the entrepreneurial world? Post a comment below.