Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Map

Herein lies the guide to starting a wee business in a small town in a part of Canada few people remember exists...

The Federal and provincial level: once you find that needle in the proverbial haystack it goes pretty quickly.
  1. Call your nearest Canada Business office (in New Brunswick the number is 1.888.576.4444)
  2. explain what you're trying to do
  3. receive an email with links to .pdf files 
  4. click on the link applicable to the type of business you are trying to be (for me it is sole proprietorship)
  5. Get a name search done, but ask your Canada Business office representative if you need a federal name search done or a provincial one. It should say in the .pdf form they give you, but in case it doesn't, I would ask. (I ended up getting the wrong one - of course)
  6. fill in form #5 (for sole proprietors) and take it to nearest Service New Brunswick office, with your NUANS name search report
  7. dole out $112 to register the name and it's good for 5 years...and it seems by registering my name I will also be given a business number.
  8. unless your business is going to bring in more than $30,000 you do not need a GST/HST #.

Just visit your nearest Canada Business office and you can do it all in one go.

The Municipal level: a wink and a smile.
  1. do not register your business with the town unless you are opening a store-front operation or a street vendor with a permanent cover or kiosk (a $500 fee).
  2. a thriving local farmer's market benefits the community and there is no charge to benefit the community so bake on.
  3. The rules for selling by special order from my home is murky at a good way. The regulations are there, but their enforcement is weighted by necessity...i.e. murky for a reason. Perhaps one of the many advantages of starting a small business in a small, economically challenged town is there is grace for the little business that would be overcome by municipal regulations. I'm too small to burden with the fees and taxes that would otherwise be charged to a business bringing in the big bucks.
For now, I am a baking enthusiast with an official name, selling my wares at the local market and through special order and that is ok with my town. It's when I get too big for my little home bakery britches that I'll need to revisit the town regulations and then dot all my i's and cross all my t's...or is it their i's and t's? Either way, it would mean getting closer to that bakery dream.


  1. Hi Kristen! Congrats on your new business and officially getting your business license. I love that you've explained how one goes about doing it...lots of people would be far more likely to start their own businesses if there was more public information on such things. Best Wishes, Rod

  2. Thanks Rod! There is a lot of information out there, it's neither easy to find nor comprehensive. Just bits here and there...but the best resource really is the Canada Business office. I think they exist in each province...