Laptop and business plan on table

How to Start a Small Business in B.C.

Starting a small business in B.C. may seem daunting. But if there’s something you’re passionate about, then run with it. Whether you love baking cakes, restoring vintage furniture, or arranging flowers, being passionate about what you’re doing can help you get your small business off the ground. Not sure how to start your business? We’ve got tips on how to start a small business in B.C.

Create a Business Plan

Once you’ve found your niche, a solid business plan is essential for anyone starting a business. It can help you secure financing and draw in customers. Here’s what you should include in your business plan:

  • Executive summary: This is a snapshot of your entire business plan. It can tell potential investors what your business is about, how it’s structured, who your target market is, and what your financial outlook is.
  • Company description: What does your company do?
  • Services: What services or products does your business offer?
  • Market analysis: Who is your target customer, who are your competitors, and how will you stand out amongst your competitors?
  • Marketing plan: How will you promote your business?
  • Business structure: How will your company be structured? Are you the sole owner and employee? Or will you have different levels of management and employees?

Woman taking photo of tulips in shop

Come Up with a Business Name

Whether you’re opening a local coffee shop or becoming a freelance wedding photographer, you’ll need a unique name for your business. This might be your own personal name or a separate business name. If you’re an independent contractor, you might choose to run your business under your own name – which means you won’t have to send in a business name request. But if you plan to run your business under a name other than your own, you’ll need to submit a business name request for approval. Simply do this online at B.C. Registry Services or in person at Service B.C.

Register Your Business

Once your business name is approved, you’ll need to register your business with B.C. Registry Services. Depending on whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, or incorporation, you’ll need to register it at OneStop or B.C. corporate online. Need help registering your business? Consider using Small Business BC’s registration services to ensure you’ve done things right.

 B.C. Registry Services

Get Financing for Your Business

If you don’t have enough money in the bank to get your small business going, consider these financing options:

  • Bank loan: Your local bank is a good place to start when looking for a small business loan. Book an appointment with a bank advisor to discuss your small business loan needs.
  • The Government of Canada’s Small Business Financing Program: Did you know that the Government of Canada has a financing program dedicated to small businesses? Start-ups and for-profit small businesses in Canada can apply for loans up to $1-million under this government program.
  • Investors: If you’re willing to give up some equity in your company, an investor can be a great route for financing. Pitch your business idea to angel investors in Canada to help get the money you need for your small business.
  • Crowdfunding: Have a great business idea that you can’t wait for your customers to try? Why not try crowdfunding? Sites like Kickstarter offer a good way for entrepreneurs to raise money for creative projects and business ideas.

Two people shaking hands

Get Insurance for Your Business

Once you’ve got your small business up and running, don’t forget to insure it. Whether you’ve opened a restaurant, started your own accounting firm, or set up a souvenir shop, business insurance is a must-have. Small business insurance can protect your business assets and property from things like theft, fire, or other accidents. It can also cover you from general liabilities against your business.

At Johnston Meier, our business insurance specialists can help you find the right insurance for your specific needs. Drop by one of our offices or get in touch with our insurance specialists to discuss your small business insurance needs.

© Johnston Meier Insurance Agencies Group 2024

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