A great business idea is not only one that makes a profit. It is one that makes a profit, and is a good fit for you personally, and for your location.
It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t be shy about seeking out the advice of experts, networking with other entrepreneurs and hiring employees to help you run the business. Build a team around you.

    1. Come up with a business Idea that caters to your strengths
    2. Define the “problem” your business is solving
    3. Define your Target market or ideal customer
    4. Do you know your industry?
    5. Estimate your basic expenses and forecast sales to ensure that you can make a profit with your business
    6. What are your businesses milestones and goals, short and long term?
    7. Validate your idea
    8. Are ready to bet the farm on it!!!


Business Checklist

So you have decided to go ahead and start your own business. You know what you are good at and what you need help with, and you may have an idea…or not!

 The following checklist is meant to be used as a starting point for your business. The list is not considered all-inclusive and is not in any particular order.  Check all that apply to your situation:

Evaluate your idea

Research the market, industry and competition to confirm that you have a viable business opportunity.  Is it feasible and can you make money with this venture?   Learn More

Laws & regulations

Determine whether any industry specific licenses, permits and/or regulations may apply to your business.  Learn More

Develop a business strategy

Are you willing to ask “what if”?  Top 10 reasons to write a business plan.  Learn More

Choose your business structure

Determine what type of business structure best suits your needs; sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation? Learn More

Explore financing options

Explore several different options that could be available to help fund your business venture, including financial services, loans, grants and credits. Learn More

Meet with professionals

Lawyer, accountant, business consultant, mentor

Choose and register a business name

Choose the name for your business carefully. It will precede you wherever you go! Learn More

Select a location

Will your location be Office, Commercial, or Home based?

Apply for any required business licenses and permits
Familiarize yourself with business tax requirements

Learn about the tax implications for your business from Canada Revenue Agency such as declaring revenue, deducting expenses etc. Learn More

Set up a bookkeeping system or speak with an accountant
Obtain a business number from the Canada Revenue Agency if you meet the following criteria:
  • Paying corporate income tax
  • Going to have employees
  • Collecting GST (making over $30,000 in sales over a 12 month period)
  • Importing or Exporting
    Learn More
Set up a business account
Telephone/fax line for the business
Acquire commercial or business insurance you may need

Get the right insurance for your business. Learn More

Consider obtaining rights for intellectual property
  • Trademark
  • Copyright
  • Industrial Design
  • Patent
    Learn More
Develop marketing materials

Brand/design, logo, business cards, brochures etc.

Create stationary and standard office templates

Letterhead, Invoices, etc.

Understand the Employment Standards if you are hiring employees

Alberta’s new Employment Standards Code came into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Learn More

Consider accounting software for bookkeeping

Quickbooks, Sage 50, etc.

Hire a lawyer to assist with creating business contracts or other agreements
Consider which method of payments you will be accepting

Cash, cheque, credit cards, debit, etc.

Purchase a receipt book or track/print via accounting software
Purchase office supplies
Purchase tools and equipment
Order inventory
Prepare necessary signage
Organize business information, paperwork and files using categorized folders/binders
Obtain the rights for website domain name and set up email address
Find a web hosting company

A web design company will do this for you

Design your website or hire a professional
Market and advertise your business
Keep any necessary records