How to start a new business 
Starting a new business is exciting and also a little complicated. Here are some steps and resources to help you navigate the process.
 Develop your business idea

Confirm that you want to be an entrepreneur. We all have strengths, weaknesses and skills that help create a diverse workforce. The Business Bank of Canada has developed a entrepreneurial self-assessment tool to help you evaluate your entrepreneurial traits.

Critically think about your business idea to determine:

  • What is your goal and/or passion that makes you interested in this business?
  • What is your core values that might lead into the business or the direction the business goes?
  • Who will be your customer? (markets, demographics, buyer characteristics/values)
  • What need is your business going to fill in each target market? Why would people buy the service or products?
  • What makes this business different from similar competitor businesses?
  • Think about costs:
    • Cost structure and revenue streams
    • What will you need to get going? (Basic start-up costs)
    • What will be on-going operating costs?
    • Costs associated with product or service delivery to market?
  • Any key partners or resources for this business idea?
  • What is your elevator pitch? How would you describe your business idea in less only a couple minutes?

Small Business BC offers a business idea checklist to help you determine if your business idea is viable. Evaluate your business idea.

 Create a business plan

Now that you have formed a clear and concise business idea, it is time to develop that into a formal business plan. A well-structured business plan will help formalize the business, how it will run, what you will be doing, and provide a necessary document for applying for financing.

Small Business BC offers a Business Plan Template and Cash Flow Forecasting Tool.

 Find required financing

If you require financing to start your business:

 Determine business structure and complete applicable registrations
The OneStop Business Registry is a website that helps simplify the business registry process. Alternatively, you could use the individual processes below.
Choose your business structure
Most small businesses are operated as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership or Corporation. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each and decide which is the right choice for you with the Small Business BC information sheet or the Choosing your Business Structure provincial website.
Choose your business name
Secure your business name by completing a Name Approval Request or visit the OneStop Business Registry. 
Register your business
If your business is a sole proprietorship, general partnership or incorporation, you can register online using a Visa, MasterCard or American Express. You can register using cash, debit card or cheque at Service BC Centres and Front Counter BC offices or call 1-877-822-6727 to find the location nearest you.
Register for PST (if applicable)
If you sell more than $10,000 a years in goods through your business you will need to collect and pay the Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Register for PST or visit the OneStop Business Registry.
Payroll information (if applicable)
If you are paying salary, wages, bonuses, vacation pay or tips to your employees or providing a benefit to your employees such as room and board, you need to register with the Canada Revenue Agency for a payroll deductions account. This account enables you to make the required Income Tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) payments. For more information, visit Canada Revenue Agency/Payroll or visit OneStop Business Registry.
Workers Compensation Plan (if applicable)
If you hire employees or have incorporated your business, you will need to register with WorkSafeBC and pay for insurance to cover you and your employees for work-related injuries and disease. If you are self-employed, you may want to apply for WorkSafeBC’s Personal Optional Protection. Register here or visit OneStop Business Registry.
Import/Export goods (if applicable)
If you are going to import or export goods, you will need to register with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Visit Step by Step Guide to Importing or Exporting or visit OneStop Business Registry.
Permit and licensing

Bizpal offers a search platform to help you identify what permits and licenses you may be required to have when starting and/or operating your business.

For additional building and development permits within the Northern Rockies visit the Build and Development webpage.

Additional business requirements 
Business Insurance
Business insurance helps protect you against liability in case of robbery, vandalism or natural disaster. Find an insurance agent that specializes in small business insurance.  Local finance and insurance services are listed in the Fort Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce Business Directory.  
Business Records 
Make sure you understand what you are legally required to keep for business records. Check the Government of Canada page of Business Records.
Employment Standard Branch, Ministry of Labour
The law in B.C. sets out standards for payment, compensation and working conditions for most workplaces. Take some time to review and understand employment standards if you are hiring employees.
Canadian Intellectual Property Office 
Protect your intellectual property through patents, copyrights and trademarks. Intellectual property can include business ideas, inventions, designs, symbols and products.