Starting a Business in Ontario

Starting a business in Ontario is an ideal option. Ontario is one of the fastest-growing provinces in Canada, and it is one of the top spots where small businesses and entrepreneurs are growing. Indeed, the province offers a great market environment for small companies.One of the main doubts when starting a business in Ontario is funding, which can be critical to your venture. However, you must know that the Ontario government fully supports entrepreneurship. Then, it offers different programs for small businesses owners to enjoy and take advantage. 

First Steps to Open a Small Business In Ontario

We created the following list to help you start a business in Ontario.
  • Select your business idea
  • Market Research
  • Create a Business Plan
  • Marketing Plan
  • Structure
  • Registration
  • Financing
  • Choose your location
  • Apply for your license
  • Tax requirements
Indeed, you don’t need to be a business expert, a website developer, or an accountant. Instead, experts exist to help ensure you take advantage of everything to get things done accurately. You can also ask or search for grants to start a small business in Ontario.

1. Define your Business Idea

Even though you may think all you need to start a business in Ontario is a great idea, while this is true, you also need to create profits. And, you should have several options to do it. Therefore, we recommend exploring more products, services, procedures, and processes to boost your initial concept.

2. Market Research for Starting your Business in Ontario

Market research aims to understand your clients and determine whether sufficient demand exists for starting a business in Ontario.Then, for a new business, market research helps to find answers to essential questions, such as:
  • Who are your potential clients?
  • Are your clients interested in your product?
  • Is the demand enough to support the business?
  • How much are they willing to pay for it?
  • What are the market trends?
  • Is the demand enough to support the business?
You can use data collected through surveys, polls, and existing data to have all the answers. Also, there are some resources to provide market research information:

3. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a “guidance” for starting a small business in Ontario. Indeed, it explains how you are going and how you will reach your goals. Writing a business plan helps you understand all your capabilities and needs to organize, centralize, and set aims. Besides, if you need to apply for financing, a strong business plan proves you have done excellent research and can reveal how you will meet your financial goals.  If you need help to develop your business plan, this resource is super handy: It offers free business plan review and consultation services. After finishing the course, you prepare your business plan, book a one-on-one consultation to assess it, and start on the correct path.

4. Marketing Plan for Starting your Business in Ontario

Firstly, it is essential to understand that the marketing plan will detail your strategies to target and promote your business to reach potential customers. Most of the time, a marketing plan to start a business in Ontario has the following sections:

Executive Overview: 

Firstly, here you must include the critical points of your marketing plan, and even though you write it at the end, you should position it at the front of the document. It has to include highlights from each section. Also, it should be attractive and conciseness to encourage the reader.

Market Research: 

Organize all the data about the demand for the product you will deal. To know it, here some areas you may check are:
  • market dynamics 
  • demographics, target markets, segment, needs
  • buying decisions
  • what’s the competition offering?
  • sales in the industry
  • suppliers that you may need

Target Market: 

Discover the target needs and demands for your product.


After that, here, you need to describe your product or service. Think about how does your product connects to the demand? What do they need beyond current use?


Next, you need to describe your competition and develop your “unique selling proposition .” What makes you stand apart from your competition? What is your competition doing about branding?

Market Strategies: 

Then, you need to summarize your marketing and promotion strategies: To do it, you can use:
  • advertising
  • direct marketing 
  • seminars
  • create content articles (blog)
  • directly selling
  • media – publicity
  • press
  • events, trade shows
  • website 
  • social media

Pricing and branding: 

Subsequently, to start a business in Ontario you need to establish strategies for deciding the cost of your product. Finally, specify where you want to position it and how you will achieve your brand awareness.


After that, you should define what strategies you can afford for starting your business in Ontario. For example, you may do some things in-house while you may need to outsource for other tasks.

Marketing Goals for your business in Ontario: 

Finally, you need to establish quantifiable marketing goals that you can turn into numbers. Here you can include sales, profits, or customer satisfaction.After researching your market, competition, and unique positioning, you can promote and sell your product or service. Then, establishing goals for your marketing campaigns can help you better understand if your efforts are creating results. 


5. Structure

So, For starting a business in Ontario, you should know that ownership depends on the company’s structure. There are three main business structures: sole proprietorshippartnership (general or limited) corporation (provincial or federal)To decide your best structure, you can consult the Government of Canada’s website. In the end, the type of structure affects how you will report your incomes, how to file taxes every year, among other vital conditions.

6. Registration

When starting a small business in Ontario, owners may want to register a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a trading name for a company.Business name registrations or renewals can be done in person or online at Service Ontario or the Enterprise Toronto offices.Not-for-Profit IncorporationHowever, if you are starting a not-for-profit business in Ontario, you can fill out the Articles of Incorporation at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

7. Financing Options for Starting a Business in Ontario

When starting a new business in Ontario, you must know how much money you need and your financing options. Indeed, there are several alternatives available for small business owners. For example, you can obtain business finance from private institutions like banks or other financing programs. However, you first need to know the type of financing you need. So, if you don know it yet, these questions can help you to discover your right finance type: 
  • Where is my business on its development course?
  • What do I need money for?
  • What financing options already available for
Depending on the diversity and size of your business and local economy, both the federal and provincial levels of government provide financial support for starting a business in Ontario. Then, some financial options are : 
  • Friends and family,
  • Angel Financing,
  • Venture Capital Financing,
  • Growth Capital,
  • Traditional banking,
  • Crowd Funding, among others

8. Choose your location 

Before buying a property, we suggest determining if the property’s considered business use is permitted. Also, new construction and renovations of buildings frequently need a permit. Certainly, this is a critical step for starting your business in Ontario. Define grants to start a small business in Ontario.

9. Apply for License for your Business in Ontario

You may need a business license for starting a business in Ontario. Indeed, licenses are required for many types of companies. The different types of those are:
  • Municipal Licenses
  • Provincial Licenses
  • Federal Licenses

10. Tax Requirements

In Canada, Canada Revenue Agency is responsible for tax issues for businesses and individuals. The agency offers valuable information about individual and business taxation, taxable benefits, business income, payroll, HST registration, and more. So, to learn more about taxation issues and what you need to obtain, we strongly recommend checking their webpage.Do you want to know if there are grants to start a small business in Ontario?  The Government has some grants and loans to start a small business in Ontario from public or private sectors.  
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