Starting A Business

Please know:

If you are planning to start a business, you will likely need to be involved with all 3 levels of Government:

  • Federal Government (Canada),
  • Provincial Government (Ontario) and
  • Municipal Government (Chatham-Kent).

! Be aware of which level of Government you need to contact when you have business questions.  You will not receive the answers you are looking for, and you will likely be directed to an alternate source, if you have not contacted the proper level of Government.

Answering Your Top 13 Questions For Starting A Business

If you want to chat with someone re: any or all of the following topics, we are here to help.

1. I know I should start with a Business Plan, but why? and how do I write a Business Plan?

Completing a Business Plan is the place to start. A Business Plan is the document that demonstrates the feasibility of your prospective new business, it becomes your road map, and it helps you to make sure that you have what you need, before you start your business. The type of Business Plan you write depends on how the Plan will be used.

2. Where can I get more money for my business?

Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent (CFDCCK) offers loans to small business as part of our programs. Click here ! to learn more about our Business Loans Program, and how to make your application with us.

Please note: While there are a very specific, and limited number of Government grants available,
research shows there is no Government grant (free money) available for starting a business.
Government grant information is available to you at no charge, but you must do the research yourself.

3. Where can I get a Business Licence?

Different levels of Government each have licencing requirements that you need to check out, to see if they are applicable to your start up business.

  • Ontario businesses typically need to obtain a Master Business Licence (MBL) to register their business name. Registration of business names occurs at the Provincial Government (Ontario) level. There are specific, and limited instances where registration is not required.

Note: Registering a business name could have implications for you if you are receiving funds from another Government program (i.e. Employment Insurance (EI). Before registering, please ensure that your situation will not be negatively affected.

Why would you use this site?
It is proof you are researched, it provides you with accurate information to forecast the licence expense applicable to your business in your Business Plan, it allows you to search your potential business name, and when you are ready to start your business, register a business name and be in compliance with Provincial Government (Ontario) law.

Why would you use this site?
This site makes you knowledgeable, has many useful ideas and links, helps you with idenifying the amount of licence expense in your Business Plan and will keep you compliant with the Municipal Government (Chatham-Kent).

4. Where can I operate my small business? Can I operate it out of my home?

There are Municipal Government (Chatham-Kent) zoning requirements on where a business can be located. 

  • Find out if you can operate your business at the location you have selected by contacting:

    Chatham-Kent Building Enforcement and Licensing
    Civic Centre
    Zoning Department
    315 King Street West
    Chatham, ON
    N7M 5K8
    519-360-1998

Why would you contact the Municipal Zoning Department?
This puts you in the know on where you can locate your business, helps you with identifying your lease or home based business expenses in your Business Plan and will keep you compliant with the Municipal Government (Chatham-Kent).

5. How does my business idea compare to others?

To access information on the industry averages of similar Ontario businesses to yours, the Financial Performance Data (2015), provided by the Government of Canada, can assist you.

Why would you use this site?
This information can help you to complete the financial component of your Business Plan by providing an accurate sense of the cost structure of similar businesses in your industry, and in your Province. Use this information as a comparison of annual Sales amounts, Cost of Goods Sold expenses, Gross Margin percentages, etc. to your forecasted business numbers in your Business Plan to see how your potential business is measuring up.  

6. How do I incorporate my business?

Note: This information is not intended to replace legal advice. Consider consulting a lawyer, an accountant, or another professional advisor to ensure that the specific needs of your corporation are met.

7. What about HST (Harmonized Sales Tax)?

The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) replaced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Retail Sales Tax (RST) in the Province of Ontario in 2010, and is regulated by the Federal Government (Canada).

Note: Registering for HST could have implications for you if you are receiving funds from another Government program (i.e. Employment Insurance (EI). Before registering, please ensure that your situation will not be negatively affected.

Why would you use this site?
To collect, report to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and receive and/or pay your HST refunds or remittances, you must register with the Federal Government (Canada).  You will receive an HST number (free of charge to you) as part of this process, and this number should be noted on your sales invoice. This site also explains what to do after you register for HST.

8. What if I get employees?

There are 3 separate organizations ALL of which must be contacted if you are taking on employees: 

A)    Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Federal Government (Canada)

  • For information on how payroll works, all rates, calculating Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and income tax deductions, remitting source (payroll) deductions and more,
    click here.
  • For information on registering your business for payroll, start with this CRA payroll program account link.

B)    Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) Provincial Government (Ontario)

         Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)

  • The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) sets minimum standards for employers re: Hours of Work, Eating Periods and Rest Periods, Pay Periods, Overtime Pay, Tips and Gratuities, Minimum Wage, Family Leaves of Absences, Public Holidays, Vacation Time and Pay, Termination of Employment, Temporary Layoffs, Severance and Other ESA Rights and Special Rules for most workplaces in Ontario.
  • You must be in compliance with this Act if you are an employer.
  • This Act applies to you as an employer whether your employees are full-time, contract, seasonal, part-time, etc.
  • To view all of the minimum standards, you would need to comply with, at most workplaces,
    Click on “Your Guide to the Employment Standards Act” in Ontario.

The mandatory Labour Posting and Distributing Requirements (for businesses with fewer than 5 employees) are highlighted as follows:

Employment Standards In Ontario: “What you need to know” Poster (Required)

  • Employers are required to display the most recent version of the this Poster in at least 1 conspicuous location in the workplace.
  • Employers are also required to provide each of their employees with a copy of the Poster.
  • Click here if you want to view this Poster.

Health & Safety at Work: “Prevention Starts Here” Poster (Required)

  • Employers must display this Poster as it outlines the rights and responsibilities of workers, supervisors, and employers on the job, as well as provides the Ministry of Labour (MOL) telephone number.
  • This Poster can be found by clicking here.

Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) (Required)

Health and Safety Policy (Required)

To help you learn about all Provincial Posting and Distributing Requirements for employers in Ontario,

Health and Safety Awareness Training for Workers and Supervisors (Required)

  • This awareness training provides a basic understanding of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)
  • Employers are required to make sure every worker and supervisor complete this basic occupational health and safety awareness training program.
  • A supervisor does include a Business Owner who has employees.
  • For access to the on-line workbooks for Worker (in 4 Steps) and Supervisor (in 5 Steps) click here.

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) has prepared a workbook to assist employers and employees in understanding some of their obligations and rights under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and its regulations.

C)    Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Provincial Government (Ontario)

Mandatory Workplace and Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) Coverage in Construction Businesses
(WSIB Class G, or WSIB Rate Groups beginning with the number 7)
(Required)

  • The law already requires employers to cover their workers, but the mandatory coverage for WSIB now extends to most of the Business Owners in the construction industry (including independent operators, sole proprietors, some partners in a partnership, and some executive officers), unless you qualify for an exemption.
  • The exemptions from the Business Owner mandatory coverage for WSIB in construction are: home renovators, and 1 executive officer or partner.

Note: There is no exemption from paying WSIB premiums to cover your construction workers, but rather the exemption relates to the WSIB premiums paid for construction Business Owners only.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) “In Case of Injury” Poster (Required)

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) First Aid Requirements (Regulation 1101) (Required)

Why would you use these sites?
These Agencies need to be contacted if you are looking to hire an employee.
These sites contain useful details for employers and employees alike, help you with idenifying the amount of cost you will be incurring for having employees in your Business Plan and will assist you with understanding your compliance.

9. What if an employee leaves?

When an employee leaves, you as the employer are required to issue a Record of Employment (ROE). 

This document provides information on employment history, and is required to determine Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility, what the benefit amount will be, and for how long the benefits will be paid. This information is required by Service Canada – Federal Government (Canada).

10. What if my construction business makes payments to subcontractors for construction services?

Construction businesses are required to record payments they make to subcontractors for construction services, and report these payments to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  This is done through the Contract Payment Reporting System (CPRS).

Why would you use this site?
This site is required only if you are a construction business and have hired a subcontractor.

11. I’ve received Employment Insurance (EI) payments.  Do I ever have to repay them?

If you have received Employment Insurance (EI) payments, depending on your net income, you may be required to repay some of the EI benefits at income tax time. 

Note: The threshold $$ amount of your net income from all sources, changes on a yearly basis.  Please ensure you are looking at current year information.

12. How can I tell if the person working is Self-Employed or my Employee?

13. I am thinking of taking on a partner.  What do I do?

Note: This information is not intended to replace legal advice. Consider consulting a lawyer, an accountant, or another professional advisor to ensure that the specific needs of your partnership are met, and before any agreement is signed.

The following website will introduce you to the different forms of business organization and perhaps help you determine which form is best for you.
Information on the different Forms of Business.

  • A partnership business will require a Partnership Agreement.
  • Contact us ! Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent (CFDCCK) to discuss or review partnership agreements.
  • Each agreement is unique based on the individuals involved, nature of the business, organization, assets included, etc.
  • Agreements can also be purchased online by clicking here.

If you want to chat with someone re: any or all of these topics, we are here to help.

  • Contact us ! Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent (CFDCCK).