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Establish a Business

Regardless of how they arrive in Canada, about 16% of immigrants end up establishing their own businesses. Newcomers look at this route as the best alternative to employment. In fact, people with prior experience of being self-employed find it easy to establish a business in Canada rather than looking for employment. Canada offers these persons incentives and support for establishing their own businesses. However, there are always differences between the ways businesses run in Canada and the rest of the world.

If you have the intention to become self-employed in Canada, there are a few critical and essential assumptions you need to know. First of all, you need to bear in mind that a lot of start-up businesses fail in the first few years of their establishment. Therefore, you need to create a sound business plan and have a clear strategy in order to reduce the risks of failure. The business plan should identify, in a clear way, your initial ideas and innovations for your business, your operational, financial, and marketing strategies, your estimates of costs and revenues, and your future goals and benchmarks for the first few years of operation. Having a business plan is also of utmost importance in obtaining the confidence of investors and financial institutions who want to invest in your business, or give you short-term or long-term loans.

You also need to understand the economic and business environment of the community you are going to settle in. The extent to which the success of your business depends on the geographical location largely depends on the type of business. For example, while an ethnic food market is highly dependent on its location for gathering enough customers, an Internet-based retail business may only require access to reliable transportation services in its physical location.

Registering a business in Canada is an easy task and can be done from the comfort of your home. You may need to rent an office to conduct your day-to-day activities, but this is not mandatory; in fact, in Canada, it is quite common to see small businesses operating from a home office and there is no social stigma to having a home office if your type of business allows it. There are also establishments in Canada that let you rent shared office space (virtual office) at a reasonable cost.

In addition to the above, you need to make sure that you avail yourself of the professional services provided by lawyers, tax professionals, accountants, advertisers, etc. in order to increase the odds of success for your business. Such professionals may charge premium amounts for their services, but this is money well-spent and will save you later troubles or litigation.

The Government of Canada provides some services and general information for Entrepreneurs in Canada. Also, the following websites can be of great help:

Business Reports – www.dnb.ca
Industry Sector Profiles – www.ic.gc.ca
Community and Economic Development Resource – www.cedr.gov.on.ca
General Business Related Info. – www.businesstown.com
Canada/British Columbia Business Services – www.smallbusinessbc.ca
Business Information by Sector – http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_indps/engdoc/homepage.html
Importing and Exporting Guides – www.cbsc.org/ontario/english/export_import.cfm
Online Export Information – www.exportsource.gc.ca
Export Development Corporation – www.edc.ca
INFO Export – www.infoexport.gc.ca
Forum for International Trade Training – www.fitt.ca
Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade – www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca
Trade Data Online – http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/tdo
Canadian Commercial Corporation – http://www.ccc.ca 

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