Start your business

Find step-by-step guides and other resources to start a successful business in British Columbia.

Last updated: February 3, 2023

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Step-by-step guide

Follow these steps to start a new small business in B.C. 

Step-by-step guides are also available to help you:

Step 1: Develop your business idea

Use tools and research to find out if your business idea will work.

Write your business plan. It will help you explain to others what you are doing and how you will achieve your business goals. Keep it realistic and concise.

If your business needs money to start, explore your financing options.

Step 2: Choose a business structure

There are different types of business structures to choose from. Each structure has different legal and financial implications. You could also get advice from a lawyer or chartered accountant.

Step 3: Request and reserve a business name

Businesses must have their name approved and confirm that it doesn't conflict with a name already being used by a corporation. Only incorporated companies, cooperatives or societies can guarantee exclusive use of their name.

Step 4: Register or incorporate

Find out how to register or incorporate your type of business:

Step 5: Get required permits and licences

Depending on your business location and activities, you may need permits or licences from local, provincial or federal governments.


Resources are available to help you start, manage and grow a successful small business.

Find small business resources

Get help

Governments and organizations like Small Business BC can help you start, manage and grow a successful small business.

Get help with your small business