Start your business
Find step-by-step guides and other resources to start a successful business in British Columbia.
Last updated: February 3, 2023
On this page:
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.
- Evaluate your business idea (Small Business BC)
- Market research resources guide (Small Business BC)
- Turning your idea into a successful business (BDC)
- Guide to market research to help you make better decisions (BDC)
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.
- Business planning (Small Business BC)
- 10 common business plan mistakes (Small Business BC)
- Sample business plans and templates (Small Business BC)
If your business needs money to start, explore your financing options.
- Small Business Financing Program (Government of Canada)
- Five tips for writing a successful funding proposal (Small Business BC)
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.
- Choosing your business structure
- How to choose the right business structure (Small Business BC)
- Setting up your business (Government of Canada)
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.
Governments and organizations like Small Business BC can help you start, manage and grow a successful small business.