There’s Never Been a Better Time to Start a Business in Canada
You’ve probably heard about the increasing number of entrepreneurs in the United States. With economic uncertainty and outsourcing impacting almost every industry, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found a record high number of entrepreneurs in America in 2015.
But what about Canada? Is this a good time to start a business in Canada?
The answer is yes. Entrepreneurship in Canada ranked 2nd in the world, second only to the U.S.,in 2015.
There’s never been a better time than now to start a business in Canada. Here’s why you should join the millions of entrepreneurs already operating here, and how to know if you’re cut out to start a business.
Availability Of Seed Capital
Having access to funding can make or break many many new companies.
A decade ago, Canada wasn’t known for its availability of financing for businesses. However, that has changed.
The launch of OMERS Ventures in 2011 made a significant difference in the Canadian venture capital landscape. The venture capital project has helped revive entrepreneurialism, especially in the technology industry.
As a result of improved capital, businesses no longer have to sell out early or take a risky IPO before they’re ready. Instead, when you start a business in Canada today, you have access to the funding you need to grow and become profitable.
OMERS Ventures not only invests directly, but it brings in other venture capital money as well. The project can lead fundraising endeavors to help companies find seed funding from other sources. The credibility brought from OMERS support makes a big difference.
Government Grants and Tax Credits
The government grants and tax credits are a key reason that many business owners choose to form their companies in Canada rather than looking at other places.
Not only can you save money with tax credits, but you can also get mentorship, support, and financing. Programs include the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and FedDev Ontario. Getting involved with these initiatives can help you develop your business successfully when starting out or looking to grow.
At tax time, you can get some incredible tax credits if you have a research and development program as part of your business. Through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit, businesses can get upwards of 50% back in cash from the investments they make in R&D.
Access to Great Talent
How would you like to recruit at the same schools that Google and Facebook routinely reach out to – without leaving your backyard?
The University of Waterloo and the University of Toronto are two of the top engineering schools in all of North America, and they just happen to be Canadian. Of course, you’ll be competing with top U.S. companies if you recruit there, but you’ll have access to Canadians who don’t want to live outside of Canada. That’s not a small group, either.
Even beyond the top engineering schools, you have access to students from around the world who are drawn to study in Canada because they can get an excellent education at an affordable price. These high-quality graduates in a variety of specialties can make a big difference to your business.
Lower Cost of Living
In the United States, areas with high technical talent also have an incredibly high cost of living.
In Canada, you can live in areas like Toronto that have incredibly high levels of talented employees available without paying as much for daily living and business expenses compared to other major startup cities. It’s far cheaper to live and build a company in Toronto than in San Francisco.
If you’re interested in bootstrapping or working as a solo freelancer, you can live in less expensive areas of Canada for less than comparable areas of the United States. Outside of Ontario and Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia are also home to a large number of small businesses.
Overall, you’re looking at better profits because you can keep expenses down. While there may be a big draw to build your business in popular U.S. cities, staying in Canada makes great business sense!
Prevalence of Small Businesses
Canada’s business landscape is largely made up of small businesses, and that’s good news for entrepreneurs.
With over 97% of Canadian companies having fewer than 100 employees, you face a far lower hurdle than entrepreneurs who have to compete with huge companies in most industries.
Also, the fact that small businesses are so common in Canada means that consumers are willing to deal with organizations that don’t have thousands of employees and an advertising budget in the millions of dollars.
A successful small business in Canada requires a combination of factors – a founder doing what they honestly enjoy, and a company that makes a difference in a market. With the right team members, you can find yourself one of the many successful business owners who has decided to start their business in Canada.
You Can Start Quickly
You may think that starting a business is a long process that will take months, but that’s not true in Canada.
In fact, you can start up in less than a day, and the fees required are minimal.
Once you form a business plan and register your company, you’ll be ready to get to the real work. Building awareness about your products or services, deliver high-quality results, and following up with top-of-the-line customer service.
You don’t have to spend weeks or months jumping through hoops to start your business. You can register one very quickly and begin serving your clients in less than a week.
You’re Likely to Succeed
According to Canada’s Entrepreneurship Indicators Database, about 75 percent of newly formed businesses survive for at least two years.
This is an excellent success rate and makes now a great time to get started.
There’s more support for new business owners in Canada than there’s ever been before. New programs and mentorship opportunities, both governmental and private, are easier to access now than they’ve ever been.
Of course, you need to know what to expect in the first year of your business. You’ll start off doing a lot of the work yourself as you look for the right people to create your team.
You may get frustrated by the amount of work involved in the beginning, but be patient. If you persevere, you’ll get to a point where you can share some of the responsibility.
Don’t be thrown off by unhappy customers or things that go wrong. No one can please everyone or plan for everything. As long as you keep hustling, keep developing your ideas to match the market’s needs, and build awareness of your business, you stand a good chance of success.
Are You Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur?
Now that you know that this is an incredible time to start a business here in Canada, you may be wondering if you’re someone that should start their own company.
It’s certainly a challenge. Here’s how to know if you’re up to the task.
Your Life Is Relatively Stable
No one’s life is perfect, and everyone has stress.
However, times of extreme turmoil are not always the best time to start a business. If you’re going through a divorce, are moving, or are struggling with other significant issues, you might want to resolve those concerns before you start a business.
You Can Take Informed Risks
Most people know that being an entrepreneur will likely require you to leave your comfort zone.
However, many people don’t realize that being a reckless risk-taker is also a poor personality for a business owner. The trick is to be able to take informed, moderate risks to succeed in business.
You’re Internally Motivated
Some people function best when someone is telling them what to do, where to be, and when to be there.
There’s nothing wrong with that. However, being a business owner requires you to be internally motivated, able to push yourself when needed. No one will be telling you that you have to do your work. Will you be able to do it anyway?
Your Financial Situation is Stable
You don’t have to be wealthy to start a business, but you should be financially stable.
It’s best if you have at least a little financial cushion to carry you through the ups and downs of getting your business established. When you just start out, expect to bootstrap at least for a little while – gaining funding, or a steady customer base, takes time.
A Product That Connects With Your Market
Of course, the number one thing you need to be successful is an idea that fits the needs of your target market.
Before you take the plunge into entrepreneurship, do a lot of market research so that you can make sure that your product or service is something that will be in demand with customers.
Ready to Start a Business in Canada?
You know that there’s no better time than now to start a business in Canada.
Are you ready to get started? We can help.
You can start your business with three easy steps: do a business name search to make sure your business name isn’t taken, register your business, and connect with professionals who can help you get up and running.
Now is the time, don’t delay. Take that first step towards starting your business now!