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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register my business?

To operate a business in Ontario using anything but your own legal name you MUST register with the Province of Ontario. If you want to register a sole proprietorship, general partnership or an “operating as” name for an existing corporation, you can come to our office to register online on the Service Ontario website. The workstation is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You will need to have the proprietor’s (and/or all partners) name(s) and home address(es), type of business, business address and major activity. If you are an existing corporation, your incorporation number will be required. It will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes to record the required information.

Registration costs $60 as well as $8 for each optional name search. Payment by credit card, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express is required. The Orangeville & Area SBEC office no longer receives cash or cheque payments in this office. You may register with cash payments at locations in Guelph, Barrie and Brampton.

How do I obtain a HST Number?

A HST number can be obtained by contacting Canada Customs and Revenue Agency directly at 1-800-959-5525 or on the Canada Revenue Agency website. If you had a GST number previous to July 1, 2010 you will automatically be enrolled with an HST number.

How do I obtain a Vendor’s Permit?

Effective July 1, 2010, with the introduction of the HST program, a vendor’s permit (Provincial Sales Tax number) is no longer required for most businesses.

Are there any grants to start a business?

There are very few generic government grants available today. Of the grants that do exist, most are targeted to specific cultural or non-profit ventures or they are geared to specific business industries or issues. Typically, very stringent criteria apply to qualify for the grant and the recipient is monitored quite closely to ensure that the funds are used for the purposes intended. Local, provincial and federal incentive programs provides an outline of the types of programs available to support business owners.

Most Canadian small and mid-sized businesses rely on their bank or other financial institutions for help with business debt financing. Although each lending organization has its own criteria, typically they will request a satisfactory credit rating, a business plan and some investment by you.

How do I write a Business Plan?

There are many different ways to write a business plan although all well written plans will include some basic components. Information on how to write a business plan as well as tools and resources to help get you started can be obtained by visiting the SBEC office or by visiting the Business Planning section of this website.

Where is the SBEC Office located?

The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre is located at 200 Lakeview Court (Upper Level).

How can I structure my business?

There are three basic ways to structure your business: sole proprietorship, partnership or incorporation. The structure that you choose will depend on many factors and there are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Detailed information on the pros and cons of each organizational style can be obtained through the SBEC office or by talking to your accountant or lawyer.

How can I learn more about running a business?

In business, keeping your skills updated is vital to your success. Not only do up-to-date skills help keep you competitive, but participation in continuous learning also provides great networking opportunities. The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre provides a wide variety of low-cost or free learning opportunities to help you develop your business skills. To find out more about upcoming seminars, visit the Upcoming Events section of this website. You can also be automatically notified of all upcoming seminars by contacting the SBEC office and providing us with your email address.