Guide to Starting a
Business in British Columbia
Newcomer's Guide to Starting
a Business in British Columbia
How to Find Business Ideas,
Research the Market,
Prepare a Business Plan,
Calculate How Much Start-up
Money is Needed, Locate
Financing and Begin Operations
Published March 2016
How This Book Will Help Newcomers to British Columbia
This book will help newcomers start their own business in British Columbia; regardless of whether they have just arrived or have already been resident for several years.
It shows newcomers how to find ideas for starting a business. It shows them what to do if they intend to develop a new product and how to protect their idea with a patent or copyright. It helps them if they intend to sell an existing product and either import it or export it. Then, it discusses some of the issues in starting a service business. In addition, it provides 20 sources of marketing information to help them determine whether their product or service will sell.
A full chapter is devoted to all the legal steps for setting up a business as a proprietorship, partnership or incorporated company plus all the sales tax registration requirements in British Columbia.
Readers will learn how to market their products or services; set up their own website and conduct e-commerce. It will show how to use social media as an inexpensive advertising tool.
This book covers equipment requirements and how to determine how many employees are needed. It covers all the legal obligations employers have when employing workers in British Columbia and the alternatives of sub-contracting, using robots, factory automation and 3D printing.
It looks at locating premises and the challenges of rent renewals. It also covers the tax and other advantages of operating as a home-based business.
Newcomers will learn how to determine how much start-up capital they require and whether they can self-finance. If not, they will learn how to obtain bank financing or raise money by selling equity to venture capitalists or angel investors. They will be alerted to the due diligence process and some of the negotiation issues. They will also find out what’s involved with crowdfunding and some of the regulatory hurdles. They will learn how to prepare a business plan and use it when seeking funding.
This book covers 66 of the most popular Federal and British Columbia Government financial assistance programs and sub-programs and provides 49 contact addresses.
It shows readers how to maintain profitability once their business is operating by using cash management and cost control.
Finally, it provides 12 sources of business start-up assistance in British Columbia together with the addresses of 67 settler agencies which assist immigrants and refugees to settle in the province.
Author, Iain Williamson, is a Canadian immigrant who has been running his own businesses in Canada for over 30 years. He is an entrepreneur, business consultant and seminar leader. His views have appeared in many newspaper articles. He has also been the guest speaker on a CBC Radio phone-in show on starting a business in a recession. In addition, he has appeared on television shows such as: CBC TV's Venture; TVO's MoneysWorth, and Canada Tonight of BCTV and CHCH Television. He holds degrees from Oxford University, England and from St. Andrew's in Scotland. He has successfully arranged bank and equity financing and has obtained government grants. He writes from firsthand experience which he shares with readers. This book is essential reading for every newcomer who wants to start a business in British Columbia.
Newcomer's Guide to Starting a Business in British Columbia: 292 pages, Softcover; ISBN 978-1-55270-738-8; published in March 2016; Canadian $49.95.
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You're Not Alone!
How this Book can Help You
Chapter 1: The Important Role of Small Business in Canada
The Big Picture
What do we mean by a "Small Business"
Small Business as a Creator of Jobs
The "Independent Contractor"
Chapter 2: Where to Find Business Ideas
What do People Want?
Narrow Down the Search
An Example of a Search
Print-on-Paper Trade Magazines and e-Magazines
Visit Manufacturers' Websites to Get Ideas
Visit Retail Stores and the Websites of Retail Stores to Get Ideas
Foreign Trade Commissioners
Buy on eBay Wholesale and Sell Individually
Negotiating Prices for Resale Items
Selling on a Consignment Basis
Make Sure Manufacturers Can Back You Up
Pay Attention to Disruptive Technologies!
Get Ideas for Offering a Service
Store Your Ideas
Be Aware that Some Business Activities are Regulated
Just Look Around You!
Chapter 3: Develop a New Product
Make Your Own Products
How Do You Protect Your Invention?
How Can Patents Protect You?
Patents in Plain Speak
Patents in Canada
What Is a PCT Application?
Copyright in Canada
"Fair Use" and "Fair Dealing"
The Significance of Patent or Copyright Protection
Create a Working Prototype
Chapter 4: Sell an Existing Product
Set Yourself Up as a Manufacturer of an Existing Product
Sell a Domestically Produced Product
Sell Imported Products
Exporting Products from Canada
Duty Deferral Programs
Shipping Imported and Exported Goods
Do-it-Yourself Customs Clearance
Paying for Imported Goods
Cash in Advance (CIA)
Cash on Delivery (COD)
How a Letter of Credit Works
Irrevocable Letter of Credit
A Word of Warning on Letters of Credit
Chapter 5: Start a Service Business
Services Can Cover a Wide Spectrum
Selling Real Estate
Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Stores
Computer Repairs, Installation, Web Design
Digital Photography and Film Making
Book and Magazine Publishing
There's More and More
Chapter 6: Is There a Market for Your Product or Service?
The Big Question: Will it Sell?
"Gut Feel" Marketing
The Importance of a Market Survey
The Challenge of Market Surveys for New Technologies
How to Conduct Your Market Survey
What Should Your Marketing Survey Tell You?
The Importance of Statistical Marketing Information
Statistics Canada (StatsCan)
U.S. Census Bureau
UK Office for National Statistics (ONS)
Eurostat Yearbook 2015
Chapter 7: The Legal Aspects of Business Start-up
Choose a Great Name!
The Legal Structure of Your Business is Important
Limited Liability Partnerships
Tax Aspects of Limited Partnerships
The Federally Incorporated Company
The Importance of Structure if You Are Seeking Financing
Obtain Your Business Number (BN)
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
Corporate Income Tax
Logo, Business Cards, Letterhead, Legal Documentation, etc.
Chapter 8: How Are You Going to Sell Your Product or Service?
First: Get to Know Your Competition!
Your Marketing Strategy
Methods of Distribution
Packaging and Merchandising
Advertising and Lead Generation
Create Your Own Website
The Internet Brings it All Together from an Advertising Perspective!
Register Your Domain Name
Web Design Software
Use Social Media to Grow Your Business
The Importance of Using Social Media when You are Starting Your Business
Caveat: Social Media is "Social" not "Business Media"
Social Media as the Great Equalizer
Watch Out on Paid Advertising
Don't Treat All Social Media as the Same
Is Social Media Worth The Time?
The Big Shift to Mobile
Don't Forget to Analyse Your Results
Your Social Media Plan
Your Marketing Plan
Sell Your Products Online: eCommerce
Your Shopping Cart
Your Methods of Receiving Payment
Offer Alternative Ways for Your Customers to Order and Pay
Security of Transaction
Main Types of E-Commerce Software
Stand-Alone e-Commerce Software
Chapter 9:What Equipment Will You Need?
Equipment and Other Fixed Costs
Hire Employees Who Know How to Use Your Equipment
Chapter 10: How Many People Do You Need to Help You?
Determine How Many People You Will Need to Hire
Job Descriptions Form the Basis for Job Specifications
It May Sound Crazy but Prepare Your Own Job Description!
Prepare Job Descriptions For All Your Employees
Salaries and Hidden Costs
Payroll Account Number
Hiring Canadian Workers
Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)
Personal Information Protection
Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA)
Record of Employment (ROE)
The Balancing Act of Paying to Hire the Best Talent and Trying to Keep Wage Costs as Low as Possible
Third Party Liability
Honesty Bonds or Fidelity Bonds
Intellectual Property and Non-competition Agreements
Are Employee Share Ownership Plans a Dream?
How Can ESOPs Help?
Types of ESOPs
Your Human Resource Plan
Use Family Members Where Possible
Chapter 11: Your Choice of Premises
Home-based Businesses are a Popular Idea
Home-Based Businesses are Survivors
How Legal is it to Work Out of Your Home or Apartment?
Save on Commuting Time
Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Space
Watch Out for the Lease Renewal Trap
Locating in a Mall
Find Yourself a Good Lawyer
Chapter 12: How Much Money Will You Need to Start?
What's Your Start-up Going to Cost?
Use Cash Flow Projections to Calculate Your Needs
Will Your Cash Flow be Adequate?
Can Your Business Finance Itself?
The Importance of Knowing What You Need
Observations on Start-up Capital Needs
How Long Will it Take to Arrange Financing?
Costs to Raise External Financing
Do You Have a Contingency Plan?
Chapter 13: Figure Out if You Can Finance It Yourself
Figure Out if You Can Finance It Yourself
Can You Supply You Own Start-up Capital?
Some Preliminary Considerations
The Personal Financial Statement
What is Bootstrap Financing?
Chapter 14: Prepare Your Business Plan
It's Essential to Have a Business Plan
The Structure of Your Plan
Your Plan Should be Dynamic
Chapter 15: Debt Financing
The US Federal Reserve Board
The Bank of Canada
The Commercial Banking Function
Canada's Chartered Banks
Canada's Domestic Banks
Commercial Banking Units
Foreign Banks in Canada
Canadian Credit Unions & Caisses Populaires
Government Owned Banks
Canadian Trust Companies
Types of Small Business Loans
Floor Plan Loans
Letters of Credit
Personal Loans and Credit Cards
Preliminary Steps Before Applying for a Loan
Preparing for a Loan Application
View from the Banker's Side of the Desk
Banker's Credit Review
Bankers' Favourite Financial Ratios
The Final Steps
Factoring as a Method of Borrowing
Methods of Payment
Method of Financing
Advantages and Disadvantages
Where to Find Factors
Chapter 16: Equity Financing: Venture Capital, Angel Investing and Crowdfunding
What is Venture Capital?
How Did This Venture Capital Game Start?
Typical Structure of Canadian Venture Capital Companies
Who Are the Players in Canada?
Fund of Funds
How Much Money is Being Raised?
Where is the Money Being Invested?
What is the Money Being Invested In?
How to Contact Them: Five Methods of Approach
A Word of Caution
The Challenge of Liquidity
Realism of the Venture Capital Market From the Perspective of Small Business Financing
What is Meant by the Term "Angel?"
The Funding Gap
The American Experience
Characteristics of Angels
Angels As Risk Takers
Angels in Canada
The Importance of Angels
Profiles of Canadian Angels
Where do Angels Like to Invest?
What do Angels Like to Invest In?
What Form Does their Investment Take?
How Long Does the Average Angel Stay on Board?
How Successful Are the Marriages?
Why Don't Some Marriages Make it to the Alter
How Do Small Business Owners Use the Money?
Another Business as an Angel
Potential Conflicts with Corporate Angels
Clusters of Angels
Syndication in Clusters
Incubators and Accelerators
The "Seedcamp" Model
How to Meet Angels
Negotiating With Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors
The Goal of Negotiations
The "Due Diligence" Process
Expected Return on Investment
Points Likely to Be Negotiated
Total Financing Required
How Much Money Have You Invested?
Timing of the Investment
Management and Other Fees
Management From the Venture Capitalist's Viewpoint
The Term Sheet
The Legal Agreement
Concluding Comments About Negotiating
Rules of the Angel Game
Check Out That Angel!
What is Crowdfunding?
Saskatchewan Adopted an Equity Crowdfunding Exemption
Six Provinces Have Agreed to Crowdfunding Rules
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Seeks Public Comment on Crowdfunding Proposals
Ontario's Crowdfunding Rules
Accredited Investors in Canada
National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada)
The Crowdfunding Loan Model
Specific Loans vs. Autolending
Crowd-Based Lending is Dependent on Prevailing Interest Rates
Types of Loan-Based Crowdfunding
Canadian Peer-to-Peer Crowdlending Portal
The Basic Concept Behind the Rewards Model or Perks-Based Crowdfunding
Charitable Giving is Not Motivated by Profit-Making and Generally Falls Outside of the Regulatory Net
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Finally Makes its Position Known With Respect to Rewards-Based Crowdfunding
Canada's Draconian Anti-Spam Laws Could be a Crowdfunding Killer
Rules of the Crowdfunding Game
Chapter 17: Federal Government Financial Assistance
Canada Offers Many Business Assistance Programs
The Canada Small Business Financing (CSBF) Program
Business Development Bank of Canada
National Research Council Canada (NRC)
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)
Export Development Canada (EDC)
Small Business Internship Program (SBIP)
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)
Women's Enterprise Centre
Chapter 18: Government and Other Financial Assistance in British Columbia
British Columbia Offers Many Business Assistance Programs
British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC)
WorkSafe BC: Innovation at Work
Startup Canada Women Entrepreneur Fund
TruShield Retail Startup Fund
Chapter 19: How to Maintain Profitability Once Your Business is Operating
The Basics of Cash Management
Collecting Monies Due
Set up a System to Control Your Receivables
Inventory Management for Retailers
Control Your Energy Costs
Your Transportation Costs
Your Travel Costs
Your Communication Costs
Your Advertising Costs
Theft and Shrinkage
Your Rental Space Costs
Your Pricing Strategies
Can Licensing Reduce Cash Outlays?
Chapter 20: Sources of Business Start-up Assistance for Newcomers
Small Business BC (SBBC)
La Société de développement économiquede la Colombie-Britannique
Accelerate Okanagan Technology Association (Accelerate Okanagan)
Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP)
TIME Ventures Incubator
Newcomer Settlement Agencies
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