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Senior's Guide to Starting

a Business in Ontario


It's Never Too Late to Become Your Own Boss and Earn Money on a Full-Time or Part-Time Basis

By Iain Williamson









How This Book Will Help Ontario Seniors Start a Full-Time or Part-Time Business

This book provides all the information seniors need to get started. It shows them 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 summarizes the legal steps for setting up a business as a proprietorship, partnership or incorporated company plus all the sales tax registration requirements in Ontario.


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 the legal obligations employers have when employing workers.


It covers the tax and other advantages of operating as a home-based business. It also looks at locating commercial space and the challenges of rent renewals.


Seniors 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 the most popular federal and Ontario financial assistance programs and sub-programs and provides contact addresses.


It shows seniors how to maintain profitability once their business is operating by using cash management and cost control.


Finally, it provides seniors with links to sources of business start-up assistance.


Author, Iain Williamson, is a Canadian senior 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 senior who wants to start a business in Ontario.




Senior's Guide to Starting a Business in Ontario: 294 pages, Softcover; ISBN 978-1-55270-762-3; published in November 2016; Canadian $39.95.  



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Welcome to the Seniors' Business Club!

Seniors Galore!

Join the Seniors' Business Club!

It's Never Too Late!

Make Sure You Stay Young at Heart!

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?

The Internet

Search Engines

Narrow Down the Search

An Example of a Search

Trade Shows

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


Drop-Ship Arrangements


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?


Register Trademarks

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

Customs Brokers

Paying for Imported Goods

Cash in Advance (CIA)

Cash on Delivery (COD)

Open Account

Letters of Credit


Chapter 5

Start a Service Business

Services Can Cover a Wide Spectrum

Selling Real Estate

Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Stores


Financial Services

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?

"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?

Traditional Sources

Public Libraries

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

Sole Proprietorships


The Incorporated Company

The Federally Incorporated Company

Name Search


Obtain Your Business Number (BN)

Sales Taxes

Corporate Income Tax

Small Business Income Tax Rates

Municipal Taxes

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


Chapter 9

Create Your Own Website, Sell Online and Promote Using Social Media

It's Easy to Create Your Own Website

Register Your Domain Name

Web Hosting

Web Design Software

What is E-Commerce?

Your Shopping Cart

Your Checkout

Your Methods of Receiving Payment

Payment Gateways

Offer Alternative Ways for Your Customers to Order and Pay

International Transactions

Security of Transaction


Main Types of E-Commerce Software

The Plug-ins

Stand-alone E-commerce Software

Other Shopping Cart Software Programs

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

The Cost

Paid Advertising

Watch Out on Paid Advertising

Don't Treat All Social Media as the Same

Web Blogs









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


Chapter 10

Computer Software to Help You Run Your Business

Word Processing and Desktop Publishing

Why Pay for a Secretary When Your Can Use Voice Dictation Software?


Why "CRM"is so Important


Maximizer CRM 2016

GoldMine CRM

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Dynamics CRM


Database Software

Time Management

Project Management

A Review of Accounting Software

MyInvoices & Estimates Deluxe

QuickBooks Pro

QuickBooks EasyStart

QuickBooks Premier

TurboTax Business


Chapter 11

What Equipment Will You Need?

Equipment and Other Fixed Costs


Hire Employees Who Know How to Use Your Equipment


Chapter 12

How Many People Do You Need to Help You?

Human Resources

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

Canada Payroll Account Number

Payroll Deductions in All Provinces

Private Worker Health Insurance Plans

Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Hiring Canadian Workers

Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)

Pay Equity

Personal Information Protection

Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA)

Workplace Safety and Insurance

Termination or Severance

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

Employment Contracts

Are Employee Share Ownership Plans a Dream?

How Can ESOPs Help?

Types of ESOPs

Performance Bonuses

Your Human Resource Plan


Use Family Members Where Possible

Factory Automation

3D Printing


Chapter 13

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?

Tax Advantages

Save on Commuting Time

Commercial Space

Zoning Laws

Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Space

Watch Out for the Lease Renewal Trap

Locating in a Mall

Find Yourself a Good Lawyer



Chapter 14

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 15

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 16

Prepare Your Business Plan

It's Essential to Have a Business Plan

The Structure of Your Plan

Economic Benefits

Your Plan Should be Dynamic

Business Planning and Analysis Software

Plan Write

PlanMagic Business

Business Plan Pro Standard Edition

Business Plan Pro Premier Edition



Chapter 17

Bank and Debt Financing

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

Types of Small Business Loans

Operating Lines

Term Loans

Floor Plan Loans

Warehouse Receipts

Overdraft Facilities

Letters of Credit

Personal Loans and Credit Cards

Subordinate Financing

Preliminary Steps Before Applying for a Loan

Preparing for a Loan Application

Discretionary Limits

The View from Your Banker's Side of the Desk

Banker's Credit Review

Bankers' Favourite Financial Ratios


Banker's Assessment

The Final Steps

Factoring as a Method of Borrowing

Factoring: Methods of Payment

Factoring: Method of Financing

Advantages and Disadvantages

Where to Find Factors


Chapter 18

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

Realism of the Venture Capital Market From the Perspective of Small Business Financing

What is Meant by the Term "Angel?"

The Funding Gap

Angels in Canada

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

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


Restrictive Covenants

Affirmative Covenants

Management From the Venture Capitalist's Viewpoint

The Term Sheet

The Legal Agreement


Director's Liability

Concluding Comments About Negotiating

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

Invoice-Factoring Crowdfunding

Canadian Peer-to-Peer Crowdlending Portal

Lending Loop

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 19

Federal Government Financial Assistance

Canada Offers Many Business Assistance Programs

Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

National Research Council Canada (NRC)

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program

Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)

Export Development Canada (EDC)

CMHC Renovation Programs for Projects in Canada

Self-Employment (SE) Program

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC)

Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW)

Small Business Internship Program (SBIP)

Heritage Canada

Community Futures


Chapter 20

Ontario Government and Other Financial Assistance

Micro Finance Program

Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF)

ACCESS Community Capital Fund (ACCF)

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

Startup Canada Women Entrepreneurship Fund

TruShield Retail Startup Fund

Rise Individual Lending Program

London Small Business Centre

Centre for Social Innovation (CSI)

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (TCU)

Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG)

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)

Ontario Ministry of Finance

MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)


Chapter 21

How to Maintain Profitability Once Your Business is Operating

The Basics of Cash Management

Accounts Receivable

Credit Ratings

Collecting Monies Due

Overdue Accounts

Set up a System to Control Your Receivables

Accounts Payable

Cash Balances

Inventory Management

Inventory Management for Retailers

Control Your Energy Costs

Your Transportation Costs

Your Travel Costs

Your Communication Costs

Your Advertising Costs

Quality Control

Waste Management

Theft and Shrinkage

Your Rental Space Costs

Your Pricing Strategies

Tax Planning

Cash Budgeting

Can Licensing Reduce Cash Outlays?


Chapter 22

Sources of Business Start-up Assistance for Seniors

Canada Business Ontario

Invest Ottawa

Y Enterprise Centre - Ottawa

Centennial College - Centre of Entrepreneurship (COE)

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs)

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Business Consulting Services

Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)

Toronto Food Business Incubator (TFBI)

The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI)

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (NORCAT)


IDEAHUB: Port Hope Business Incubator

Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ)

Innovate Niagara

Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC)

Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre


Community MicroSkills Development Centre

McMaster Biosciences Incubation Centre (MBIC)

Hamilton Technology Centre

Enactus Canada

Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) - Innovation Centre

Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre








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