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johmac

Company Name...

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Hi,

I was wondering if you have to register a company name (in Canada), once you have decided on one. Is there some legal procedure and how much would it be?

Thanks smile.gif

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Maybe someone can reply but I think I got my answer. I was wondering if I should Incorporate myself but I've read up about it and it seems that it wouldn't necessarily be wise at this point. Too much paperwork and hassles. I'm sure some of you have already looked into this so I guess I'll stay as sole proprietor. Comments would be welcome from Canadians. Did I miss anything regarding fees as sole proprietor? Better double check with you just in cas. I checked the TM for my slogan on this website which I will be using and nobody has applied for a TM so I know I'm in the clear on that.

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Hi,

In most areas, you do have to register your name (with the provincial registry) if you are not incorporating (the incorporation process sort of takes care of the name registration issue inherently). It is generally not too expensive, but probably varies by province. You will likely also need to purchase a business license for a home-based business from your municipal government and the fees for this vary widely from location to location.

 

The vast majority of VAs in Canada do not appear to be incorporated from what my own research has found. However, there are pros and cons to consider:

 

PROS:

- If you plan to expand your business substantially in terms of going public, hiring employees, etc. etc. (which most VAs don't) in the future and think you will eventually want to incorporate, it is easier to do at the beginning from a legal/accounting/paperwork perspective.

- Incorporation does offer SOME protection from a liability perspective (thus the term "limited liability"), but do not rely completely on this. The president/CEO of corporations can be held personally liable in some situations.

- A corporation is taxed at a lower rate vs personal income but the savings are often offset by other expenses inherent to incorporating. I believe it is not until you are grossing significant revenues does the corporation (and its president) begin to realize decent tax savings.

 

CONS:

- If money is an issue, then incorporation can wait if you decide you want to do it at all. Definitely more paperwork and more expensive.

- Setting up a sole proprietorship is simple and inexpensive. You and your company are simply one and the same in terms of legal, accounting, and tax issues.

- When applying for credit, being a limited company (i.e. incorporated) means almost zilch to the banks if you are a small or even medium sized business. The bank will want to know your PERSONAL net worth and will rarely issue credit to the company itself. Rather credit is issued to you personally and becomes part of your personal credit record, regardless of whether the money is for a trip to Hawaii or for a legitimate business venture.

 

There are some good government sponsored websites in Canada to check out that detail the pros and cons; perhaps do a few Google searches or check out your local Economic Development office. Also check out Industry Canada's website.

 

Do remember that when it is time to do your taxes, if you are a sole proprietor, you and your company are one and the same. So your income from another job and your income from your VA practice are reported on one tax returned and the grand total is taxed accordingly. And keep all of your business receipts!

 

HTH.

Karri

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EH, I'm a Canadian, I will answer!

 

Sole proprietorship is all you need. It costs $30 to do a namesearch and then $40 to register your business in British Columbia. I have never incorporated but may one day as there are benefits to it like no personal liabilities, makes you appear larger having INC. after your business name, etc.

 

I know in Canada here, you can also not register your business and just work under your given name, ie) Tawnya Sutherland You still can claim business expenses year end income tax time and everything. Quite a few consultants do this. But for the $70, I'd register since having a company name adds credibility.

 

Tawnya

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Hi Tawnya and Karri,

Thanks for your input. I was in the About website which was quite informative. I did read the pro's and con's and because I'm just starting, I couldn't envision myself being bogged down with more paperwork. I'm tripping over myself with what has to be done (as I'm sure you all know). I will check with registering and my municipality for a license. You have both been very helpful. This is a full time job in itself don'tchatink?

 

Signing off this time as

Tired Eyes and Fingers

 

wacko.gif

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As for municipal licences, I still have never gotten a straight answer on this. Since I work globally, must I have a business licence in every municipality? I would think not but some have said yes, others no. As for my own municipality, I do no work for anyone here so I decided not to purchase a licence for here. (To each their own). Another way for the municipalities to get another buck out of us sad.gif

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Hi there!

I don't know where you are located but I see that you have been told of the cost of registering your trade name in BC.

I am in Alberta and I paid $10.70 to have a name search done and paid $31.40 to have my trade name registered which in all cost me a "Whopping" $42.10 applause.gif

 

I as well don't have a business license for my municipality since I have no local clients as of yet and have been told that I don't need a license at all since I would be doing the work "virtually" even if I was.

Don't take my word on this though since I was worried about that one as well and still have no concrete answers on it to date.

 

If anyone were to find out otherwise (re: the biz license) I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know!!

Anyway back to my endless job of research!!

Until next time,

good luck to all!!

Cindy

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Everthing is Cheaper in Alberta.

Kinda Like Everything is bigger in Texas.

 

BC stands for Bring Cash

 

T

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And the Maritimes are the dumping grounds. wink.gif

I paid $45 for my name search, and $55 for registering my business for only 1 year!

Quite the surprise for me where I paid only $35 in Manitoba to register my business name for 3 years!

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Yep, business licenses are actually a pretty hot issue in a lot of municipalities. Where I live it costs $250 (no, that zero is not a typo) to buy a license for a home-based business for a year. And this municipality calls themselves business friendly. HA. Basically, a bus. license is a tax and home based businesses get "taxed" more heavily b/c they are not paying "extra" property taxes on a downtown office. TOTALLY LAME if you ask me. The WHOLE POINT of working from home is to be efficient which includes saving $$!

 

If you actually read the fine print of your town's bylaws, you can sometimes be fined (quite heavily where I live) if you are operating a business without a license. I think it is not so much a concern as to "where" the clients are but "where" you are operating your business from.

 

That being said, every municipality across the country (i.e. Canada) basically has its own unique set of bylaws around licensing. And in some municipalities who want to genuinely encourage small business growth the license is either free or very very cheap.

 

And there there is the whole "development permit" issue ... this is yet another cost the municipality can incur if they think you need to apply for a development permit in the newspaper (yep, even if you have ZERO clients walking through your home's front door).

 

Just some things to ponder. I find it all very frustrating and not at all pro-business when municipalities "behave" this way.

Karri

ps: I'm in Alberta ... very pro-business province in general, but some places still don't "get it."

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Winnipeg instated a simular Home Based Business Tax about 3 years ago Karri. (Part of the reason I'm glad I left, it was getting costly!) The charge of a home based business is $350 for the first year, then about $150/year thereafter. This is on top of the cost of registering the business with the province's Company's Office.

 

I haven't seen if Halifax charges a Home Basd Business Tax, then I haven't had any local clients, so I'm not going to worry about vendor licenses when the time comes. wink.gif

 

Rob.

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Rob - My husband and I actually lived in Winnipeg for a short time when I was working for a national railroad firm. Having lived in Alberta most of my life, I must say that we felt a bit like fish out of water there. Free enterprise was not exactly looked upon with passionate eyes in Manitoba, although there were definitely exceptions to this. My husband has always worked under his own company name and at the time was a subcontractor of environmental consulting services to other environmental firms (he now contracts out his own services to oil and gas companies). Many firms didn't even understand what subcontracting meant in Winnipeg! Either you were an employee or forget it.

 

Sorry, I am babbling! Anyway, we left after nine months. Too bad though b/c there are some wonderful things to do and see in Winnipeg (if the giant mosquitoes don't carry you away first blink.gif )

 

Karri

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Well, it all of you are paying those costs for a biz.lic. I can just imagine what they're going to charge here in Quebec. We are ALWAYS higher in everything - now I'm getting nervous. I have tried several time to get into our Prov. Quebec site but they are working on it, I'll have to try and make a phone call to ask. I think this type of work may open all kinds of cans of worms since everyone will want a piece of the pie and maybe no one can get it. Aren't they supposed to be encouraging business for the economy since so many are being layed off. Doesn't sound like it. I'll let you know what my situation is. smile.gif

 

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...sorry about the typo's - it's Friday and my eyes are going buggy wacko.gif with all the reading - anyhow that's my eggcuse and I'm stickin' to it. biggrin.gif

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