Start a Business

Starting a business can be exciting and a little scary. We are here to help.

From learning to write a business plan to connecting with like-minded people and mentors, we're here to assist with finding the resources you need to start your business.

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBEC)

Looking for assistance with your start-up? Small Business Enterprise Centres provide:

  • Consultations
  • Business model reviews
  • Training, workshops and networking events
  • Funding

Caledon businesses have access to any SBEC in the Province but we recommend that you connect with either the Town of Orangeville SBEC or the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre. All meetings are currently done virtually and staff at either location are happy to assist you by reviewing your business plan or providing advice.

Funding programs

Summer Company

The Summer Company program has helped dozens of area youth get a start in small business. Offered in partnership with the Province of Ontario, Summer Company provides entrepreneurial training, mentorship and grants of up to $3,000 to eligible students.

How to apply

Apply for Summer Company by completing the online application. Once submitted, your application will be sent to the Area Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) and they will follow up with you. Applications typically open in January with a deadline of early May.

You may select any SBEC, however we do suggest the Brampton Enterprise Centre or the Orangeville SBEC.

Eligibility

View the eligibility checklist to see if you meet the program requirements. Applicants must:

  • be a high school, college or university student
  • live in Ontario
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • be between 15 and 29 years of age (if under 18, a parent needs to sign the application)
  • not already running a business
  • not work at another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the program
  • be returning to school after the program ends

About the program

The Summer Company program offers:

  • training and business skills development to help youth create business plans and prepare to run their own business for the summer
  • $1,500 of start-up funding for the new business and an additional $1,500 upon successful completion of the program
  • mentorship and guidance from local business professionals and consultants

 

Starter Company

Starter Company+ is a training and mentorship program that is offered through the Ontario Small Business Network for individuals 18+ looking to start or grow a business.

Brampton Entrepreneur Centre: 2021 intake is closed. They hope to relaunch next year in 2022. Interested participants are encouraged to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss the announcement when the next intake launches. Subscribe here

Orangeville SBEC: have a rolling intake, please contact them directly for information. 

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada, is a national, not-for-profit corporation that provides financing, mentoring, and support tools to young Canadian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39. 

Their Start-up Program offers young entrepreneurs with financing and mentoring to help launch their business. Through the Start-up Program, eligible clients could be eligible for up to $20,000 in financing directly through Futurpreneur, as well as up to an additional $40,000 through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). This would be a personally guaranteed, unsecured loan with a five-year term, where the first year would be monthly, interest-only payments. If approved, they would pair the client with a volunteer business mentor for two years.  Learn more: www.futurpreneur.ca

**NEW** Futurpreneurs Black Entrepreneur Startup Program for black entrepreneurs aged 18-39.  This program is Funded by RBC, with additional loan financing provided by BDC. This exciting new program offers up to $60,000 in start-up financing plus mentorship and resources Learn more: www.futurpreneur.ca/en/besp

Digital Main Street

ShopHERE Program is for artists, retailers, food, or service registered businesses regardless of where they operate. 

This FREE service provides a full online store build. The only cost associated is determined by the ecommerce platform chosen such as Shopify or Square. Register for ShopHERE

Digital Transformation Program is focused on providing qualifying "brick and mortar" small businesses with a digital assessment, online training and a one-time $2,500 grant to implement their Digital Transformation Plan.

Frequently asked questions

How do I register my business?

Registering a sole proprietorship, general partnership, or “operating as” name

To operate a business in Ontario using anything but your own legal name, you must register with the Province of Ontario. You can register your business online through Service Ontario.

SBEC staff are happy to assist you through the process if needed.

Information required for registration includes:

  • the proprietor's (and/or all partners) name(s) and home address(es)
  • type of business and major activity
  • business address 

Existing corporations registering an “operating as” name will require an incorporation number.

Registering an incorporation

Businesses wishing to incorporate in Ontario must contact Service Ontario and can complete the process online, in person or by mail.

It is recommended that you consult a lawyer, accountant and an incorporation specialist firm due to the complexities of the process. This also assures that you are familiar with all of the legal and reporting requirements of a corporation, and your personal responsibilities.

How do I register or change my business name?

Whatever name you choose avoid using the same name as another business, regardless whether they are in another city, province or country.

Registering your business name is done through the ServiceOntario site.
Government of Canada: Naming Your Business

How do I register for HST?

You are required to collect and remit HST for your business. You can register for the HST by contacting Revenue Canada at 1.800.959.5525 or registering online at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.

When do I start collecting HST?

If you operate a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation that has gross sales over $30,000 in a fiscal year you are required to collect HST on behalf of the government. If your sales are less than $30,000, charging HST is optional.

Things to note:

  • When determining whether or not you need to register for the HST, you need to look at your income in consecutive quarters.

  • Your gross revenues are based on when the money is invoiced, not when it is paid.

  • If your income exceeds the $30,000 threshold for any four consecutive quarters, or in any quarter, you must register.

  • Sole proprietors operating more than one business must combine the income from all businesses when determining if they need to register for the GST/HST. For example, if one business had total revenues (before expenses) of $20,000 and a second business had total revenues (before expenses) of $12,000 in four consecutive quarters, you would need to register for and charge the  HST.

For more information contact Revenue Canada at 1.800.959.5525 or online at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.​

How do I write a business plan?

One of the most valuable items a business owner can have is a business plan. There are many different ways to write a business plan.

There are a number of eLearning opportunities through Ontario Small Business Centres which may be helpful. The staff at the SBECs are also happy to review your Plan, or answer any questions you may have.

Recommended sites:

Can you recommend a lawyer, accountant, banker or other small business?

We cannot provide any referrals or recommend any one business professional over another for any of these services. You can access a list of available professionals in these industries located in Caledon by accessing our Business Directory.

 

You will have to do your own due diligence and find the industry professional that is right for you.

The Orangeville SBEC offers a Virtual Business Advisor Services - business owners can be matched with professional advisors who will provide specialized, confidential guidance, at no cost

Where do I get the money to start my business?

Sixty-five percent of small business owners require a loan from a financial institution. Each institution has its own requirements, but generally they will require the following:

  • a written business plan

  • satisfactory credit score

  • some investment and/or equity from you

  • management abilities

  • transferable skills & industry experience

For grants and other funding opportunities please visit the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre's grants and funding page​

Government of Canada resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business.html 

Government of Canada business support

E-Learning

Small Business Centres of Ontario offer e-learning opportunities to elevate your business skills. Each of the sessions runs 30 minutes or less and concludes with a quiz. You will receive tools, templates, and helpful resources throughout.

Business Basics 

If you’re unsure of what it takes to start and run a business, you are in the right place! 

This series of 10 free online learning sessions will help you decide if starting your own business is the right path for you, then guide you through the steps involved in getting started.

There’s a lot of thinking, planning, and research to be done before you can get started. Our Business Basics sessions will help you through that process, so you don’t need to figure it all out on your own.

Business Basics sessions

Start-Up Sessions

You’ve done the research, tested your idea and are ready to launch! 

This series of 10 free online learning sessions will set you up with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully launch your new business.

Each of the ten sessions runs 30 minutes or less and concludes with a quiz. You will receive tools, templates, and helpful resources throughout.

Start-Up sessions 

Events

Small Business Centres of Ontario offer free online seminars and workshops to elevate your business skills, as well as connect with your business community. 

From training to networking to celebrating doing business in our region, check out our Events and Training page to learn, connect, and build.

Events and training page

Do your research

Visit our full research portal that provides a wealth of data that can help you make smart business choices. We've selected the areas which we think may be most relevant for you as you start your business:

Subscribe to the Business Report newsletter

The Business Report is a regular e-newsletter that focuses on information relevant to the Caledon business community, resources, webinars, events and more.

Subscribe now

Our partnerships

Depending on the type of business you are starting there are resources and support from our partners to assist you:

Existing business

If you currently operate a business and would like to expand, need a new site or advice steering through the development approval process. Contact the Economic Development team for assistance.