Assante Hydrostone’s blog and news updates.

So, you want to start a business

Published on: September 2nd, 2022

new business

Starting a business is hard work. There’s more to it than just embracing your passion and deciding to monetize it. There are many financial considerations for setting up a new business, including tax planning, budgeting, and succession planning, that you will need to consider to get through the challenging start-up phase.


Sole proprietorship

Sole proprietorship is the most common business structure. It is a more informal structure, wherein the business and the operator are considered one and the same for legal and tax purposes. Because CRA considers a sole proprietorship a source of income, you will need to report the financial details on your tax return. While there are some tax advantages to a sole proprietorship, you are also personally liable for all functions and debts of the business.


Partnership is a form of proprietorship but instead of one proprietor, there are two or more. Partners usually have a contract or agreement that governs the percentage of revenues, expenses, and tasks for which each partner is accountable. Each partner will need to report their percentage on their tax return.


A corporation is a more complex business structure. When you incorporate you create a separate legal entity owned by its shareholders. This process creates ownership shares and has tax advantages for the owners who are usually paid as employees of the company. Unlike a proprietorship, incorporation offers you some liability protection from the corporation’s debts.

Choosing the structure that best suits you and your business can be complex, so it’s beneficial to work through structuring your business with your Assante advisor.


When you’re starting out, budgeting is particularly important. Creating monthly, weekly, and even daily revenue goals will help you stay on track and make any adjustments necessary to grow your business.

Start-up costs

One of the things you need to be aware of from the get-go is your start-up costs. These are upfront fixed or recurring expenses that you will have to get your business off the ground.

Fixed expenses include things like:

  • legal and professional costs for incorporating or registering your business,
  • inventory,
  • licences and permit fees,
  • office supplies and equipment,
  • machinery, a vehicle, or real estate, and
  • consulting services and marketing costs like website design.

Recurring expenses include things like:

  • salaries,
  • rent or lease payments,
  • ongoing marketing costs,
  • financing costs, and
  • maintenance and professional fees.

Make sure you account for all these expenses upfront to ensure you have enough capital to get your business started and generating revenue as soon as possible.

Be reasonable with your start-up costs. You probably don’t need an office espresso machine and catered meetings right off the bat. Save those things for when your business starts bringing in revenue and work up to these perks.

Cash flow management

You need to know where every single dollar is coming from and where every single dollar is going. Keep track of all your expenses and stick to your budget. The first few years that your business is running may be lean, but how you run your business in the start-up phase will be the foundation for how successful your business will be as time goes on.

Keeping meticulous financial records is crucial when tax time comes.

Succession planning

You might be thinking: I’m just starting my business; why would I think about end-of-the-line processes now?

The simple answer is life is unpredictable. It can be difficult to plan for the unexpected, but doing so will protect your business in the long run.

Grants and subsidies

There are grants and subsidies that may be available for new businesses and programs that will help with start-up costs or tax advice. Check out a list of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) programs.

The bottom line

Starting a business takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and discipline. If you’re considering starting a business, talk to your Assante advisor today about structuring your business, budgeting for start-up, and funding opportunities that may be available to you.

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