What options do I have to start a business in Ontario?

You have 3 main options:

  • Start from the beginning
  • Buy an existing business
  • Start a franchise

Start From the Beginning

This is the most challenging option. You will have to come up with an idea and a business plan, marketing strategies for your product(s) and services and establish your clientele and credit.

Buy an Existing Business

This option has advantages such as an established clientele and an existing business method. But, you have to figure out why the business is for sale and what it is really worth.

Start a Franchise

A franchise is the right or privilege to deal in a certain line or brand of goods and services. A franchising company (franchisor) sells businesses or brands to small businesspersons. Usually, the franchisor supplies the product, materials and a certain amount of know-how. The franchisee (you) agrees to handle the product exclusively and run the business according to certain standards prescribed by the franchisor. This option combines the freedom of running an independent business with the advantages of working for a large company.

Get Help

The Ontario government and many community agencies can give you information and advice about how to start a business. For more information, go to Where can I get help to start a business?

For More Information

  • Start a Business - A list of links to information about starting a business in Ontario. From the Ontario Immigration website.
  • Canada Business: Services for Entrepreneurs - Information about taxes, licensing, importing, exporting and much more.
  • Business Guide for Newcomers to Canada - If you want to start a business in Ontario, this guide will help you understand the government resources that are available to you. It has information about choosing your business structure, regulations, taxation and more.
  • Canada Business Ontario - An information gateway for Ontario business to access federal and provincial programs and services for business. They can help you find answers to your business start-up, business growth, and exporting questions in several ways.
  • Investing in Business Innovation Program - Under this federal government program, eligible start-up businesses can get up to C$1 million towards certain costs, such as labour, materials and supplies.
Last updated: November 9, 2015 4001203