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How do I start a small business?

There are two key decisions to make as you start a small business.

First is how to get started:

  • by buying an existing business,

  • by buying a franchise, or

  • by starting a new business from scratch.

Second, if you decide to start a new business from scratch, is to decide what form of business to use:

  • a sole proprietorship,

  • a partnership, or

  • an incorporated company.

Our page on starting a small business explains these options, as well as other key issues such as consents from third parties, licenses and registrations, and employee accounts.

  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in August 2019

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This information from People’s Law School explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. See our disclaimer.

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.