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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 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.

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Published on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the lands belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation.