Start a Sole Proprietorship in Canada: Benefits & Procedure

Looking to start a sole proprietorship in Canada? Read our guide to know the complete procedure and benefits of incorporating a sole proprietorship in Canada.


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    Establishing a Sole Proprietorship in Canada in 2023

    Do you intend to establish a company in Canada? Canada is situated in North America and is one of the most favored locations for business setup. The nation has been ranked in the 23rd position as per the latest reports on the Ease of Doing Business index. If you want to set up a business in Canada, one of the easiest business structures that you can

    start a sole proprietorship in canada

    start is a sole proprietorship.

    A sole proprietorship is a type of corporate organization where one person owns and runs the company. It is the most straightforward type of corporate structure in Canada. As the sole owner, you have complete authority over decision-making and profits. Starting a sole proprietorship in Canada can be a thrilling endeavor for prospective businesspeople. 

    In this article, we will go over the steps for establishing a sole proprietorship in Canada along with some of the advantages.

    Benefits of a Sole Proprietorship in Canada

    Starting a sole proprietorship offers several key advantages:

    • Low Startup Costs: One of the most appealing aspects is the minimal cost of starting. There are no complex legal requirements or registration fees, making it an accessible option for aspiring entrepreneurs with limited capital.
    • Full Control: As the sole proprietor, you don’t have to share decision-making authority with partners or shareholders. 
    • Simple Tax Reporting: Taxation for sole proprietors is relatively straightforward. You disclose your company’s earnings and expenses on your individual tax return, simplifying the tax process.
    • Flexibility: Sole traders possess the freedom to adapt and pivot their companies quickly. This flexibility is invaluable in responding to changing market conditions.

    Procedure to Start a Sole Proprietorship in Canada

    procedure to start a sole proprietorship in canada

    The processes for establishing a sole proprietorship in Canada are as follows:

    1. Business Name Registration

    One of the most crucial steps to start a sole proprietorship in Canada is choosing a suitable business name. You should select a name that reflects your business’s nature and values. It’s essential to check if the name is accessible and not being used by another company. Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll be required to enroll it with the appropriate government authority. This process helps ensure that your business operates under a unique and legally recognized name.

    2. Legal Requirements

    To operate your sole proprietorship legally, you’ll need to meet specific legal requirements:

    • Business Permits and Licenses: You need a number of permits and licenses to operate lawfully based on your sector and area. These might involve zoning permissions health permits, or industry-specific licenses. Make sure to conduct your research and acquire the required paperwork.
    • Business Number (BN): You may need to register for a Business Number in Canada with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for tax purposes, especially if you plan to collect the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

    3. Permits and Licenses

    The types of permits and licenses you need can vary widely based on your business’s nature and location. Here are some common examples:

    Business License

    In order to operate lawfully in Canada, you must apply for business licenses in Canada. Many municipalities require businesses to obtain a general business license, which permits them to operate within that jurisdiction.

    Health and Safety Permits 

    You’ll probably need permits to ensure compliance with health and safety standards if your business involves food service, healthcare, or other safety-sensitive areas.

    Professional Licensing 

    Specific professional licenses are necessary for several occupations, like those of lawyers, physicians, and accountants.

    4. Taxation for Sole Proprietors

    Understanding the tax obligations for sole proprietors is crucial for your business’s financial health. 

    Here are key tax considerations:

    • Income Tax: Sole proprietors must record their business revenue on their personal tax return.
    • GST/HST: If your annual revenues exceed a certain threshold (currently $30,000), you may be required to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and collect these taxes from your customers.
    • Payroll Taxes: If you have workers, you must deduct and remit their payroll taxes, which include income tax and Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Employment Insurance (EI) premiums.

    5. Business Banking and Finances

    It’s crucial to keep your personal and company finances separate for a sole proprietorship. To do this:

    • Open a Business Bank Account: Open a business bank account in Canada to handle all business-related transactions. This makes keeping accurate financial information and keeping track of revenue and expenditures simpler.

    6. Record-Keeping and Accounting

    For a sole proprietorship to be successful, accurate record-keeping is essential.

    Here’s how to do it successfully:

    Track All Financial Transactions 

    Keep detailed records of all your business income and expenses. This covers bills, acknowledgments, and financial statements.

    Use Accounting Software 

    Consider using accounting software to simplify financial management. Popular options include QuickBooks, Wave, and FreshBooks.

    Regularly Reconcile Accounts

    To verify accuracy, compare the accounting documents and bank statements.

    7. Hiring Employees

    If you plan to expand your sole proprietorship and hire employees, it’s essential to understand your responsibilities:

    • Payroll Deductions: As an employer, you’ll need to withhold and remit income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums on behalf of your employees.
    • Employment Standards: Familiarize yourself with the employment standards in your province or territory, which govern issues like minimum wage, working hours, and employee rights.

    8. Marketing and Branding

    Effectively marketing your sole proprietorship is crucial for attracting and retaining customers:

    • Create a Marketing Plan: Create a thorough marketing strategy that details your target market, distribution routes, and approaches for reaching prospective clients.
    • Build a Powerful Brand: Invest in forging a powerful brand identity that distinguishes your business from competitors. Your brand must resonate with your target audience and be consistent with your ideals.


    A sole proprietorship is one of the easiest forms of business in Canada. You may effectively navigate the process and create a profitable business with the correct information, planning, and commitment. 

    You can also speak with our company formation experts at OnDemand International to help you in setting up your business in Canada. With their skills and knowledge, they will support you in selecting a place for your business, registering the business name, and with other related aspects of business registration. To establish a single proprietorship in Canada, contact us right now.


    Yes, you can hire employees, but keep in mind that you’re personally responsible for their wages, deductions, and legal requirements.

    No, there’s no specific capital requirement for starting a sole proprietorship in Canada.

    As a sole proprietor, you’re personal assets could be at risk if the company runs into financial difficulties because you are personally responsible for any commercial debts.

    In order to properly file their individual tax returns, sole owners must maintain precise financial records.

    Yes, you can switch to a different business form, like a partnership or corporation, if your company expands or its needs alter.