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As a service to Alliance members, we are constantly seeking the latest and most relevant information to assist you in starting and running your business venture.

The resources below are divided into two categories: Start-Ups and Existing Businesses. Much of the information will be of value to both groups. There are also sections for Worksheets and Templates.


For Start-ups

Business Start-up Checklist
This quick-start guide is intended to provide entrepreneurs with an easy-to-use checklist of the basics that need to be done to get a business up and running.
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Four Reasons to Incorporate Your Business
Read about the four main reasons why you should incorporate rather than register your business.
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How to Incorporate your Business
If you're prepared to wade through some red tape, there is no reason why you can't incorporate your business yourself. Doing it yourself is less expensive than using a lawyer and the Entrepreneurs' Club will assist you with the process.
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Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?
Is being an entrepreneur right for you? This is an important question that only you can answer. Here's some help.
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Provincial or Federal Incorporation?
Whether to incorporate on a provincial or federal basis is a common question asked by many start-ups.  While the differences in cost and function of each seem relatively small at the outset, this choice can shape your business and dictate the opportunities available to you as you develop your business.
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Federal Incorporation
Most corporations under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) are created by filing a request through Corporations Canada's Online Filing Centre. If you prefer to submit a non-online request to create a corporation (i.e., by email attachment, fax, mail or in person) this document will help you to prepare the request.
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The One-Page Business Plan
Writing a one-page business plan helps the new or small business owner focus on the main components that make up the company. A business plan is a good option to write even for a single-employee business. It brings professionalism through defining the business, setting goals and provides a roadmap for success.
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The One-Person Corporation
While there are three types or classes of participants in a corporation, it is not uncommon for a single individual to want to incorporate a business.
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What is a Corporation?
A corporation is different from other types of businesses, because a corporation is treated as a separate legal entity. You may have heard corporations referred to as ‘people', because with a few exceptions, they are recognized under the law as a person with its own set of rights and responsibilities that go along with this designation.
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Registering Your Business in Ontario
Although you can register your business in person by going to one of the Ontario Government's Service Ontario Centers, or by mail, it's easy to skip the paperwork and quickly register your business online.
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Sole Proprietorship vs. Partnerships
There are three common ways of organizing a business: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Which one is best for your business depends on a number of factors. This article discusses the pros and cons of sole proprietorships and partnerships.
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WSIB Registration in Ontario
(Workplace Safety and Insurance Board)
Most businesses in Ontario that employ workers (including family members and sub-contractors) must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring their first full- or part-time worker. It's the law.
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Borrowing Money for Your Business
After you have developed a cash flow analysis and determined when your business will make profit, you may decide you need additional funding. Borrowing money is one of the most common sources of funding for a small business, but obtaining a loan isn't always easy. Before you approach a lender for a loan, you will need to understand the factors the bank will use to evaluate your application. This article outlines some of the key factors a lender uses to analyze a potential borrower.
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5 Tips for Borrowing Start-up Funds from Friends or Family
If you're starting a business that requires significant financial investment up front, finding a source of funding can be a challenge, especially since the average cost of starting a business is $30,000. This is particularly true for young entrepreneurs who lack a strong credit history or don't want the hassle of dealing with banks or private lenders.
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Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking Investment Funding
After the "love money" (money provided by friends and family) is gone, start-ups often turn to angel investors for their next round of financial backing.

However, many entrepreneurs unwittingly sabotage their own efforts to convince potential investors that their company is a viable venture. Some entrepreneurs take a very cavalier attitude towards a potential investor, which doesn't help their cause.
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Capital Gains Exemptions for Small Businesses
One of the initiatives that make starting a small business in Canada so attractive is the existence of the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE). Essentially what the LCGE does is allow Canadian residents to receive certain capital gains tax-free, up to a lifetime limit of $750,000. This means that LCGE-eligible individuals can save tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on their lifetime tax bill.
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Business Plan Resources
To save you valuable time, the Entrepreneurs' Club is continually searching the Internet for the latest and most relevant resource information available. Here are some resources that apply to business plans.
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Learn Before You Leap
Starting your own business can be a huge leap of faith and one that shouldn't be taken without knowing what you are leaping to. The road to owning your own business is full of pot-holes and detours and it's best to know as much as you can about the journey before embarking on it.
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Proforma Income Statements: Why Bother?
For an existing operating company, an income statement, otherwise known as a profit and loss statement, is a summary of a company's profit or loss during a given period of time. For a start-up company with no track record, we use a proforma income statement to record what we think will happen once the company gets up and running. We also use it to determine our breakeven point.
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Your Guide to Start-up Expenses
The biggest obstacle that entrepreneurs face is figuring out how much money they need to start and run their business. These cost estimates are the foundations used for setting prices and rates, analyzing profitability, asking for loans and investments, and most other finance-related tasks for starting your business. This process is extremely important, but does not need to be turned into rocket science. This guide will step you through the process. ....
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For Existing Businesses

Good Deal or Lowest Price
Everyone likes a good deal. Unfortunately many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that a good deal for the customer requires that they give their lowest price. That's a costly mistake. It can rob them of the profits they need to prosper, grow, or perhaps even to survive. When we give customers a good deal instead of lowest price we'll close more sales, have happier customers, and higher profits.
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A Guide to Grants & Loans
Every start-up business requires money to get up and running. Much of the initial funding for a business comes from personal savings, family, friends, and outsider investors who are willing to invest in the business. Loans and grants are alternate sources of funds and the purpose of this bulletin is to provide the information you need to see if these funding sources can be of value to you.
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Become an Expert
I've got some news for you. If you're a skilled worker, you're already an expert. However, if you're an expert buried amongst a bunch of similar experts, you're like a tree in the forest and it will be hard to tell you apart. We need to set you apart so we can tell you apart. In this bulletin, we'll show you ways to set yourself apart to help grow your business.
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Pick Your Niche
One of the mistakes that new businesses make is to try to be all things to all people. This unfocused approach can cause them to be nothing to nobody. When you pick your niche, you differentiate yourself from other businesses and stand a better chance of succeeding.
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An Effective Networking Message
Have you ever been at a networking meeting where everyone was expected to stand and briefly introduce themselves and their company? Have you ever noticed how bad people are at it? Some people stand up, announce their name and company, and then sit down again, all within about 8 seconds. This doesn't have to happen to you.
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Finding Your Second Salesperson
If you are a start-up with any traction at all, you've had your first salesperson on board since the beginning – you. No matter how you perceive yourself (Founder, CEO, Evangelist, whatever…), you know your company is growing because, from day one, you were willing to pitch, persuade and sell.
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Worksheets

The following worksheets are designed to assist you in evaluating your business as well as assisting in the development of a formal business plan.

Start-up Funds Requirement worksheet.
This worksheet will help you determine how much money you will require to get your business started and keep it running for six months.
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Proforma Profit-Loss Statement worksheet
Also called an Income Statement, this is the information you will need to include in a full-blown business plan. Even if you do not intend to seek outside financial assistance, completing this worksheet can help you avoid financial disaster by helping you to determine the revenue (sales) you'll need to break-even or, preferably, make a profit.
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Projected Cash Flow Requirements worksheet
Cash is the lifeblood of any company and it is critical to know how much cash you will need and when you will need it is highly important. This worksheet will help put cash flow into perspective.
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Balance Sheet worksheet
Balance sheets, along with profit/loss (income) statements, are the basic elements in providing financial reporting to potential investors and suppliers who are considering how much credit to extend to your company.  This also known as the Net Worth or Book Value of the business.
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Templates

The following templates are available to assist you with some of the formalities of starting your business enterprise.

General Partnership Agreement
A detailed, formal, agreement. Available in Word format for easy editing. See disclaimer below.
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Simple Partnership Agreement
As the title implies, this is a simple, less formal form of partnership agreement. Available in Word format for easy editing. See disclaimer below.
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Disclaimer
These sample legal documents are being made available by SmartNet Alliance to its members for information purposes only and do not constitute providing legal advice. We recommend you use these documents only after seeking legal advice from a qualified lawyer practicing in your province.

Detailed Business Plan Template
A fill-in-the-blank template for a thorough and detailed business plan.
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Simple Business Plan Template
This template provides a fill-in-the-blanks format for a simple business plan.
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OUTSIDE RESOURCES

Links to websites of Government Agencies, Associations and Co-operatives, and more.
Go to Links page