Checklist for Starting a Business in Manitoba

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Our starting a business in Manitoba checklist can be your guide for the steps you may need to take when starting your business.

A common question when starting a business is: “Where do I begin?”

Our starting a business checklist will help answer that question and be your guide for the steps you may need to take. Depending on your industry, not all of the steps mentioned will apply to you.

There is also no set order for each of these stages to be completed. 

Evaluate your business idea

Is your business idea realistic? Can you make money from this business idea?

When starting a new business, you will need to spend time evaluating and developing your idea. The Canada Business Network prepared a list of things you should consider and provides links to additional information to help you assess that idea.

Market Research

Test the viability of your idea by researching the market, industry and competition.

Contact

Entrepreneurship Manitoba
Phone: 204-945-8200
Toll Free: 1-855-836-7250
Email: embinfo@gov.mb.ca

World Trade Centre Winnipeg - Business InfoCentre
Phone: 204-253-4888
Toll Free: 1-800-665-2019
Email: info@wtcwinnipeg.com

Business Plan

This is an important step for the planning and success of your business. Your business plan serves as a roadmap for your business journey. Banks, other lenders or investors will often need a written business plan.

Futurpreneur Canada has produced a video series for entrepreneurs in Manitoba. These videos can help you get a better grasp on the basics of planning and launching your business.

Business Plan Templates

Templates for Business Planning can be found online, the Futurpreneur Website, or through your financial institution.

Business Plan Samples

Business Plan Review Service

Entrepreneurship Manitoba’s Business Consultants can help you by objectively assessing your business plan and providing feedback in preparation for presentation to potential lenders or investors, and/or implementation. (Fee for service)

Financing

How will you finance your business? Find out what financial resources may be available to you. Entrepreneurship Manitoba provides you with information about financial programs available to business owners in the form of loans and guarantees, grants, tax credits, wage subsidies and equity contributions. 

Business Structure

Before you register your business, you will have to decide on an appropriate business structure. There are several types of business structures, including: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporations.

Learn more about business structures.

Business Registration

Have you chosen your business name? Before you print business cards, make sure that your name is available. Learn more about choosing your business name.

Entrepreneurship Manitoba offers a preliminary business name search service free of charge available to you before you begin the formal process of registering your business. Contact Entrepreneurship Manitoba for more details.

The following steps outline the process to register your business in Manitoba through the Companies Office.

Step 1: Business Name

Submit your Business Name Request for approval. This process is available to be completed online or in person.

Step 2: Register Business

Register the business with your chosen structure using your name approval.

If you are seeking name protection across Canada, you may want to consider federal incorporation in addition to provincial incorporation.

Website

Consider reserving the domain name of your company (or something similar to your company name) to create your website.
Use a search engine to find a domain registrar to secure a domain name (a website address) for your website (e.g. www.yourwebsite.ca).

You can begin by searching to see if your .ca website name is available at Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

Once registered, your domain name can also be used to create a custom email address for your business (e.g. sales@yourwebsite.ca).

Bank Account

Open a bank account for your business.

Visit your financial institution with a copy of your Business Number. If you are in a partnership or corporation they will request the partnership agreement or articles of incorporation.

Taxation

Open account(s) under your Business Number (BN).

You may be required to register for RST and/or GST depending on what you are selling and amount of revenue.

Retail Sales Tax (RST)

Commonly known as Provincial Sales Tax (PST)

Contact

Phone: 204-945-6444
Toll-Free: 1-800-564-9789
Website: www.gov.mb.ca/finance/taxation

Register for provincial tax accounts.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)
 

Contact

Phone: 1-800-959-5525

Business Permits and Licenses 

BizPaL is an online service that can help you find the permits and licenses you may require when starting or growing your business in Manitoba. It will provide you with regulatory information from the federal, provincial and local governments. As not all municipalities participate in BizPaL, you may need contact your local municipality directly.

When doing business in other townships, you must find out if you require a permit/license in their municipality.  Click here to find a municipality. 

If you are planning on starting a home-based business in the City of Winnipeg, learn more here. For the more information about permits and licenses required in the City of Winnipeg, click here.

Contact

City of Winnipeg
Permits and Licenses
Phone: 311 or 204-986-2234

Direct Seller License

Are you planning to advertise on business cards, flyers, etc.? Contact the Consumer Protection Office to determine if you require a direct seller license .

(If you have a retail location you may not need a license).

Contact

Consumer Protection Office
Phone: 204-945-3800
Toll Free: 1-800-782-0067
Email: consumers@gov.mb.ca

Insurance

Ensure your business is protected.

Learn about business insurance coverage such as: disability, liability, business interruption insurance, home based business insurance, etc.

You can learn more with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Importing and Exporting

The Canadian Border Service Agency provides resources that will help you comply with the legal requirements. Learn more about importing and exporting with this step-by-step guide.

Build Your Team of Experts

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have questions at all stages of business. If you are starting your business, growing or transitioning, take the next step to make a difference in your business by creating your advisory team or meeting with one of our professionals to address your needs through our Ask the Expert program.

Bookkeeper: Canadian Bookkeepers Association

Accountant: Chartered Professional Accountants Canada

Lawyer: The Law Society of Manitoba

Insurance Broker: Insurance Brokers Association of Manitoba

Requirements for Keeping Business Records

If you are operating a business or have self-employment income, you need to set up an orderly record and accounting system. It’s recommended that you contact a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) to assist you in this process.

You’re required to keep all of your business records. Please refer to these websites for retention periods.

Business Records

Employee Records

Payroll Records

Hiring Employees

Learn how to hire your first employee! Entrepreneurship Manitoba provides A Guide to Hiring Employees that covers the steps involved in hiring employees, employment and safety regulations and standards for Manitoba, as well as other considerations.