Registering Your Intuitive Business

business Jan 10, 2022

Welcome to 3D Business Bytes! A series teaching you about some of the more practical, 3D aspects of running an intuitive business. 

Today I'm talking all about registering your business! I cover things like: 

  • Registering your business with the BC government
  • How to decide between a sole proprietorship, partnership, or a corporation
  • How to register for a business license (and if you even need one)
  • How to register for GST and PST 

*Keep in mind, the actual step-by-step processes I share pertain to a business that's based in British Columbia. If you live in another province or state, check your own regulations and guidelines there! 

Registering Your Business

Head to onestop.gov.bc.ca where you'll find everything laid out in neat and tidy steps. Back in my day, we had to use individual websites for each process. Y'all are lucky to have it in one spot now! 

First you'll need to submit a name request if you plan on running your business as something other than your name. If I opted to run my business as Ariana Fotinakis I wouldn't need to do this, but if I wanted to register as The 5D Business Collective, I would.

Then, you'll need to decide on whether you are registering as a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation. Some things to consider are: 

  • Are you doing business with someone else? If so, partnership is for you!
  • Are you planning on running the business yourself? Even if you hire contractors or a small team you can still register as a sole proprietor.
  • Do you need greater amounts of liability coverage? Do you want some tax breaks? Would you eventually like to purchase a home? If so, incorporating may be right for you.

There's lots to think about when it comes to incorporating. Lenders will often look at you more favourably because you'll have a monthly salary coming from your company as opposed to simply taking whatever money is left over as many sole proprietors do (guilty). 

When you incorporate, your business also becomes its own entity. Goddess forbid you ever get sued, your business assets are liable, not your personal assets. 

And lastly, corporations do pay less taxes than small businesses (don't even get me started on this). However there are higher fees associated with accounting and maintaining your incorporation. 

This is where your intuition comes into play. Where are you wanting to go with your business? What kind of business are you wanting to run? Which option feels like the best fit for you right now?

Registering For GST & PST

You aren't required to collect GST until your business is generating at least $30k in revenue each year. You are only required to collect PST if you sell physical products. 

Should you wait until you're generating $30k in revenue per year to start collecting GST? Or should you register before?

Again, there's no one right answer here. You may want to get it done and over with right from the get-go, which is totally understandable. You may not want to deal with the extra work right now. That's also understandable! 

Use that trusty intuition. What's the right decision for you right now?

Business Licenses

Are pointless, in my humble opinion. But I don't make the rules (and I'm not a lawyer, so don't take what I say as legal advice!). 

Business licenses are issued by your municipality rather than the government, although conveniently, you can still receive one from the One Stop website mentioned above.

Your municipality may also not require you to have a business license. Check bizpal.ca to find out if you need one (and yes, even if you run an internet business from your home or a coffee shop, you technically need one). 

 To Wrap It All Up

These tasks are kind of tedious, but getting them crossed off your list can help your magical business feel a little more ✨real✨. Get a few meditative doses of cacao ready and keep them close by as you chip away at these steps. The longest part will be waiting for the government to respond to your requests; you can actually work through these steps pretty quickly on your own! 

And the beautiful thing is, once they're done, they're done! You can then move on to the more interesting things in your business 😉

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