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Starting a Business in Ontario? Here’s How to Register It Online

register online

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Are you excited to start your own business? Do you have a great idea, and want to make your dream happen by opening your local business in Ontario? There are a number of steps you need to take before you can make your business a reality — make sure you possess the right skills, work on defining your product, consumers and goals, and finally, complete the last important step before your business can take off — register it.

Registering your business online is extremely helpful, because you can do it from the comfort of your home without having to waste time visiting any institutional buildings. If you need help, or you just want to make sure your checklist includes all the right steps, check out our helpful walk-throughs for the different kinds of online registrations available for Ontario:

Registering Your: Business Name and Master Business License

register online - business name

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The first thing on your list should be choosing the name for your business. ServiceOntario’s Integrated Business Services Application provides new business owners with the opportunity to search within the registered name database in order to select a unique business name for their venture, and then register it at any suitable time. To begin, just follow the link above, but make sure to read the information below first.

Furthermore, the service provides you with the opportunity to apply for a Master Business License, which is a confirmation that your business name has been submitted to the Ministry of Government Services, Companies and Personal Property Security Branch for registration on the public record.

In order to register your business name and obtain the Master Business License make sure you have the following:

  1. A valid credit card. The online service supports all major credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express.
  2. $60 for the registration of the business name. This payment can be submitted at any time (24 hours a day, any day of the week). Also, you should prepare an additional $8 – $26 for the Enhanced Business Name Search (the price depends on the thoroughness of the report selected). Note that you can only search for business names online Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.
  3. A printer, so you can print out and keep the Receipt, Summary Registration, Profile Summary, Master Business Licence and/or the Enhanced Business Name Report for your personal records.
  4. The Service Ontario’s Integrated Business Services Application runs smoothly on the following browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0, Mozilla Firefox 17.0, Google Chrome 23.0, Opera 12.0 and Apple Safari 5.1. Bear in mind that Mozilla Firefox 17.0 and Google Chrome 23.0 are recommended for all computer operating systems.
  5. It takes about 30 minutes to complete your registration online. You will have your Master Business License ready to print out immediately if you register Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm; otherwise your license will be sent to your email within 2 business days.

In case anything goes wrong with the service, there’s a money back service guarantee for all new business name registrations (Terms and Conditions apply).

Register Your: Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), Payroll Deductions, Corporate Income Tax, and Import/Export Accounts

register online - taxes

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The online service provided by the Canada Revenue Agency is a one-stop, online, self-service application that allows you to register for a Business Number along with the four program accounts: Payroll Deduction, Corporate Income Tax, Import/Export Accounts and Harmonized Sales Tax.

The Business Number is an identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with the federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Before you register, make sure you check if your business needs such number. In case you do:

  1. Check that your business doesn’t fall under the following restrictions: (a) you do not have a valid social insurance number; (b) you want a 3rd program account for the same business; (c) you have a non-resident business and want to register for a GST program account; or (d) one of the other restrictions. Unfortunately, if any of the restrictions apply to your business you will not be able to use the Business Registration Online Service.
  2. Gather the information you need: basic business information, corporation income tax program account, payroll program account, and more.

What Else Can You Accomplish Online?

register online - what else?

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  • Finance your business

In case you don’t have enough funding or capital to begin your business venture, there are easy ways to borrow money that don’t require any paperwork and hassle. For example, online small business loans from Zillidy are a fast and safe way to secure funding against personal possessions.

Such loans are a great way to finance your business because they help you reach your goals fast and you don’t have to worry about any hidden fees or indiscretion. Furthermore, when everything goes according to plan, you will get your valuables back in the exact shape they were at, because of the secure way your possessions are handled.

  • Change Your Address / Information /  Renew Your Registration

Once you have successfully registered your business name and you have received your Master Business License, you need to renew your registration every five years (a new Master Business License will be issued with each renewal). The fee and the process is the same as the business name registration.

If you change your business’s address, payroll deduction account, corporate income tax account, or other business details, you will need to go through the Change of Business Information online service, without having to fill out any paperwork or visit institutions in person.

Once you are done registering your business, why not explore funding options for your startup online? Share your opinion in the comment section below.

5 Upcoming Conferences Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Miss

Conferences

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Are you a young entrepreneur or a small business owner looking for networking, sharing and learning opportunities? Attending the right conferences and forums can be the ideal opportunity to find like-minded people, discover sources of inspiration and learn about the latest trends in your industry or converse about topics of interest!

There are a number of events happening regularly in Canada’s biggest cities, but how do you choose the right ones to attend? Make sure you’re investing your money wisely, and paying to attend the right conferences, not the wrong ones. Sometimes, it might not be the best idea to go for the flashiest and most widely advertised forums — they might not give you that much insight or the right kind of insight. If you find a conference you are certain will be worth the fee, there are a number of asset-based loans from companies like Zillidy, which you can use to cover your costs and integrate your ideas after attending the conference.

So what’s your checklist? You could consider such things as:

  • Does the conference touch on subjects you want to learn, or are interested in?
  • Is it aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs?
  • Does the participation fee seem fair and manageable?
  • Do you think you will get enough valuable insights from the talks?
  • Will the conference include enough networking opportunities to connect your business with related companies?

Here’s a list of 5 top conferences that would be of interest to any small business entrepreneur:

1. Global Investment Forum Toronto

Conferences

The Global Investment Forum, organized by The Mercer LLC, will take place at the The Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, 23-24 September 2014.

The forum will provide an in-depth presentation and discussion on topics including:

  • Illiquidity budgeting and accessing alternative asset premia;
  • How, as an investor, you can profit from a return to normality,
  • Should investors focus more on thematic investing and more.

The conference will also address the benefits you can reap from the current upswing — “The road to health remains a potentially long and winding one.”

2. Enterprise Risk Management Canada

marcusevansThe 4th annual Enterprise Risk Management Canada will take place in Toronto, September 30 – October 1 2014. The conference is organized by Marcus Evans – North America; the venue is yet to be announced.

Following the success of the previous 3 editions of the conference, the two-day event will focus on providing insight into Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and opportunities for focused discussions. During the Enterprise Risk Management Canada conference, you will be able to learn from presentations, panel discussions and case studies. The organizers promise that by attending you will learn how to:

  • re-align ERM strategies
  • avoid common pitfalls
  • identify rating agency priorities and expectations

3. Global Finance Conference

global-finance-conferenceThe Global Finance Conference, organized by BlackSharp & Company, will take place in Toronto, 21-22 October 2014. The venue is yet to be announced.

The event has an impressive list of speakers including Brian Armstrong (CFO of Microsoft) and Jacques Fleurant (CFO of HSBC) among other big names. Do you want to learn how to think like an extraordinary CFO? The Global Finance Conference promises to help you do so by having an “agenda packed with insights and guidance on how to move your business to the next level, leveraging innovative financing opportunities and increasing your export capabilities.”

4. CIO Toronto Summit

cio_toronto_summit_logo_webMoving away from the finance-centered conferences, the CIO Toronto Summit, organized by Custom Design Marketing & Media, will take place on 16 September 2014, in Toronto. The venue is yet to be announced.

The topics that will be discussed during the CIO Toronto Summit include:

  • “Moving Email to the Cloud… Not if, but When,”
  • “Shift Your IT Spend from Ongoing Operations to Innovation in 2014,”
  • “Is your organization ready for Real-Time?”
  • “Let Your Users Go Rogue Without Going off the Range” and more.

The conference will include CIO case studies along with information and discussions about the internet transformation and building an integrated enterprise. The agenda is designed to provide the attendees with enough time for networking and discussions.

5. The Social Media & Society Conference

The organizing body of this free conference is the Social Media Lab at Dalhousie University. This two-day conference will take place in Downtown Toronto, 28-29 September 2014.

The Social Media & Society Conference will provide small business owners and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to discuss social media and its impact on society and consumers. The conference will present a lineup of authors from 21 countries, including Canada and the UK.The two keynote speakers of the 2014 Social Media & Society Conference are John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada and Dr. Keith N. Hampton, Rutgers University, USA. The main topics that the conference will touch on are:

  • online/offline communities
  • social media & big data
  • the impact of social media on society

Which of the conferences listed above do you think you will attend? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Top 3 Online Learning Resources That Can Benefit Every Digital Startup

digital startups - top learning

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Do you have an amazing idea and possibly some cash to back it up, but no idea where to start? Many risk-taking digital startups are taking advantage of the social media boom and the pros that digital space provides. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide a fast and easy way to network and market your ideas and products; other modern resources like easily-accessible small business loans against personal possessions or on-demand tutorials can really help skyrocket your business ventures.

Even though the economy’s growth is slow, the new young faces of startups can benefit from access to global networks and free educational programs. If you are not sure how to start your business, advertise successfully, or grow your idea — no problem! You can take online courses to help you in any aspect of your new business. If you’re not able to afford attending paid courses or buy lessons online, you can still benefit your digital startup by taking advantage of these top-notch free online educational resources:

1. codecademy

digital startups - codecademy

There’s no way you can be a digital entrepreneur and not know how to code. Here’s where you can learn to master the art of coding … and it’s for free! With over 24 million learners across the world, codecademy is one of the busiest learning databases.

Being a digital educational startup itself, codecademy’s team at aims to rethink education “from the bottom up.” The platform helps you learn how to code — from building your own website to learning Java, Python and more. The success stories shared by codecademy users are a source of inspiration, motivation and real-life examples of what your business could look like.

2. copyblogger

copyblogger

Want to learn how to master content marketing and create valuable content suitable for a digital medium? Since 2006, copyblogger has been one of the best sources of information on topics that will help you backup your startup with strong online content marketing.

The blog is updated daily and features topics that cover SEO, social media, blogging and email marketing. The articles (about 5 to 6 per week) will provide you with good in-depth knowledge on the best practices in content marketing right now. In addition to articles, copyblogger’s database includes eBooks and seminars.

With over 1400 shares on social media, “3 Invisible Elements Your Sales Page Needs to Convert (One is Truly Unique)” is one of the most important lessons entrepreneurs need to focus on and learn how to master.

3. Udemy

udemy

Udemy is not a completely free database, but there are many courses available to anyone free of charge. Udemy has one of the biggest course database on the web, offering over 18,000 on-demand courses, all taught by expert instructors.

Udemy is the home of an extremely insightful course, An Entrepreneur’s Checklist, taught by Steve Blank. Blank has founded or participated in eight Silicon Valley startups and many others. Steve teaches entrepreneurship and is an extremely trusted lecturer based on his 30+ years of experience in the field.

An Entrepreneur’s Checklist touches on the subjects of vertical and horizontal markets; market and technology risks and regulations, and other topics important to every entrepreneur in the making. With over 37,500 students enrolled and 4+ star feedback, this course should be on your to-watch list.

Want something a little different?

Bonus: Digital Media Zone (A Startup Incubator)

digital startups - digital media zone

Started in 2010, Digital Media Zone is Canada’s largest startup space. Located in Toronto, Ontario, the DMZ(et) is housed over five floors at Ryerson University. Although it was originally only accessible to students, the space is now available to the general public. DMZ has had many success stories. Startups have grown and expanded with a success rate of over 70%. Plus, the startup incubator has generated over 1,100 new jobs since it opened, with businesses operating in industries ranging from software companies to healthcare.

Startup incubators are continuing to grow and generate interest, but for every entrepreneur they are a place to exchange ideas, learn and develop — something traditional education can offer or guarantee to an unfortunately limited degree.

Share which online learning resources you find useful in the comment section below.

Top 5 Most Inspiring Speeches to Help Make Your Business Better

What makes people successful? It can’t be put into one sentence or one word, however, the thing that comes closest is the drive to succeed. The motivation to reach our goals and not give up is what keeps us going, even during the hard times. Finding the things that inspire you and pursuing them is a good way to keep your focus and keep your motivation up.

Some of the top business leaders today are inspired by people telling them they can’t do something. Some, like Pete Flint, find inspiration in solving big problems. In both cases, other people’s struggles in the industry, and especially those of successful leaders, can help us find the motivation to defeat the challenges we face at work. In case you are already motivated but struggling to secure enough capital, companies like Zillidy are loaning against personal possessions.

Here are five of the most inspiring speeches that will surely motivate you to achieve your dreams and help you be a better professional:

#OprahWinfrey — “My choice to do the right thing [...] has created the brand [Oprah].”

Oprah - inspiring speeches

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Oprah Winfrey is a household name and for good reason. She’s one of the most successful business women in the world, currently #4 on Forbes’s list of Most Powerful Celebrities after shining at #1 last year. Her success, initially driven by her talk show, which is one of the most successful talk shows to ever air, has inspired a lot of people around the world and turned Oprah into a powerful brand. Her business ventures include a satellite and cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in addition to a number of publishing deals.

Oprah has presented many inspiring business talks, but her Commencement Address to the Class of 2012 at Spelman College is one of her most memorable speeches.

“Be excellent. Excellence shows itself. Let excellence be your brand… What I recognize now is that my choice to [do the right thing] in every way, in every example, in every experience, [to do] the excellent thing is what has created the brand [Oprah].”

 

#JKRowling — “It is impossible to live without failing at something.”

JK Rowling - inspiring speeches

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J. K. Rowling is a British author mainly known for writing the Harry Potter book series. Rowling is another celebrity to make the top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list. The Harry Potter book series is currently holding the Guinness World Record for the best-selling book series in history.

Continuing the success of the Harry Potter franchise, Rowling has penned another two successful novels, The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling. The latter was written under a different pen name (Robert Galbraith) and is to be made into a BBC miniseries. Apart from being a successful novelist and businesswoman, Rowling is also a mother of three, making her an inspiration to women worldwide.

Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech is about dealing with failure, something that success is usually closely linked to; her touching and inspiring story has captured many people’s hearts.

“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.”

 

#SteveJobs — “You have to trust in something.”

Steve Jobs - inspiring speeches

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Steve Jobs is possibly one of the most recognized entrepreneurs, marketers and inventors in the world. He was the co-founder of two super brands — Apple and Pixar. Steve Jobs was described as “The Father of the Digital Revolution,” by People and Lifestyle in 2010,  and is one of the  most influential entrepreneurs in the world. His authorized biography Steve Jobs became a New York bestseller upon release, published days after the entrepreneur passed away.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech has over 20 million views on YouTube and is an inspiring, yet helpful speech about an important topic — keeping a focus.

“You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever; because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.”

 

#SherylSandberg — “Keep your foot on the gas pedal.”

Sheryl Sandberg - inspiring speeches

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Sheryl Sandberg is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, and her estimated net worth exceeds 1 billion dollars as of January 2014. She is one of the most successful business women in the world. Apart from working at Google in the past, she is the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. In 2013, she was ranked in the top 5 of Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women.

Sheryl’s TED speech on the subject “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders” has been well received by the public with over 6500 likes on YouTube, and is an inspiration to many women across the globe.

“Don’t leave before you leave. Stay in. Keep your foot on the gas pedal until the very day you need to leave [...] Don’t make decisions too far in advance.”

 

#ShawnAchor — “See stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”

Shawn Achor - inspiring speeches

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Shawn Achor is one of the most well-recognized positive psychology educators and authors. His work has been positively received and licensed in partnership with the International Thought Leadership Network. Shawn is one of the most influential and successful motivational speakers around the world, specializing on the link between happiness and productivity and how to use them in your business ventures.

Shawn’s funny and educational TEDx Birmingham talk has been watched by more than half a million people and inspires viewers to re-think the well-known formula “success brings happiness.”

“75% of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”

inspiring speeches

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Which of the above speeches inspired you the most? Tell us in the comment section below.

Top 5 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Entrepreneur

We constantly hear people being described as entrepreneurs — Alan Sugar of the famous TV reality show “The Apprentice” and Virgin’s very own CEO Richard Branson among others. But how do you become an entrepreneur? Does it simply take luck and an idea that magically works out, or do you just have to be a really good business person?

Drew Huston, Dropbox Co-Founder and CEO said that people shouldn’t worry about failures, but should keep pushing until they find the one idea that works. You only have to be right once. This is one of the things that makes a modern-day entrepreneur — being persistent and having good ideas. The following qualities are what makes today’s entrepreneurs successful:

  

#Management (time, money, team)

time - how to be an entrepreneur

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Time management — this is a skill closely related to self-motivation. The more motivated you feel, the better you manage your time and stick to your schedule. Don’t waste your time checking Facebook too often, keep a tight schedule in order to achieve more and have enough time to learn, reflect and polish your ideas.

Find and manage the right team — A good entrepreneur needs to know how to network effectively and find the right people to join the company. It’s important to motivate the people around you in order to help them help you achieve your goals as an aspiring entrepreneur. You should seek to create an open and relaxed work atmosphere in which you can receive honest feedback from your team. Like Victoria Sopik, many entrepreneurs still work with people they hired when they started out, because they found the right team.

Money management — Steady cash flow is really important, especially when we are talking about startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. Managing your money will ensure that you will successfully finance your ideas and possible expansions. Aspiring entrepreneurs often struggle to secure enough capital to finance their business. A really fast and accessible way to receive the money you need is to apply for a loan against personal possessions. Companies, like Zillidy,are a great option for all in need of capital.

#Resiliency and #Persistence

how to be an entrepreneur

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Both resiliency and persistence are stimulated by your will to achieve your goals and the hunger to be successful. To never give up on your dreams and follow them is something that can make you a top entrepreneur. Being able to deliver no matter what unexpected problems may arise not only shows managers and recruiters that you are resilient, but showcases your persistent spirit and keeps you motivated.

Companies would be likely to invest in startups and entrepreneurs who continually prove that they adapt and improve not only their ideas, but also themselves. This is an important lesson on how to be a modern-day entrepreneur — be motivated and adapt quickly. Using those two skills will ensure that you are ready to face the obstacles, which the highly competitive markets throw at you. 

#Learning and #Self-Reflection

learn - how to be an entrepreneur

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Learning to be a better professional —  upgrade your ideas and yourself — is a skill that helps today’s strongest entrepreneurs stay on top of their game. Successful people and entrepreneurs realize that they don’t know everything about the industry and the market in which they operate. The reason for their limited knowledge? The business environment is always changing and events and new ideas stir up your safe zone. The solution? Learn and self-reflect!

How do you do that?

  • Staying in touch with the latest technological, industry and consumer trends is crucial to knowing where your business is headed and modifying your ideas so they are ready for the next change.
  • Learning from your mistakes and reflecting on your decisions are good ways to receive valuable insight from your personal experience .
  • Allowing yourself to take some time every day to think about the things you have done and can do better is a good way to not let yourself burn out both physically and emotionally.
  • Learning from sources outside of yourself is one of the top strategies that allow you to be a modern-day entrepreneur. You should always strive to plan ahead based on new knowledge and reflection. Acting upon analysis is just one of the lessons that successful entrepreneurs should learn.

You will be able to not only preserve your startup, but make sure it comes out on top. Persist through the hard times, and learn from your problems and failures to reach your goals.

Richard Branson - how to be an entrepreneur

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What skills do you think will make a modern-day entrepreneur successful? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Top 5 Small Business Blogs You Should Follow

According to research, about half of Canada’s businesses have neither a website nor a blog! Surprising right? As a busy small business owner you probably think that you don’t have enough time to affirm your business and maintain a website, too.

Maintaining a website and a blog provides numerous positive benefits — they grow customer interest, provide a home platform for marketing and advertising online, and could even grow your income if you offer products or services on the web.

A rising number of small business owners are getting into blogging or joining social media spaces, which provide a fast connection to customers and other businesses. Furthermore, there are also blogs that offer space to advertise, opportunities to network and original content to help you keep up with the latest small business news and trends.

An issue that arises might be finding a way to sponsor your website and blog. Asset-based loans are among the possible ways you can avoid paperwork and receive capital quickly against personal possessions.

small business blogs

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Whether you are looking for a great example to follow or for a place to advertise and find resources, these blogs from or for small businesses will not disappoint:

Learn by Example: Blogs by Small Businesses

6s Marketing

6s-marketing

6s Marketing made the list of Top Small and Medium Employers in Canada 2014. The company was founded in 2000, and operates in Vancouver and Toronto in the field of marketing.

6s Marketing is one of the top examples of a company that operates really well in the online medium — their website and blog feature interesting and engaging information. The company stays true to its slogan — they “dig digital.” With articles like “Facebook Organic Reach – Have You Noticed the Decrease? 6s marketing’s blog writers touch subjects relevant to their field, marketing their own services in a way that captivates the audience and the attention of other small businesses.

Fusion Learning Inc.

Fusion Learning - Small Business Blogs

Fusion Learning Inc. was founded in 2000, too. Headquartered in Toronto, Fusion Learning Inc. provides customer sales training and management programmes. The company is one of the top 20 sales training firms in North America.

Fusion Learning Inc.’s blog features posts on different topics in the areas of sales, client experience and meeting activity. Articles like “Share a Failure Story to Build Empathy and Trust have made significant social media impact with over 40 shares.

XE.com Inc.

XE - Small Business Blogs

XE.com is one of the most successful Canadian small businesses. Headquartered in Newmarket, Ontario, XE.com is one of the top 400 most visited websites in the world. XE are a software development company that provides services like a currency converter, Foreign Exchange Money and Transfers, among others.

XE.com’s blog success is one that reflects the company’s impact in the industry. The articles provide up-to-date information on all aspects of currency and exchange. The company publishes blog posts extremely often, keeping things fresh. Furthermore, the information they share is generated by the company — with over 2000 views, “XE Market Analysis: North America – July 24, 2014 is a great example of the success their blog posts have had with generating interest.

 

Finding Good Advice: Blogs for Small Businesses

In addition to the small businesses that own blogs, there are other blogs that target Canadian small businesses explicitly, providing guidance and a place to discuss ideas and post advertising.

Lisa Larter’s Blog

Lisa Larter - Small Business Blogs

Lisa Larter, a native to New Brunswick, is one of the top professionals to guide entrepreneurs and small businesses. Over the years, she has worked with big name brands, including TELUS and Arielle Ford. She describes herself as “a serial entrepreneur with hard-hitting impact.”

Lisa Larter’s Blog is a great resource for small businesses, because of the tips and tricks she includes in every post. It’s aimed specifically at small business owners who would like to maximize their sales and expand their business through social media and technology. Most blog posts include videos along with text. Check out “Building Rapport is the Key to More Sales,” which is a great example of the useful tips Larter offers to help make your small business better.

Canadian Small Business Women

Canadian Small Business Women - Small Business Blogs

Canadian business women, you are not alone out there. This blog is created especially for those ladies in small business who are looking to advertise their  business and products, but it’s also a place to get inspired! The blog is one of the most followed and read small business blogs, and aims to inspire women in business.

Canadian Small Business Women helps with advertising existing small businesses — it has a business directory and event information. Furthermore, the blog also guides aspiring female professionals on how to plan their business ventures and provides the necessary information and resources to support readers’ endeavors. With over 50 shares on social media, the article “Three C’s of Social Media for #smallbiz” has made a big splash in the industry.

Do you think your business could benefit from using a blog? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Top 3 Inspiring Legal Startups in Canada

Even though there is a saying that people learn from their and other people’s mistakes, following a positive example is always easier and can even get you inspired. Every startup needs not only a great idea and a great team, but also some inspiration in order to succeed and reach all its goals.

Seeing how other people transform ideas such as security or easier operation and implement them in the field of legal business can dramatically decrease your chances of getting discouraged by your idea or losing focus.

Unless you only need inspirational quotes to keep you going, in this article you will find the top legal startups that will show you how simple ideas implemented in an interesting way can lead to great success.

 

Legal Startups

Heisenberg Media/a> / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

BoardSuite

BoardSuite - legal startups

BoardSuite is a legal startup that helps companies manage, process and share confidential business information. It allows businesses to organize information better, without missing any details.

Who’s behind BoardSuite? The Toronto-based entrepreneur Oscar A. Jofre Jr., who is a startup magician, himself. He’s the founder of BoardSuite, KorePlatforms and BabelFish, in addition to having experience in successful startup enterprises for over 20 years.

The company’s ongoing development is led by Oscar in an inspiring and creative manner. He takes his client companies’ most valued principle — security — and puts it into action. BoardSuite is a secure platform for companies to be able to manage, process and share vital corporate information in the safest manner possible. The BoardSuite platform is created by managers for managers, mitigating risks by enabling the users to manage calendars, documents, contracts to name a few.

Contractually

Contractually - legal startups

Have you ever wanted to close contracts faster in order to gain more revenue? This is the idea behind Contractually. The platform is one of the most followed start-ups on AngelList.

Martin Ertl, the founder of Contractually, is also a mentor at LaunchAcademy where he shares his experience and helps startups extract and develop their ideas. As if that doesn’t make him influential enough, his experience in law practice at Davis LLP and previous ventures into cargo inspection SaaS solidify his status as a web expert.

Contractually replaces the tedious process that we usually face — involving MSWord documents, emails and printers among other things — to help clients close contracts fast! By managing contracts online, storing, editing and reviewing them becomes less time-consuming. Furthermore, the inclusion of e-signatures for contracts makes Contractually a virtually irreplaceable platform that helps you sort out contracts from initiation to closure. What a great idea!

ScriptaLegal

ScriptaLegal - legal startups

ScriptaLegal platform offers the citizens of Quebec the possibility to make personalized legal documents from their own couch. The idea became reality when son and father began working on the innovative platform, the only one in Quebec to offer intelligent questionnaires that simplify the document creation process.

The main person behind ScriptaLegal is Mathieu Forget. A promising entrepreneur at the age of 33, he has already established a startup and worked in the law industry for many years. Mathieu is an inspirational and result-driven individual. The development of ScriptaLegal proves so. He advises all young entrepreneurs to make sure their product is good and then teaches them how to sell it. Selling the product is more difficult than launching it. In an interview, Mathieu states that “people care as much, if not more, about the packaging than the actual content.”

At ScriptaLegal, each and every document is conceived by a specialist in the domain. That’s the reason why the company contracts notaries, lawyers and jurists specialized in various legal fields. The team at ScriptaLegal is aiming to establish their brand name and expand from the province of Quebec to the rest of Canada and the English market.

Want to Start Your Own Legal Company?

If you are aiming to start your legal business or expand it like ScriptaLegal, you might need some extra capital investment. However, there’s no need to worry if you don’t have extra funds ready to go, because asset-based loans are always available. Asset-based loans from companies like Zillidy give you the opportunity to turn those inspired ideas into reality, by providing the cash you need in exchange for personal possessions like watches and jewelry as collateral.

What inspires your startup? Share your inspirations in the comment section below!

4 Top Business Financing Options for a Start-Up in Quebec

One of the biggest challenges that entrepreneurs and start-ups face is finding a way to finance their endeavors and manage their cash flow. You already know that in order for you to start any business venture your brilliant ideas need to be backed up by enough capital. You can use the funding to tackle your expenses even if you’re just looking to expand — from recruiting great talent to paying off your student loans and establishing your credibility, extra funds can be a big help.

If you’re established in Quebec, there are a number of ways you can support your business venture. Funds are available from a few different sources, but like you might assume, not all of them are going to be suitable for you. Here are just a few business financing options to consider if you have decided to boost your business ideas:

 

 

Entrepreneurs - business financing

UK in Canada / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ) CEO of Hootsuite Ryan Holmes with Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group — two of the most widely recognized entrepreneurs.

1. Government Grants

There are many different grants entrepreneurs like you can use to finance your business venture. But when it comes to government grants of any type — from awards to donations and endowments — bear in mind that the criteria for approvals is extremely particular. Most grants are not only targeting a specific business, but also a specific location or product.

Government and NGO Funding - business financing

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Available grants for entrepreneurs in Quebec include:

  • Jeunes Promoteurs – provides financial help for entrepreneurs starting their first business. The age requirements are that you have to be between 18 and 35 years old. There are 3 components to the grant: Preparation of a business plan (75% of expenses covered); Establishment of a first business (50% of expenses covered if you create at least 2 jobs); and, Entrepreneur training (100% of expenses covered).
  • Fonds de développement des entreprises d’économie sociale — the capital provided by this grant cannot exceed 80% of eligible expenditures. The grant could finance one or more aspects of your social enterprise development project: capital expenditures for expanding or starting your business; acquisition of technology, software or patents; need for operating working capital. In order to be eligible, your business needs to be financially viable, produce goods or services and create long-term goals.

Make sure you check the specific criteria for each available grant, before you apply.

2. Financing from NGOs

In addition to government grants, there is a certain number of non-government funding available to entrepreneurs. Some NGOs may give you a certain amount of money, while others may finance a certain percentage of your start-up. NGO funded grants include the following:

  • Fondation Montréal Inc’s Grant provides up to $30,000 to help cover 25% of your start-up costs. Eligible candidates for this grant need to be Canadian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35, willing to start up a business in a borough or a reconstituted city of Montreal.
  • Futurpreneur Canada Expansion Program is another of the many programmes that can support the expansion of your business. The criteria is similar to that of the Foundation Montreal Inc’s Grant. The applicant’s age (must be between 18 and 39) and residency status (they must be Canadian or a permanent resident of Canada) are key eligibility factors to secure the funds.

3. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is one of the alternative methods of raising the capital you need. For all those unaware of what crowdfunding is — it’s the collection of financial contributions from people not usually connected to the financial sector.

Crowdfunding - business financing

Rocio Lara / Flickr / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0

This option is available via crowdfunding platforms on the internet such as Ecloid, Fundo and others. It’s not only a great way to involve the public while marketing your start-up and products, but it also allows you to offer rewards and take pre-orders while collecting donations. The cons of crowdfunding, though, include the risk of having your ideas copied by other companies or big corporations. Alternatively, you might consider selling or pitching some of your ideas to possible buyers. The one huge pro of this fundraising method is that you get to test the validity of your start-up or the launch of a new product by getting immediate responses from the public.

4. Private Sector and Personal Assets

Personal Assets - business financing

Sharon Drummond / Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) Some lenders require you to invest a certain amount of personal capital

Most banks will require you to have a starting capital before they lend you any money. In addition, there are a number of documents you need to prepare in order to apply — a cash flow forecast and a credit score statement among others. If you don’t have the time, or you don’t like waiting, you can instead use personal assets to finance your business. There are plenty of lenders that provide business loans against personal possessions such as jewelry, watches and other valuables.

Lending against personal possessions is a particularly good option for entrepreneurs who do not have enough or any capital to start their business off. Furthermore, there’s no need for countless application forms and filling specific criteria, which makes the process fast and user-friendly. In addition, business loans from private companies, unlike a line of credit, do not impact you personal or business credit.

Which of the financing options described above are you going to try out? Let us know in the comment section below.

Top Grants for Small Businesses in Alberta!

Are you looking to finance your ideas and make your small business bigger? There are 3 major ways to receive the capital you would use to fund your endeavors — loans, government supported financing programs and business grants.

Business grants are available to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Alberta. Grants of any type — awards, contributions, donations, endowments and others — all have really specific criteria. Since most of the grants are targeted at very particular kinds of businesses, not everyone will qualify for all of the grants.

You should carefully examine the criteria to make sure you are applying for a grant you are eligible for. Check out these three categories of business grants to see if any of them could help your business.

 

personas creativas

thetaxhaven / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Agriculture and Agribusiness Grants for Small Businesses

Based on the large number of grants available for Agriculture and Agribusiness, this is just one of many industries that have a high demand for grants and funding. To quote a popular saying, “When there’s funding, there’s business,” and vice versa.

Agriculture - grants for small businesses

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1. Advance Payments Program This is one of the possible options for funding. It could provide you with easier access to credit through cash advances. The maximum cash advance available to each business is $400,000. One of the pros of the programme is that the federal government covers the interest on the first $100,000 issued per production period.Furthermore, the programme guarantees lower interest rates than normal loans. The deadline for repaying the cash advance is at the end of each production period.

The Advance Payment Program is a great way for businesses specializing in crop and livestock production to meet their financial obligations. Many participating organizations have already helped out a large number of small businesses.

2. AVAC Ltd Programmes Looking for a way to invest in your innovative ideas? If their implementation will help Alberta’s agrivalue and renewable resources ventures, then AVAC Ltd.’s grant might be right for you! Avac Ltd. is an Alberta-based, not-for-profit, private company. The grants they provide are designed especially for Alberta companies, research and academic organizations, and stakeholders in the value-added industry:

  • Idea Builder Program — capital of up to $25,000 for smaller-scale projects that add value to agricultural commodities.
  • Pre-Commercial and Entrepreneurial Program — over $25,000 for bigger projects, adding value to agricultural commodities.
  • Research and Strategic Initiatives — assistance to research and academic institutions in recruiting scientists and researchers, engaged in agrivalue-added activities.
  • Knowledge Investment Program — up to $25,000 aimed at businesses developing projects that advance agrivalue knowledge within Alberta.

R&D Technology Grants for Small Businesses

R&D - grants for small businesses

Intel Free Press / Flickr / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic ((CC BY-SA 2.0)

1. Engage Grants The Engage grants are a brilliant way for you to finance an R&D project and solve a problem specific to your company. The funding is up to $25,000, managed by an academic researcher and a Canadian university. The possibility of being approved for such grant is extremely high — the success rate for typical applications is around 90%.

The evaluation times are typical for academic grants — up to 6 weeks from receipt of the application. The duration of the award is up to 6 months. The specifics of this grant include the following: the project must be a collaboration, the business must be able to exploit the research results, and the small business and the researcher must not have worked together in the past.

2. Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI). Looking for a way to finance a research proposal or innovative idea in the fields of oil sands and heavy oil, oil and gas, electricity, renewable and alternative energy or clean coal? The Alberta Energy Research Institute supports such projects through three available programmes:

  • Industry Research Program – available to all companies researching in the areas of AERI mandate and strategic priorities of the Alberta’s Climate Change Action Plan and/ or Alberta Energy Innovation Plan.
  • Innovation Assistance Program — value: up to $50 000 for companies developing innovative products that are aiming to support the practices or technology of Alberta’s energy industry.
  • University Research Program — this particular programme is designed to support environmental and energy research. However, it is currently only open to researchers in Alberta universities.

Wage Subsidies Grants for Small Businesses

wage - grants for small businesses

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The following grants are a really good way to engage youth or your current employees and get the most out of such projects. In addition, these grants could be implemented within your marketing strategy for maximum effect.

1. Career Focus Career Focus is a grant for small businesses that finances activities designed to reach the youth and help them make more informed career decisions. Furthermore, the financed project should develop skills and benefit the involved young participants by providing them with work experience. The program aims to facilitate youth transition into the labor market.

Career Focus aims to increase the number of people involved in different markets by providing them with experience and information. The programme is a part of Youth Employment Strategy. Why is this grant good for your small business? Not only are you receiving help from a fast-learning group of people, but the image benefits for your company are immeasurable.

2. High Demand Youth Internship Program Is your business operating in a high-demand sector? Do you want to hire a post-secondary graduate as an intern? This grant for small businesses could help you do so! The criteria for this grant are a little more specific than the ones described above: if your business has at least 5 full-time employees, has been operating in a commercial space for at least 2 years, and has $2 million liability insurance, then waste no time and apply.

Other Financing Options

Unfortunately, sometimes you may struggle to find a small businesses grant that suits your financial needs. In such cases, taking out a loan might be your best option. A number of companies provide small business loans intended to suit the needs of companies like yours. Zillidy’s Small Business Loans are tied to collateral such as jewellery and precious metals, so aren’t affected by your credit score and don’t affect it, either.

Another big advantage is that you don’t have to complete massive application forms and the process is relatively expedient. Furthermore, you can invest the loan more freely, using the capital as you see fit. Which grants do you think would work best for your small business? Let us know in the comment section below.

Asset-Based Loans for Retailers: Top 5 Reasons to Use One!

As a retailer, you probably face a growing number of financial challenges every day, but how can you cope with them? Asset-based loans are the solution that can help you sustain your small or mid-sized business.

There’s comfort in requesting money from asset-based lenders because you can tie the loans to inventory or personal possessions. An asset-based loan will allow you to secure your funds quickly, without having to go through preparing endless application documents.

What can you use an asset-based loan for? Here are the top 5 reasons you might want to consider taking one out:

 
 

5 reasons to use asset-based loans

Chris Potter / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

#1  Business expansion

Is your business growing, but you can’t afford to expand and satisfy rising demand? This is one of the reasons small and mid-sized businesses take out an asset-based loan. If your company is rapidly growing, it needs capital investment in order to sustain that growth and ride the wave of demand. Otherwise, you risk a big loss if you let it simply die away prematurely.

Expansion - Asset-based loan

Chris Potter / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Many retailers are taking the route of expansion in Canada, inspired by new consumer trends that are already impacting the industry in a positive way. From taking on social media to expanding locally, there is a number of moves to be made if you want to grow your business.

If you have great ideas, but not enough funds to put them into action, don’t despair. With an asset-based loan you don’t have to limit yourself or your business. This extremely attractive loan option provides you with an easy and secure way to finance your creative endeavors.

#2 Logistics expenses

Due to the financial crisis that is unfortunately far from over, many logistics expenses have been on the rise these past couple of years. It’s no doubt extremely hard to plan company budgets, especially with unexpected political and social factors, impacting the logistics expenses of your small or mid-sized retail business.

The most recent change to seriously affect small businesses was the hike in gas prices. Fuel cost skyrocketed to over 142 cents per liter in the beginning of July. This is an all-time high not only outraging customers, but also threatening small and mid-sized retailers. Logistics expenses are thus on a rise that companies did not forecast or expect.

An asset-based loan can come in handy at a time like this, to help retailers, such as yourself, sustain their business and cover the rising cost of much-needed logistics services.

#3 Seasonal spikes

Right now is the best possible time to evaluate your retail business’s financing options for the upcoming seasonal spikes. You want to be ready when the wave of demand hits, so make sure you’re planning accordingly. Indeed, many small and mid-sized businesses across Canada have been using asset-based loans to jump on this opportunity. Maybe it’s time you consider doing the same too.

Seasonal Spikes - Asset-based loan

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It’s not unusual for seasonal spike revenue to make up a large part of retailers’ yearly profit. But that’s why it is so important that your business is prepared to take full advantage of the spike when it arrives.

The more revenue you generate during a spike, the more you can, then, invest on expansion or marketing campaigns, and sustaining unexpected expenses. How do you finance a seasonal spike? An asset-based loan can help you generate the revenue you expect from such spikes. Which in turn, will strengthen your business and help you pursue future plans.

# 4 Implement innovative ideas

Does your retail company have a fresh idea about how to grow sales? Would you like to launch a new product, but there’s not enough capital to finance it? As a retailer, you might want to consider using an asset-based loan from companies like Zillidy, to finance the implementation of innovative ideas or launching new products.

For instance, you can use an asset-based loan to fuel an innovative idea that just might hit it off. Take CardSwap.ca, for instance. They’ve taken the risk of launching a new service that allows you to receive up to 92% of the value of long-forgotten gift cards or sell ones you were gifted, but don’t want to use, and it has been wildly successful. There are numerous examples of companies that have decided to invest in great new ideas and now thrive from their outcomes.

An asset-based loan can enable you turn your ground-breaking ideas into reality. This may not only change the way people look at your brand, but can also help you reap the other financial and image benefits from starting an innovation .

#5 Debt cover

Cover a debt by getting into, technically, another one? It might sound like a crazy idea, but it’s common practice. Especially when many retailers are pushed against the wall to quickly repay or cover a variety of payments. The businesses that manage to get loans from banks are usually the ones that may suffer pressure to quickly cover a debt or an urgent credit card debt payment.

Debt cover - Asset-based loan

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Using asset-based lending for debt consolidation can help you sustain your business for a long period of time. You’ll be able to pay off your debt in time and avoid late fees and further hassles. The loan might solve an issue temporarily or simply give you the time you need to secure enough capital to repay all the business’s debt.

Do you think an asset-based loan would help your retail business? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.