How to Start a Small Business


Congratulations! If you’re on this page, you must be in the seed stage of starting a business – and we think that’s super exciting!   But it can also be hard, so we’re here to serve up timely support to ensure you’re ready to tackle the adventure ahead. The following resources should help get you started.


This checklist will give you the tools you need to start your small business

1. Start a business plan by writing down your ideas and goals to make sure it is the right idea for you
-Check out this checklist from Small Business BC.
-Need tips about your business idea? Click here.

2. Know your business structure: Pros and cons of each business structure here.

3. Complete your business plan.
Not sure how to write a complete business plan? Click here.

3. Find the right financing assistance for your situation using the Government of Canada’s Business Benefits Finder

4. Choose your business name and get it approved at bcbusinessregistry.ca.

5. Register your business here.

6. Secure your online presence by creating a website and social media.

7. Register for Provincial Sales Tax (PST) at gov.bc.ca/pst
-Register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) here.
-Other provincial, federal or local government registrations (www.bcbusinessregistry.ca) and if you plan to hire employees you need to register with WorkSafeBC 

8. Investigate additional business registrations and requirements at labour.gov.bc.ca/esb

9. Identify Permit and Licensing Requirements at bizpal.ca and here.

10. Get support at mentorshipbc.ca and become a member at the Whistler Chamber

Other Resources:

  • Community Futures Howe Sound is a non-profit providing business advice, financing and resources to entrepreneurs and business owners in the Sea-to-Sky from Lions Bay to Birkin. They also offer monthly in-person, 1-hour business coaching sessions at the Whistler Chamber visit our upcoming events page for more details.
  • All Nations Trust Company is provincially regulated, Indigenous owned, financial institution with the fiduciary capacity to provide Trust; Agent; and Administrative services.
  • Futurpreneur is a non-profit organization offering financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.
  • WeBC provides skills development, financing, advisory services and mentoring support to women business owners at any stage of their business.   
  • Small Business BC helps entrepreneurs grow successful and sustainable businesses through expert business advisors, educational services, easy-to-use free resources.
  • Service BC provides front line support for many of the hundreds of programs and services the provincial government offers to residents, businesses and visitors.
  • WorkBC helps all British Columbians successfully navigate B.C.’s labour market.connects job seekers and employers

For more small business specific resources, take a look at our page Starting and Supporting a Small Business, or these resources for small businesses from the government of British Columbia.

Need more advice after starting your business? Check out our membership page