The Business of Starting a Business

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1 The Business of Starting a Business Do I have to register my business with the Government? You need to register a business name with the Province of Ontario if you are not operating under your exact legal name. There is a $60 registration fee, which you can pay online. You can also use this website to see if your business name is already taken. Website for registering: Do I have to register for an HST number? What is HST? HST is a harmonized sales tax. In Ontario this is a 13% tax added onto most goods and services. For example, if you sell a painting to someone, you would charge HST. If you are creating a website for someone, you would charge them HST for your services If you earn more than $30,000 per year of self- employed income, you are required by the government of Canada to register for an HST number This means that you will have to charge anyone who purchases something from you, or hires you for your services, 13% on top of what you are charging. For example, if you are a graphic designer and you charge a client $5,000 for your work, you will have to collect $650 extra from them for a total of $5,650 and remit a portion of the $650 to Revenue Canada If you do not earn $30,000 per year, registering is optional. While it does create more paperwork, it is worth considering if only so that your customers will be used to paying this tax Depending on what you earn, you will be required to file and remit your HST return annually or every quarter Website for registration: arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/bn- ne/bro- ide/menu- eng.html Why do I have to pay the government HST? This is a common misconception. Your clients and customers are paying this tax. You are collecting the tax on behalf of the government and forwarding it to them You are not paying an additional tax because you are self- employed

2 What is a business plan? Why do I need to make a business plan? A business plan outlines what your business is and details about the money behind it For financial backing line of credit, loan from the bank or any person/ institution For grant applications To make your business look professional To provide a plan that is written down and that holds you accountable as well as gives you goals To help identify potential customers Website for business plan information: Do I need a separate bank account? If you have to register your business under a different name then your legal name, you will need to have a separate bank account under your business name All banks have small business bank accounts. Make sure to research what bank and account will best suit your needs as the costs and benefits of small business bank accounts vary greatly from bank to bank Do I need to incorporate? What does that mean? Incorporation means creating a separate legal entity Additional rules and obligations involved Reasons why individuals in the arts industry incorporate include if their earnings are $100,000 or more, or they want to separate their personal assets from business assets

3 Bookkeeping and Income Tax Issues Bookkeeping Keeping accurate records is extremely important if you are self- employed. Not only will good bookkeeping tell you exactly what you have earned and spent money on in a given period of time, it also ensures you do not miss any expenses which will result in paying more income tax. There are different methods of bookkeeping you can employ; 1. Shoe Box Throw everything into a box and forget about it until your taxes are due. This method is good in that you are hopefully throwing all of your receipts, invoices and payment information in one place, but this is not a great method if you want up- to- date information about the state of your business. 2. Computer programs There are several computer software programs that are designed to help individuals who do not have an accounting background to keep accurate records of their business activities. Websites: Freshbooks: Quickbooks: software/index.jsp Sage Accounting: accounting- ca 3. Spreadsheets - You can keep records the way you want to with a spreadsheet. This is a good to start, and then as your business grows, software might be more appropriate. 4. Mint.com/ YNAB.com/ If what you need is a computer program that will track what you spend and how much money you have left this is what you need. You can also set it up to work on your smart phone, so your money management plan can go with you anywhere. 5. Bookkeeper - If you do not have time to look after the finances of your business, consider hiring a bookkeeper. Why should I keep my receipts? If you do not keep your receipts and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) asks you questions regarding your deductions, they will disallow these deductions if you do not have proof to back the deductions up This is will result in a tax bill that is much higher

4 Income Tax Why does being self- employed matter? Self- employed people pay a lot less income tax If you work for someone else, you pay tax on your gross earnings (i.e. your salary) If you are self- employed, you pay income tax on your net earnings only (what you earn minus your expenses) How do I know if I am self- employed? Prove that you are operating a business Have a reasonable expectation of profit A number of engagements with different persons over the course of a year Own your own equipment and tools Chance of profit or risk of loss You select or hire employees or helpers, fix their salary and direct them or dismiss them Common deductions for self- employed people legal and accounting fees professional membership & union dues agent s commission remuneration paid to a substitute (sub- contract) or assistant advertising art supplies office supplies food and entertainment while working transportation to engagements telephone and internet expenses directly related to business Capital Cost Allowance on goods of lasting value (computers, equipment etc) Cost of residence if business is operated from home Rent if leasing a store Professional development Cost of industry related periodicals

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