Start Your Business

Invest in Halton

Whether you’re exploring ideas for a business or taking the first steps of entrepreneurship, the Halton Region Small Business Centre has the programs, services and resources to help you successfully start your business.

Are you ready?
Consultation services
Market research
Business structure
Business registration
Start-up guides and templates
Innovation
Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities
Privacy legislation in Canada

Are you ready?

Starting a business can be an exciting and uncertain experience. Make sure you’re ready! Before you take the first step, try a free entrepreneurial potential self-assessment to determine if you have what it takes to become a business owner.

Consultation services

Our knowledgeable business consultants can help you get your business moving in the right direction! The Halton Region Small Business Centre offers two programs for entrepreneurs and small business owners looking for a free consultation. The two programs are staged—the Consultant on Site Program is your first step—to give entrepreneurs the best possible opportunity to succeed.

    Step 1: Consultant on Site Program
    The Consultant on Site Program connects business owners and entrepreneurs with a business consultant at one of four locations in Halton. Get help with research, marketing plans, government regulations or any other questions you have about your business. Learn more.

    Step 2: Access to Professionals Program
    The Access to Professional Program can connect you with a local professional for a free 45-minute consultation. Professionals in our group include lawyers, accountants, marketing, e-business experts and business coaches. Learn more.

Market research

Before starting a small business, it is good practice to research the marketplace, your competition, your customers and the products or services you intend to sell. Learn how to conduct a formal market research campaign to save your business time and money and improve your decision-making process.

The Halton Region Small Business Centre resource area is an excellent starting point you’re your market research activities. Open to the public Monday to Friday, our resource area offers a diverse selection of market, socio-economic and demographic information. Available resources include:

  • Work stations with Internet access, Microsoft Office, statistical directories and business planning software.
  • An up-to-date reference and lending library with books, magazines and government publications on a variety of business topics.
  • Access to friendly and knowledgeable small business staff who can help you find the information you need.
  • Online access to business permits and licenses through BizPaL & ONe-Source for Business, a collaboration between the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Halton Region’s Starting a New Business Checklist provides additional access to business licenses or permits.

Business structure

Part of the business process is determining what business structure (Sole Proprietor, General Partnership or Corporation) or form of organization suits your needs (and possibly those of your partners).

Business registration

To register or renew a sole proprietorship, general partnership or corporate style name:

  1. Visit the ServiceOntario website.
  2. Select Business from the Topics menu on the right side of the page.
  3. Select Search, register, renew your business and get a Master Business Licence from the list of Featured Online Services.

To incorporate your business:

  1. Download the Methods of Starting a Corporation Checklist
  2. Visit nuans.com to perform a Corporation Name Search.
  3. Visit serviceontario.ca for Articles of Incorporation.
  4. Visit ServiceOntario’s central source for information on not-for-profits and charities.

Start-up guides and templates

Our online Toolbox offers entrepreneurs and small business owners a wide selection of business resources and information. Visit the Toolbox to access start-up guides, checklists, and templates that can help you launch a successful small business.

Innovation

Innovation in business can be what separates you from the competition! Some entrepreneurs have an innovative management style; others sell innovative products and services. These resources and services may be helpful for those looking to get an innovative idea from the drawing board into development:

  • Canada Business Ontario (CBO): Resources and financial support for technology and innovation businesses in Ontario
  • HalTech: The leading source of support and personal service for tech and advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs in Halton.
  • Milton Education Village Innovation Centre: An initiative dedicated to enabling an entrepreneurial culture for business growth, start-up, incubation, intersection for innovation, education and training.

Accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities

Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act came into force in 2005 and sets out a clear goal and timeframe to make Ontario accessible by 2025.

Every organization with one or more employees is required to comply with the Act and all of its applicable standards. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is committed to the implementation of the Act and helping organizations comply with the standards by providing free tools and resources and offering support through a dedicated help desk.

Privacy legislation in Canada

Since January 1, 2004, businesses have been subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada offers useful information to help businesses learn how the can comply with the Act.