Starting a business in Quebec is far from easy. If it were, more people would become entrepreneurs! From developing a business plan to financing your start-up costs, there are many factors that must be deftly managed if you want your endeavour to succeed.

If your goal is to start your own business, you’ll need to be very well organized. To give you the best chance of success, the tax accountants at T2inc.ca have prepared a comprehensive guide on starting a business in Quebec.

Starting a business: a daunting task

Launching a company is a particularly complex undertaking that can determine the course of your career. There are so many things to calculate, analyze, anticipate and plan that it’s easy to drown under the weight of them. However, if you follow every step with care, as difficult as it may be, your business will be much more likely to triumph.

Learning to manage a company

New entrepreneurs often underestimate the complexity of starting and managing a business. They also tend to be so passionate about their ideas that they overestimate the amount of revenue they’ll be able to generate. These common pitfalls spell trouble for unwary entrepreneurs.

Most fail to realize just how much extra work managing a business takes. There is an excellent book on the subject called The E-Myth, written by Michael Gerber. The book explains in detail why new entrepreneurs underestimate the amount of work involved in managing a business. The author also provides some interesting solutions and tips. The book is a must-read for anyone who wants to start a business in Quebec!

Accomplishing an entrepreneur’s many tasks

Managing a company isn’t just about delivering merchandise and fulfilling orders—there are a plethora of additional tasks to consider when starting a business.

The company needs to be able to innovate in order to keep up with the competition. Understanding the market and the needs of your clients are key to success. The entrepreneur is also responsible for finding new clients, making bids, and signing and delivering on sales contracts. All of these tasks require an enormous amount of time and energy.

The work doesn’t stop there. There are also time-consuming administrative tasks to consider, such as invoicing clients, paying bills, making banking transactions, and managing accounting, operations and logistics. We recommend turning to accounting professionals who specialize in start-ups for help.

To get off to a good start, don’t underestimate all of the work and obligations that come with having your own business. It’s best to surround yourself with experts as early in the process as possible so that you can focus on your expertise in the field and ensure that you have guidance and support throughout. Being in business is quite the adventure, so do your best to make sure it’s a good one!

Delegating as much as possible

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to learn to delegate wherever possible so that you can focus on growing your business. The number one problem for most entrepreneurs is a lack of time.

Entrepreneurs have to think of everything and be everywhere at once. In addition to providing products and customer service, they are responsible for everything surrounding the provision of services. Having support and appointing people to lead each sector is vital in order to lighten your burden and help your business grow.

8 steps to starting a business

1. Develop a solid business plan

The first step of any project is to create structure. Having a good idea is great, but it won’t amount to anything without the proper framework. Creating an effective business plan is vital in order to properly manage a company. Don’t hesitate to write down your ideas, make a balance sheet, assess yourself and reflect on how you might transform your ideas into a flourishing company. Being able to turn an idea into a workable business is often the deciding factor between a venture that succeeds and one that fails.

Launching a business requires a wide variety of skills. If you’re unfamiliar with the business world, don’t hesitate to take courses or ask people you know who work in the field. There are also online courses and dozens of videos on the internet that cover the subject. Try to learn as much as you can.

To guide your business in the right direction, you’ll need to study your competitors, assess their market positioning and learn from the successful ones. This can help you determine what strategies you want to use to attract customers.

2. Create a comprehensive financial plan

When starting a business in Quebec or anywhere else, one of the first steps is to develop a business plan. This will involve splitting your expenses into two categories—initial start-up costs and ongoing operational expenses.

Initial costs for starting a business

Initial costs are the expenditures you will need to make before starting your business. If you purchase an old building to serve as company premises, you may need to renovate the facility, install utilities, and pay rental fees and all of the other elements involved in starting a business (incorporation, insurance, permits, licenses, equipment, machinery, advertising, etc.).

If you’re starting an online business, your initial costs may be expenses related to creating and rolling out your website. There are also free and low-cost platforms you can use to create a website.

Take the time to assess the expenditures that will be required in order to start your business. A thorough list of expenses will help you determine how much financing you’ll need.

Ongoing operational expenses

Operational costs are the ongoing expenditures needed to keep your business running. In other words, they are the costs related to the company’s production and that of its divisions.

At this stage of your financial planning, you need to envision all of the expenses that will be necessary to keep your business operational. Make a list of operating expenses and estimate the cost of each one.

3. Find financing

Any entrepreneur will tell you that the most difficult part of starting a business is finding financing, particularly if you start off without any money.

Keep in mind that you and your business aren’t yet proven successes. Potential investors will consider you a risk and will want to ensure that your company will generate enough capital to be solvent. They won’t hesitate to use your company’s assets as collateral, just as a bank will take out a lien on your house when issuing you a mortgage.

The amount of money you need to start a business in Quebec depends on the type of company you want to create. There is a significant difference in the costs associated with setting up a physical company and starting an online business, particularly when it comes to rent, electricity, equipment, etc.

There are also different kinds of start-up financing available depending on the type of business you want to start. By obtaining funding or grants, you can reduce the amount you need to pay to get started.

4. Get professional help with your taxes

Starting a business comes with many obligations, including obligations to the tax authorities of Quebec and Canada. Every company needs to pay taxes and keep its financial dealings well documented and above board. While it is possible to learn how to do your own taxes, relying on the services of a tax expert remains the best solution for entrepreneurs.

A corporate tax expert can be a great help when starting a business. They can help you choose the most advantageous type of incorporation for your business. They can also ensure that your finances are in order before you launch your business.

A tax professional will be able to monitor the accounts, keep track of tax filing deadlines and ensure that tax problems are avoided entirely or resolved in the most advantageous way possible.

Having a financial situation that’s well in hand means one less worry for an entrepreneur who already has a lot to think about and may not know all of the rules for being in compliance with Revenu Quebec and the CRA. A tax specialist can help you start your business and plan for its financial future, so why hesitate?

5. Build a business network

The worst thing you can do when starting a business is keep to yourself. On the contrary, it’s the time to get out of the office, go to a 5 à 7 or two, get involved in local associations and make useful contacts. It’s important not to neglect public relations, particularly when you’re starting out in business!

It’s always useful to meet people who are in the same situation as you. You can use the opportunity to share tips and experiences. Some may even have encountered the same problems as you and will be able to provide you with solutions.

In order to generate interest, you’ll need to showcase your business on social media, directories and search engines, and make a real effort with advertising. That’s why it’s important to invest in digital marketing right from the start. These steps take time, but they are essential to success!

6. Launch your business officially

Once you’ve created a financial plan and surrounded yourself with the right people, you’ll need to address the legal aspects of starting your business, the first and most important of which is its legal status. That step must be completed before you can obtain the licenses necessary to operate your business.

While the administrative procedures may be onerous, they are indispensable in order to protect your company in the long term.

7. Stay liquid to grow your business

For the first few months after starting a business, the greatest challenge is to avoid going into debt. Chances are that you won’t earn enough to pay yourself a salary for several months at least. It’s important to have enough cash on hand to get you through in case of a setback.

Invest wisely. Don’t hire dozens of specialists when you haven’t even mastered the basics of starting a business. The specialists you do work with should be reliable and experienced. The same goes for loans—don’t take on too many, and start thinking about the tax savings you could benefit from in future.

When starting out in business, it’s important to limit costs. You should also try to anticipate all of the eventualities before leaving your job to dedicate yourself to your project. Once your business is launched, your time and money will be at a premium.

8. Believe in your project and be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day! When starting a business, there are always discouraging and difficult moments when you feel like you might succumb to panic. There are always challenges, but it’s important to stay calm and focused. Lean on your friends and family for support and be open to constructive criticism that will help you improve.

Starting your own business can be a very rewarding experience, as long as you are well prepared.

T2Inc: start your business with a trusted partner

Working with a tax expert can boost your productivity by drastically lessening the time you have to spend on administrative tasks. For many entrepreneurs, it’s much more important to focus on work that is directly related to their sphere of activity than on mundane, time-consuming tasks.

T2inc provides tax and accounting services for start-ups and SMEs. Our specialists have all of the expertise necessary to help you start your business. Let us relieve your administrative burden!

Working with a tax specialist and accounting software minimizes the risk of errors and provides expertise you can turn to when starting and running your business. Every start-up has its own needs, so feel free to contact us to find out more about our services and discuss what tax and accounting assistance we can provide.

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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