Helping entrepreneurs get the tools, resources and knowledge they need to succeed!

Our Small Business Centre Ontario Network provides support and resources to entrepreneurs and small business.


100+ expert business advisors ready to help


 26K client meetings conducted per year


10K new jobs created annually in Ontario


Looking for support to launch, grow or pivot your start-up?

Our services are free, and we are ready to help! Start by connecting with an Expert Business Advisor at your local small business centre. We support thousands of entrepreneurs each year to work through problems and challenges, as well as establish next steps and action plans.

  • Overcome Challenges

Ontario Small Business Centre Network

Our network of 54 locations provides help for small businesses as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 including:

  • Accessing Grants and Financing
  • COVID-19 Business Resources
  • Pivoting Strategies
  • Business Referrals
  • Current Regulatory Landscape

  • Access Personalized Services

Expert Business Advisors

Experienced Advisors, many with entrepreneurial backgrounds, provide one-on-one confidential small business advisory services including:

  • Business Planning & Strategy
  • Brainstorming Sessions
  • Planning for Growth
  • Automating Systems and Processes
  • Social Media & Digital Marketing Plans
  • Find Local Support

Specialized Programs

Connect with your local centre to learn about customized programs that support entrepreneurship in your specific region, including:

  • Women’s Entrepreneurship Programs
  • Starter Company Plus

  • Summer Company
  • Youth Mentoring Program

  • Gain Skills & Connections

We offer a variety of low-cost and free online events to elevate your business skills, as well as connect with your business community, including:

Have Questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps to starting a business?2021-02-26T16:24:02-05:00

Starting a business is easy – register a business name and you’re ready to go, but starting a successful business takes a lot more effort. We recommend starting with the SBC Ontario Business Basics E-learning Sessions, which will help you with the following topics:

  • Are You Ready To Be In Business?
  • Researching Your Idea
  • Business Structure
  • What Are Government Regulations?
  • What Is A Business Plan?
  • How Do You Finance A Small Business?
  • Why Do Market Research?
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Do You Need Insurance?
  • How To Register Your Business?

You can also connect with your local Small Business Centre for more information or to meet with an Expert Business Advisor.

What expenses can I write off?2021-02-19T20:55:40-05:00

You can generally deduct business expenses – if they are incurred to produce income. If you claim expenses, you must be able to back up your claim. You do this by keeping records of all your business-related expenses and recording the expenses in a journal or excel. Examples of expenses you can deduct:

  • Accounting/Legal Fees
  • Advertising Expenses
  • Professional Fees and Dues
  • License Costs
  • Interest and Bank Charges
  • Meals and Entertainment
  • Maintenance, Repairs and Vehicle Expenses
  • Use of a Workspace In Your Home
  • Inventory and Costs Of Goods Sold

Related information is available from the Canada Revenue Agency and the CRA’s Business and Professional Income T2125 tax guide.

Is it mandatory to register for HST?2021-03-09T16:07:20-05:00

Most businesses that operate in Ontario and have annual sales (revenues), totalling more than $30,000 must register for and charge HST. If your total annual sales are less than or equal to $30,000, you are considered to be a small supplier and are not required to register and charge HST. Depending on the nature of your business you may still choose to register as you will be able to claim input tax credits (ITCs) to recover the GST/HST you pay or owe on your business purchases. You may also find that some clients may only do business with businesses registered for HST.

When you register for HST you are given a unique Business Number (BN). If you have not obtained a BN, you do not charge HST. Once you have registered you have to remit at the required intervals even if you have zero sales.

For further information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency HST Information Page. Or call 1-800-959-5525.

Where do I register and what does it cost?2021-02-23T20:52:45-05:00

You can search, register or renew your business name using a single, simple online tool called the Integrated Business Services Application. If you need access to a computer, visit your nearest Service Ontario Centre with public access computers. Information on registering by mail or in-person can be found here.

The cost to register your business is $60, search requests are an extra $12 to $26 depending on the types of records you want to include in the search.

Do I have to register my business?2021-02-19T20:53:45-05:00

Under the Business Names Act of Ontario, the following business types must register:

  • sole proprietorships (one owner) carrying on business under a name other than the individual’s full name
  • partnerships carrying on business under a firm name other than the full names of the partners
  • corporations carrying on business under a name other than their corporate name
  • an existing general partnership or limited partnership registering a business name different from the registered firm name
  • limited liability partnerships
  • extra-provincial limited liability partnerships; and
  • extra-provincial limited liability companies
What information should I prepare to apply for Government COVID-19 relief financial support?2021-03-09T14:21:19-05:00

General business information, such as your business number, and banking information.

A spreadsheet detailing:

  • Fixed and variable expenses, including information on relief you may have received on your lease or insurance costs, as well as expenses you have incurred due to COVID (i.e. PPE)
  • Year-to-date revenue, as well as revenue details for the past two years
  • Dollar value of cancelled orders or services, including those incurred due to government lockdowns

Businesses documentation:

  • Business/Personal Tax Returns for the past 2 to 3 years
  • Income Statement and Balance Sheet for 2019 and 2020
  • Company Profile, including information on why your company was performing well prior to COVID-19 and how it has been affected
  • The amount of money you need and what it will be used for
  • How you’ve pivoted in these unexpected circumstances, what actions you have taken to solve your cash flow needs and any measurements of decreased traffic, sales etc.

Determining how long will your cash reserves last?

  • To determine this dollar amount, take your current cash balance and divide by your current monthly expenses — resulting amount is your cash runway measured in months
  • Or determine the number using ALL cash access options that could be tapped, including credit cards and lines of credit. Then take this total and divide by your current monthly expenses — the resulting amount is your cash runway measured in months
My business has been affected by COVID-19, where can I find financial support?2021-02-27T11:33:07-05:00

The Small Business COVID Recovery Network program offers a range of financial programs to assist small businesses at this time — contact your local SBC Ontario office. Other programs available include:

Find Your Local Small Business Centre

Did you know there are 54 Small Business Centres throughout Ontario? Expert business advisors are available to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with information and advice specific to their business.

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