Starting a business can be a very exciting endeavour and there is so much to do before you can start your operation. Each day you’ll face a mountain of tasks as you put all the pieces together. It’s tempting to take shortcuts, but one step that should not be avoided is registering your business. There are many benefits to business registration that make it an important stage of your entrepreneurship journey.

Here are just a few benefits:

Brand Awareness. Even before you start building your business, it’s important to do a name search to see if anyone else has the same name. This avoids confusion and conflict in the future with any potential competitors. Think of a name that is unique in your industry and describes your offer. Alternatively, you can opt for something clever or memorable.

It’s typically required for tax filings. If your revenue is expected to be $30,000 or more each year, it’s required for you to charge GST/HST for your products or services. In most cases, you must register your business in order to get a GST/HST number. Note: You don’t need to register for a business name if you choose to work under your own legal name. However, once you reach $30,000 income, you will need to register for a GST/HST number and charge on your goods and/or services.

Proof that you are real. Registering your business provides proof that you are operating a business. This type of proof is often required when setting up operations, such as a business bank account, payment portals, wholesale accounts or even applying for a loan or a credit account.

Establish credibility in the marketplace. Potential partners and customers are becoming increasingly selective about who they do business with. They may even do some research and look you up before engaging with you. Registering your business puts forward an image of being legitimate and serious about your reputation.

Intellectual property benefits. Registering a business helps you protect your intellectual capital. It proves you are in a legitimate business and provides a history of your business activities should the name come into question.

Prepare to grow. As you grow and get ready to hire employees, you’ll have to prepare to set up things such as WSIB Workers Compensation, payroll deductions, and other accounting processes. These processes need to interface with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and it will be required for you to have a Business Registration Number before you can apply for these accounts and systems.

If you are ready to take the next step, book a meeting with an experienced business advisor at Small Business Centres Ontario – we have 54 offices across Ontario.  Working with a business advisor means you are not alone and that you can build your plan.  Find a location near you.

Want to learn more about registering your business? Check out our free online course, “How to Register Your Business”.