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How To Start A Business - A Checklist

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business? Do you have that entrepreneurial spirit but have no idea where to start?

That's what we are here for. We've created a step-by-step checklist of how to start a business in rural Alberta for you to follow. You can download it or view it below.

Starting A New Business CFNA
Download PDF • 15.43MB


  1. Develop your business idea

  2. What problem do you want to solve?

  3. The solution

  4. Your target market

  5. The competition

  6. Your sales channels

  7. Marketing activities

  8. Main sources of revenue

  9. Key expenses

  10. Unique value proposition

  11. Business team & key roles (owners, key employees, business professionals)

  12. Partners (suppliers)

  13. Research the business idea

  14. Market research supports business

  15. Additional research into political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental conditions that may affect business

  16. Write the business plan or business canvas

  17. Detailed plan about the business, including products or services, prices, location (online or physical), and sales channels & marketing activities

  18. Understand your Startup costs

  19. Expenses required for Startup

  20. Cashflow projections (revenues and expenses) for Year 1 & Year 2

  21. Plan your Startup finances

  22. Determine what finances are required, based on Startup expenses & cash flow projections

  23. Establish your net worth & personal budget

  24. Determine your personal investment in the business (cash, equipment, building)

  25. Source financing (personal investment, lenders, guarantors, investors)

  26. Determine your collateral for any lending

  27. Confirm financing for your business (loan, personal investment, other investment)

  28. Add in any loan payments or dividends to cash flow projections

  29. Determine professional or business assistance required

  30. Bookkeeper or accountant

  31. Lawyer

  32. Insurance

  33. Marketing

  34. Website development

  35. Information technology services

  36. Human Resources services

  37. Suppliers

  38. Independent contractors (construction or core business)

  39. Determine your business structure

  40. Sole proprietor

  41. Partnership

  42. Corporation

  43. Alternatives - cooperative, social enterprise, non-profit

  44. Investigate your legal requirements

  45. What provincial or federal regulations affect your business?

  46. What occupational licenses or training are required?

  47. Determine where your business will be located

  48. Physical location

  49. Will you rent or buy a location?

  50. Lease or purchase agreement

  51. Leasehold improvements required and quotes to complete

  52. Online or Virtual Space

  53. Mobile Location

  54. Create and register your business name

  55. If you are a sole proprietor, operating under your legal name, there is no need to register the name or business

  56. Under all other types of business, you must register the legal corporate or trade name, after conducting a name search

  57. If your business is to be incorporated, file incorporation documents, including the business name

  58. If your business is a partnership, file a partnership declaration, including the business name

  59. Apply for all necessary permits and licenses

  60. A building permit is required by the municipality for the construction of a new building and any major structural changes or additions to an existing building (leasehold improvements)

  61. A development permit is required by the municipality for exterior signs, to determine if the business is permitted in that location, occupying space, or change in use

  62. Business licenses may be required by the municipality

  63. Establish a business bank account

  64. Set up your accounting system

  65. Register for government remittances

  66. Income tax account

  67. GST account, if sales exceed $30,000 per year or quarter

  68. Payroll deductions

  69. WCB account

  70. Create a brand, marketing strategy, and promotion plan

  71. Who is your ideal client?

  72. Where does your ideal client live on social media? (which social media channel?)

  73. What problem are you solving for your ideal client?

  74. What results are you offering your ideal client?

  75. A brand includes the brand personality, core values, ideal client, logo, color palette, and unique business positioning.

  76. Develop a basic web presence

  77. Facebook business account and/or website

  78. Google my business

  79. Other social media accounts - Instagram, Twitter, YouTube

  80. Optimize your search engine results

  81. Finish setting up your business

  82. Completion of leasehold improvements

  83. Hiring employees or contractors

  84. Install equipment

  85. Stocking merchandise

  86. Plan opening

We know that this can seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time. Remember, we are here to help you and we want you to succeed!

Reach out to our Business Analyst in our office for help, advice, and direction!


  • Email:

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