We’ve got answers to your small business questions.

There’s a lot to consider when starting or running a small business. We’re here to guide you through it all. The following pages will take you through some of the basic business concepts you need to know about.

illustration contract small business fundamentals

What to consider first

Do you have a great business idea? Dreaming of taking the leap into entrepreneurship? Before you jump in, it’s important to make sure you understand what it takes to be a successful business owner.

Research & analysis

You have a business idea. That’s a great first step, but it’s just the beginning. You have weeks, months, or even years of research, planning, and hard work ahead of you before your idea becomes a viable business. We’ve put together some information to help you determine if your idea is worth pursuing.

Creating a business plan

Your business plan should be the foundation of everything you do as a business owner. A solid business plan is valuable no matter where you are in the process—before you start, if you’re already established, and even if you’re planning on selling or closing your business.

Financing your business

Financing is one of the most challenging issues you will face as a business owner. You’ll need to identify potential sources of funding, make sure you meet all their requirements, and prepare your applications or pitches. There are a number of specialized funding programs available depending on your business type or sector.

Structuring & registering your business

Choosing a business structure is one of the first and most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. There are multiple steps to getting your business set up legally, so let’s dive in!

Licenses, permits & regulations

When starting your business, it’s important to obtain the business licenses and permits you need to ensure you’re adhering to government regulations.

Accounting, bookkeeping, & taxes

Organized, accurate bookkeeping is crucial for any business. You should keep a complete record of all your income and expenses. If you can’t maintain your financial records on your own, consider hiring a qualified, experienced accountant or bookkeeper to do it for you—it’s often well worth the investment.

Finding & hiring employees

You might need to hire employees to keep your business operating and growing. Hiring employees is a big step—you will be responsible for them and their actions. Employees can introduce significant liability. You also have to make sure you adhere to provincial and federal employment regulations.

Legal advice

You might think lawyers are too expensive for your business, but their advice can be priceless. It’s much less expensive to hire a lawyer to do things properly when starting out than it is to hire a lawyer in an emergency when things go wrong.

Marketing & sales

Your business cannot succeed without attracting customers and closing sales. Use these marketing and sales techniques to maximize your business revenue.

Closing your business

The process of closing your business should be managed carefully, whether it involves selling, dissolving, or even facing bankruptcy. No matter what your exit strategy, there are a number of steps you have to complete to legally end your involvement in the business.

Our services for small business owners

Whether you have specific “how to” questions or are just feeling a little lost, we can help. We’ve been helping Alberta small businesses start and thrive for more than 25 years.

Small business resources and tools

Whether you’re just getting started or have an established business, we’ve got free resources and tools that can help you build a thriving business. Access our free interactive Business Plan Builder, webinar recordings, small business basics videos, and downloadable guides featuring topics like start-up steps, marketing, and financial management.

Ready to take the next step? Reach out to our team today.

Our team of small business experts knows how exciting and overwhelming entrepreneurship can be. Don’t fret—we’ve got your back. We’ll help you navigate the process with free one-on-one advice and support via email, the phone, or video chat. We can help you:

Explore strategies to successfully run and grow your business

Learn about your financing options, marketing and sales strategies, HR, and more

Access specialized services for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneur

Get connected with the most relevant resources and supports in the business community

Review and update your business plan