The creation of a company is an important step in a professional life. It is not a question of improvising. The respect of a certain number of steps is essential in order to better all odds to transform the project into professional success. From the definition of the business activity and the preparation of a business plan to the official registration of the company through the choice of a suitable legal structure, each stage should be carefully considered.
Defining a strategy to launch a company
Whether you want to develop a complete business or simply test the marketing of a product or service, you need to begin to define your strategy clearly.
The definition of the concept, product or service that will be marketed must be as accurate and detailed as possible. A market study will then validate (or invalidate) the fact that your product or service may or may not prevail. The steps will be slightly different and will take more or less time depending on whether you intend to target a local or national market.
The market study will allow you to determine on the one hand whether there is a demand for the solution you want to market, and in what form, and on the other hand to identify your main competitors if there are any. In this case, the study will allow you to get to know them better, to study how they are established in the market you are seeking in order to adapt your offer. You may position yourself in direct competition with them or opt for a niche that may be less lucrative at first, but that is little or not exploited. Whatever may be the case, you will need to stand out from your competitors if you want to gain market share.
Once your offer is defined, you will have to create a business plan. This document will detail all stages of creation of your business project in Quebec and the strategies that will be implemented for its development. This is neither more nor less than the detailed description of:
- your company,
- its business activity,
- its positioning on the market,
- the way you are going to direct it,
- and its estimated development in the short and medium term.
Your company’s business plan in Quebec
The business plan is the key element of your company. It will help you present it to all the people and organisations likely to help you transform your project into a success. It is with a well-conceived and presented business plan that you could convince a bank, a broker or a business angel to provide financing, a business incubator to welcome you, or a potential partner to commit to work with you.
To be effective, a business plan must contain a certain amount of essential information.
The presentation of the company and its founding members, if they are several, makes it possible to highlight the key profiles which will ensure the development of the business activity. This demonstrates the mastery of the people in the field, the networks they have and the added value they contribute more generally.
The products and services marketed are detailed in order to demonstrate their innovative side and the relevance of their design and positioning. It is an opportunity as well to define the various ranges and corresponding targets.
The presentation of the key points of your project must show that you have set growth objectives for the next few years. Be careful though, not to go into too many details in this part. It must be concise in order to be clear, understandable and pleasant to read, as it will serve as a communications medium.
The results of the market study you carried out upstream occupy an important place in the business plan. They show that the product or service marketed will find its place on the market with regard to the needs that have been identified.
Your objectives and the means (human, material and financial) implemented to achieve them are presented in the form of an action plan. It describes what will be implemented in terms of marketing and communications, investments and sales processes.
The financial plan will present the sources used to generate the company’s turnover, the estimated expenses and executive compensation, the salary and associated hiring expenses. It seeks to present the future of the company and demonstrate its viability on the economic level. Do not hesitate to bring with you a chartered accountant for the realization of this part.
The choice of the social structure of the company is also indicated in the business plan, as well as the tax systems you are going to depend on. It must be consistent with the areas of development presented in the preceding paragraphs.
Choosing a legal structure suitable to the business activity
Several legal structures are available to create your company in Quebec. Depending on the type of business activity you want to develop, a structure may be more suitable.
The various legal structures are as follows:
- Sole Proprietorship: Intended for the self-employed, its main disadvantage is that the entrepreneur and the company are one and the same, and accordingly the personal assets are committed in the event pf a financial problem.
- General Partnership (French acronym SNC) : It allows sharing the resources of the company among several partners. A simple and inexpensive solution, it also allows the claiming of certain tax benefits.
- Limited Partnership : The company is composed of limited partners who participate in the capital financially or materially. As the responsibilities of the limited partners are limited to their down payment, this structure is mainly used in sectors where the risks are high (professional sports, film production, mining prospecting, etc.).
- Joint-stock corporation or company: This is the most common structure. The company is registered as a legal entity. Shareholder liability is limited to the amount of their contribution and the tax rate is lower than for other structures.
- Cooperative: This involves a legal entity grouping people or companies with common needs. All members of the cooperative have equivalent power and may benefit from rebates or benefits on the services offered by the cooperative.
- Non-Profit Organization: This involves a legal entity whose activities are not intended to generate a profit for its members. The activities are social, educational, sports, philanthropic or religious and the association is run by a board of directors elected by its members.
The choice of structure depends on a number of factors, such as the size considered for the company, the association of partners or associates, and your financial resources.
Once the legal structure has been chosen, it is necessary to register your company with the Enterprise Register. Registration fees vary depending on the legal structure. Once registered, you obtain a company number in Quebec (French acronym NEQ) that will allow you to identify yourself as to all steps taken.
Aids and Training for launching your company in Quebec
Creating a company may be a long journey, sometimes fraught with pitfalls.
There are structures and organisations that may assist you in your efforts. Training in the launching of a company, whether your project is well advanced or you need full support from A to Z, are relatively easily to access.
Info entrepreneurs provides free information in many areas related to business creation, such as federal, provincial and municipal government regulations, conducting a market study or the development of a business plan.
The official government sites for Canada and Quebec also make available a great deal of information to guide you in your choices and in your steps to launch your company.
To conclude on the launching of a company in Quebec
Creating your company may be an obstacle course. That is why it is important to be well prepared and to take advantage of any assistance you may need. A company is built upstream, on a solid project, with a credible business plan showing how development will be undertaken in the years to come.
Once the company has launched, the various projects must be managed in a rigorous manner, in accordance with the defined action plan. The online solution Nutcache provides all the tools that will allow you to carry out all your projects. Do not hesitate to test the full version for 14 days.