In our previous article Preparing Yourself for Self-Employment, we briefly discussed some of the challenges entrepreneurs face when starting their own business. A common area of challenge for new business owners is the financial operations of running the business — specifically accounting and HR.
As a technology professional, your designation speaks volume to your skills, knowledge and experience within the technology industry. Your years training in your specific discipline have given you the expertise to venture out, perhaps as a consultant or as a small business in a niche market. Whatever direction you take your business, here are some areas on the business side of things that you need to consider:
Each province carries very specific requirements when registering your business. To conduct business in Alberta for example, you will need to register your cooperative, corporation, extra-provincial company, non-profit company, society, trade name and/or partnership at the Corporate Registry.
Once registered, you then would declare your business type — specifically a trade name or sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a limited company or corporation. This is particularly important as your type of business will affect the various tax laws that apply to you.
Handling the HR responsibilities of your employees is much different from having to be responsible for just yourself. We already briefly mentioned the specific tax laws that your company might be required to fulfill based on the number of employees you might have. If you’re a company of one, there are ways to set your company so that you open up avenues to save money in the way you operate.
If you have a small number of employees working underneath you, this requires you to consider areas such as compensation, benefits, payroll, reporting structure, and health and safety in order to run smoothly. These are all important areas because they don’t just help you run your business more professionally, but they also show the importance of your workforce as a resource.
Some of the advice past entrepreneurs have given start with developing HR and accounting policies at the beginning rather than on the fly. Much like your business plan or budget, having a road map for how you’ll handle the financial operation of your company will help you in the long run. If that means making a small handbook that can be applied to one, two or 20 employees, then start there.
It also never hurts to seek advice from HR and accounting professionals who might be able to provide some insight into the best way to set up your company. Whatever you choose, be sure to seek the available resources to help guide you.
Government of Canada – Canada Business Network
Five tips to tailoring your HR department
The Challenges and Joys of Working for Yourself