1. General

Yes, you can book computer time to do business research, check emails, and utilize a wide range of business related applications, including word-processing, spreadsheets and business planning software. 


There is no fee for our business consulting, business plan critique, or loan applications.


We provide business financing, guidance and training, resources and information. We also support sustainable community economic development.


At 22 Peter Street South, Orillia (south of Mississauga Street on the east side).


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2. Registering a Business

Changing the name of your business registration is considered a new registration and the applicable fees apply. Changing the kind of registration, e.g., a partnership registration to a sole proprietorship, is also considered a new registration. Visit www.serviceontario.ca.


A business name is what the business owner/owners have decided to call their company to identify it.

A business number is a number the Canada Revenue Agency assigns your business as a tax identifier for HST, payroll deduction, import/export. To get a business number, you can contact the Canada Revenue Agency by phone at 1-800-959-5525, mail, fax, or register for a Business Number online. If you choose to register by mail or fax, you will have to fill out Form RC1, Request for a Business Number (BN).

To complete this form, you will need to know:

  • the name of the business,
  • its location,
  • its legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation),
  • its fiscal year-end, and
  • an estimate of your business’s sales.
  • SIN

In most cases, you will need to register your business name. The only exception to this is if you operate your new business under your own legal name with no additions to the name.


Patents and trademarks as well as copyrights, industrial designs, and integrated circuit topographies are registered through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), a Special Operating Agency associated with Industry Canada that is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property Canada.

CIPO’s areas of activity include:

  • Patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention;
  • Trade-marks are words, symbols or designs (or a combination of these), used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace;
  • Copyrights provide protection for artistic, dramatic, musical or literary works (including computer programs), and three other subject-matter known as: performance, sound recording and communication signal;
  • Industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features), applied to a finished article of manufacture;
  • Integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional configurations of electronic circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs.

The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board covers most industries in Ontario. Employers must pay into the accident fund of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board through assessments on their payrolls. To find out the amount of the deduction and when it must be remitted contact www.wsib.on.ca or call 1-800-387-5540. Employers carry an overall responsibility for complying with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act regulations.

If you are a sole proprietor, partner or executive officer, you are not automatically covered under the WSIB insurance plan. You can, however, apply for optional insurance by calling the WSIB or visiting www.wsib.on.ca and completing the Optional Insurance Application form.


If you do not have a credit card, you may pay cash by visiting the CDC to register your business.


Business registrations are done online and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete, depending on the users’ computer knowledge.


Five years. It is the business owner’s responsibility to be aware & renew their license before expiry as no reminder or notification is given.


It costs $60.00 to register a business, and $8.00 to do a business name search.


Registering a name does NOT give you EXCLUSIVE use of it. Exclusive use of a name is available only through incorporation of the business. The Ontario Business Names Act does not prohibit registration of identical names. However, if you decide to use the same or similar name of another business, it could result in confusion or a possible lawsuit, particularly if the business is located in the same city. The person registering a name assumes full responsibility for any risk of confusion with an existing business or corporation.


Payment at our location is by major credit card only. We can accept cash if you do not have a credit card.


No, it is the owner’s responsibility to renew their business license.


If your business will be collecting $30,000 or more in gross revenues (products and services) each year, you are required to register, collect and remit HST. For more information on how to proceed with registration please visit Revenue Canada.


3. Operating a Home-Based Business

Yes. If you operate a home-based business, you may qualify for the business-use-of-home tax deduction, which is calculated by determining how much of your home you actually use for your home-based business.

You can also deduct a portion of all your house expenses that directly relate to operating your home-based business as a tax deduction, such as your utilities, telephone, and cleaning materials.

If you own your home, you can claim a portion of your house insurance, property taxes, and mortgage interest (although you cannot claim the mortgage payments themselves).

If you are running your home-based business out of a residence that you rent, you can claim a portion of the rent you pay. The “portion” of house expenses that you can claim as a business expense is also determined by how much of your home you actually use (dedicated space) for your home-based business.

For more information, visit CRA’s Business Expenses page.


4. Business Consulting

Generally, there are no on-going grant programs available to start up or expand a business.  Although, from time to time, various organizations and levels of government will offer incentive and/or assistance programs that may help to subsidize business expenditures.

These assistance programs can be geared towards many different types of businesses. For current details, visit Canada Business or book an appointment with one of our staff. All of the information is free of charge.


Yes. If you operate a home-based business, you may qualify for the business-use-of-home tax deduction, which is calculated by determining how much of your home you actually use for your home-based business.

You can also deduct a portion of all your house expenses that directly relate to operating your home-based business as a tax deduction, such as your utilities, telephone, and cleaning materials.

If you own your home, you can claim a portion of your house insurance, property taxes, and mortgage interest (although you cannot claim the mortgage payments themselves).

If you are running your home-based business out of a residence that you rent, you can claim a portion of the rent you pay. The “portion” of house expenses that you can claim as a business expense is also determined by how much of your home you actually use (dedicated space) for your home-based business.

For more information, visit CRA’s Business Expenses page.


There are three basic structures to choose from:

  • A sole proprietorship is a business that you are operating by yourself;
  • A partnership is a business wherein you are working with others and sharing profits and losses.
  • If you get more formal you can create a corporation.
  • The type of structure is totally up to your own choosing.

A business plan is a detailed outline of what your business does or will do, how it will operate, how you plan to market the business, who you will employ and what they will do, how much money you expect to make, and how much money you will need to run it. Your business plan is your roadmap and helps to identify the steps you need to take to move your business forward. It helps lenders decide how much financing they can give you and lets you evaluate whether your business is performing as you thought it would. If it isn’t, what changes do you need to make? Business plans are always changing.


The Harmonized Sales Tax came into effect in Ontario on July 1, 2010.


You may need to obtain a municipal license to operate in your municipality – contact your local office for more information. You may also need to be aware of zoning issues – that your business location is zoned appropriately for the use you intend for it.


5. Business Financing

Our lending policies differ from traditional lending institutions in the following ways:

  • We take second, third or fourth positions;
  • We assign higher values to security items;
  • We accept seasonal and interest payments.
  • We take chattel mortgages on automobiles, boats, RVs, ATVs, etc.
  • We do entertain unsecured loans generally up to $10,000.00 total exposure.
  • We visit clients onsite at their businesses to identify problems before or as they arise.

Our interest rates are affordable. We adjust them periodically to ensure that they do not compete directly with traditional financial institutions.


No. We are able to lend up to $250,000 per client; that can be in one large loan or through a combination of smaller loans. In all cases, a well detailed business plan that demonstrates the feasibility of your business and your ability to repay your debts is required. You can apply for a CDC loan to start-up, expand and sustain your business if you have a solid business concept and plan.


Our process is in two stages. When you first visit the office for a loan application, you are given a one page summary application along with a personal financial form to complete. If you are an existing business, please provide financial statements for two years. If you already have a business plan you can include with your summary application. When complete, this summary application is presented (as you have written it) to the Investment Committee. The committee makes the final decision as to whether you should proceed with your application. If the committee decides to move forward, we will work with you on your business plan.


Depending on the nature of the business, the approval process takes approximately two to six weeks. All CDC loans are approved by a volunteer investment committee who represent most sectors of the local business community.


Yes, on approved applications only. Generally, our loan application fee is $300.  However, in some cases, this fee may be lower.


Even so, contact us if you feel that you have a strong business concept and a business plan for starting a new business or expanding a current business.

Our Business Financing specialists will work with you to assess whether your plan is feasible and realistic. And we will help you explore the alternatives available to you. Our goal is to help businesses succeed and grow. We look at the whole package, not just the numbers. That is, you, your business concept, management, partners, experience, demographics, and the numbers. We cannot guarantee approval. But we can be more flexible than traditional lenders. Or we can work with them and provide complementary financing.


Our loans are at a fixed percentage rate between CDC prime (currently 5%) and +6%. The rate is based on several factors. Those include the applicant’s business experience, credit history, risk of the loan and available security. Repayment schedules are flexible. They will be geared to the needs of the business.


6. Business Start-up

In general, the Canada Revenue Agency considers your business to have started “whenever you start some significant activity that is a regular part of the business, or that is necessary to get the business going”. For example, if you start a tailoring business, the business starts when you buy the supplies that you need rather than when you alter that first customer’s garment.


Generally, there are no on-going grant programs available to start up or expand a business.  Although, from time to time, various organizations and levels of government will offer incentive and/or assistance programs that may help to subsidize business expenditures.

These assistance programs can be geared towards many different types of businesses. For current details, visit Canada Business or book an appointment with one of our staff. All of the information is free of charge.


There are three basic structures to choose from:

  • A sole proprietorship is a business that you are operating by yourself;
  • A partnership is a business wherein you are working with others and sharing profits and losses.
  • If you get more formal you can create a corporation.
  • The type of structure is totally up to your own choosing.

A business plan is a detailed outline of what your business does or will do, how it will operate, how you plan to market the business, who you will employ and what they will do, how much money you expect to make, and how much money you will need to run it. Your business plan is your roadmap and helps to identify the steps you need to take to move your business forward. It helps lenders decide how much financing they can give you and lets you evaluate whether your business is performing as you thought it would. If it isn’t, what changes do you need to make? Business plans are always changing.


You may need to obtain a municipal license to operate in your municipality – contact your local office for more information. You may also need to be aware of zoning issues – that your business location is zoned appropriately for the use you intend for it.


7. Business Taxes

Yes. If you operate a home-based business, you may qualify for the business-use-of-home tax deduction, which is calculated by determining how much of your home you actually use for your home-based business.

You can also deduct a portion of all your house expenses that directly relate to operating your home-based business as a tax deduction, such as your utilities, telephone, and cleaning materials.

If you own your home, you can claim a portion of your house insurance, property taxes, and mortgage interest (although you cannot claim the mortgage payments themselves).

If you are running your home-based business out of a residence that you rent, you can claim a portion of the rent you pay. The “portion” of house expenses that you can claim as a business expense is also determined by how much of your home you actually use (dedicated space) for your home-based business.

For more information, visit CRA’s Business Expenses page.


If your business will be collecting $30,000 or more in gross revenues (products and services) each year, you are required to register, collect and remit HST. For more information on how to proceed with registration please visit Revenue Canada.


The Harmonized Sales Tax came into effect in Ontario on July 1, 2010.