Understanding the legal requirements for your business


Make sure you understand the legal requirement for your business.

Depending on where you operate your business and what industry you are in, there are different legal requirements for your business. In Canada, three levels of government can have a say in what you can and must do as a business; Federal, Provincial and Municipal. Each level of government has specific regulations relating to what industries can and can’t do, where you can operate, what taxes you need to pay, and if you need a license or not.

Federal Requirements:

For small businesses in Canada, your company is responsible for:

  • Paying corporate income taxes
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST/HST)
  • Employee deductions (Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance)

Provincial Requirements:

Each province has its own set of requirements for small businesses. Most will include employee income tax deductions, workers compensation board premiums (WCB – Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Worksafe – British Columbia and New Brunswick, CNESST – Quebec, WSIB – Ontario and WorkplaceNL – Newfoundland and Labrador) and provincial health insurance. Also, each province has requirements regarding the recognition of professional credentials (Doctors, engineers, accountants, provincial sales tax and many more).


Each municipality can have its requirements, including land-use zoning and other requirements.

Unfortunately, there are too many laws and regulations affecting Canadian businesses to list them here

 Contact Arbutus Management Consulting to help you find your way through the maze of regulations.

References / Useful Links:

Federal Incorporation: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/start/register-with-gov/register-corp/register-corp-fed.html

List of Licences and Permits: Bizpal https://services.bizpal-perle.ca/?b=01

Alberta Incorporation: https://www.alberta.ca/incorporate-alberta-corporation.aspx

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