Do I Need a Business Number?

All, Business Tips

A common question asked when a someone starts a business is if they need a business number.

What is a Business Number (BN)?

A business number is a 9 digit account number that identifies your business to the government and is designed to set up program accounts. Program accounts are accounts that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has on record and will use when you file your taxes.

Do I Need a BN?

There are 4 conditions where sole-proprietors need a business number, including the following:

  1. You just hired your first employee. When you have an employee on staff there are additional requirements on top of their salary including items like Employment Insurance and Workers Compensation premiums. In order to pay those into the government, you need to have an account associated with your business.
  2. You Import/Export. If you’re importing or exporting products as part of your business activities you’ll need to register for a BN. Each product that is imported or exported has certain regulations around it and potentially certain taxes and duties associated with it.
  3. You made $30,000 from the business this year. You’ll notice some businesses don’t charge HST on their products or services, in many cases this is because they make less than $30,000/year in sales from their business. Once businesses hit the $30,000 revenue mark, they are required (within 29 days) to start charging HST and therefore have to get a BN to do that.
  4. You charge HST from the start. From time to time business owners opt-in to charge HST from the day they start. When you register for a BN and start charging HST, there are administrative responsibilities that come along with it versus not charging HST but there can be pros and cons to both situations depending on your specific business.

If you decide to incorporate your business, you’ll also require a business number but that’s a whole different topic.

For most small businesses that get started with Youth Ventures, getting a business number is not necessary. If  and when you get to the point where you meet one of the above criteria, registering for a BN is an extremely easy and quick process.

More information about the BN can be found here: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bn/

If you have any other questions about how to get your business started, let us know in the comments below or send us an email at provincial (at) youthventuresnl.com

Are You Meant to be an Entrepreneur?


Are you wondering if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Check out our following list of traits that make up a successful entrepreneur. If you possess one or more of these traits then maybe being an entrepreneur and starting your own business is right for you.

You take initiative

You are able to take the lead in whatever situations you are put in. You are a natural born leader and can easily take charge when the need arises. Being able to take the initiative is critical for entrepreneurs because when you own your own business, there is no one standing over your shoulder telling you what to do.

You are passionate

You have an idea that you are passionate about and wish to see brought to life. This trait will come up in almost every article you read about entrepreneurship because it is the most important.  You have to be your businesses biggest cheerleader because if you are not 100% passionate and behind your business, how can you expect anyone else to be?

You do not give up easily

Being resilient, persistent, and able to overcome any obstacles that are put in front of you are incredible traits to have and are essential for entrepreneurs. If you are the type of person that won’t back down from a challenge and will push through even when things don’t go your way, you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

You think outside the box

You often find innovative ways to solve ordinary problems. Being able to think creatively and outside the box to come up with new ideas is an important part of being an entrepreneur.

You are a risk taker

Entrepreneurs take risks everyday when running their businesses. These risks can range from calculated risks involved in every day decision making to taking big risks on new ideas or products. If you are comfortable taking risks and you see yourself as a risk taker, entrepreneurship and owning a business are the right path for you.

You have charisma

If you are a charismatic person with good people skills, becoming an entrepreneur is a good idea. Charisma is the key to winning negotiations, making business connections, and driving sales for your business.

You are competitive

Do you feel the need to be the best and succeed in everything you do? This could be because you have a competitive nature, which is a perfect trait for an entrepreneur.

Do you have one or more of these traits? Well then becoming an entrepreneur and opening your own business may be the right path for you.

10 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs


Do you feel a desire to carve your own career path? Do you have a drive to be your own boss?

Well maybe you have the potential to be a very successful entrepreneur!

We’ve made a list of characteristics that most successful entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and many more, share.

Here are 10 popular characteristics of Entrepreneurs:

1 –    Passionate

You need to be driven by a clear sense of purpose for your business to succeed. Become an entrepreneur so you can spend every day at work doing something you enjoy.

2 –    Think/Plan for the future

Plan plan plan! Plan for the things you have to do this week, or month. Have a timeline made that outlines your goals. Remember to keep your working area and your head organized so that things are done efficiently and on time.

3 –    Be Resilient

More often than not, entrepreneurs will receive criticism and doubt about their ideas. It is important to channel that negative energy and turn it into advice and thrive from it.

After all, Apple co-founder, Steve Wozinak, pitched his first computer idea to HP and was rejected 6 times. Now look how far Apple has come.

4 –    High Sense of Self Worth

If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your ideas, than who will? Remember to tell yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind too. The sky is the limit! It is also important to note that entrepreneurs feel insecure sometimes too; after all, we’re all humans. Use any insecurities to drive yourself to accomplish your dreams.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran group and co-star on dragons den, said “those who are nervous about failing can become hyper-focused on success.”

5 –    Ability to Sell

This is a necessary trait to posses when entering the business world. If you are an entrepreneur and you want to succeed, then you must be able to sell your product or service to the best of your abilities. You need to be convincing and finish a sale. Research ways to pitch your business, work on your elevator pitch, and always be prepared.

6 –     Balanced

As an entrepreneur you need to balance work, social life, healthy lifestyle and everything all at once. You need to know when a battle is worth winning, when to walk away from a failure, and when to go home for a good night rest.

7 –      Decisive

When starting a business there are a lot of questions that will arise. Who am I selling to? What price is product worth to people? Should I follow this route or a different one? You are constantly going to have to make decisions that will greatly impact your business. Weigh the pros and cons and then choose. Be confident in your decisions and try to make smart moves and stick with it.

8 –       Fearless

This is a big one for entrepreneurs. You need to learn to take risks and be fearless. If you are constantly thinking about how you couldn’t possibly do something because of the repercussions than you won’t reach the great entrepreneurial success you are dreaming of!

You have to risk everything, money, free time, other people’s opinions of you, and much more. If you truly believe in yourself and your product/service than you will make the risks and either live your dream or learn from your mistakes and try again.

9 –       Childish

 Approach your day with childlike wonderment, faith, and curiosity. Entrepreneurs are like kids in candy stores; nothing is off limits and everything is theirs for the taking.

10 –      Financially Prepared

Business start up is never usually cheap. It is important to think about how you will finance your business along with your everyday life expenses.


Do you have what it takes?

Timeline: Shopify Inc.

All, Timelines

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Shopify.

Shopify is an ecommerce company that allows you to set up an online store to sell your products. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, and track and respond to orders.

Sounds cool, right? Yeah, we thought so too!

Here’s a timeline of how Shopify came to be.

2004 – Shopify was founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment.

2006 – Lütke used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil’s online store, and launched it after two months of development. The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June.

2009 – In June 2009, Shopify launched an API platform and App Store. The API allows developers to create applications for Shopify online stores and then sell them on the Shopify App Store. Several companies have developed apps that integrate with the Shopify platform

2010 – Shopify launched a free mobile app on the Apple App Store. The app lets Shopify store owners view and manage their stores from iOS mobile devices.

Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.

Shopify was also named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010. The company received $7 million from an initial Series A funding round in December 2010. Its Series B funding round generated $15 million in October 2011

2013 – Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway. The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric POS system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from credit cards. The company received $100 million in Series C funding in December

2015 – Shopify filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “SHOP” and “SH” respectively. During its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, Shopify started trading at $28, more than 60% higher than its USD$17 offering price, with its IPO raising more than $131 million. Shopify went public on May 21, 2015.

In September, Amazon.com announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider





How To Find Your Business Idea

Business Tips

Coming up with an original and successful idea is often difficult. Many inventors or famous business people didn’t come up with their ‘million dollar’ idea in a day. In fact, it may have taken them years to create the perfect product idea or maybe it was by some freak accident while trying something else.

Take the chocolate chip cookie for example, Ruth Graves Wakefield, a dietitian and food lecturer, prepared all the food for the guests at her families Inn. One night while baking she ran out of baker’s chocolate and instead chopped up a semi sweet chocolate bar expecting the chocolate to melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. Instead, the chocolate pieces kept their individual form, but were softened and perfectly gooey, creating the world’s first known chocolate chip cookie!

The point here being, you need a good idea before you can really start a business! Here are some ways to get those creative juices flowing.


A good way to start thinking of ideas that could work for you is to start with a fresh mind. Stop thinking about what’s currently stressing you out, and just relax.
Draw a hot bath, take a nap, go for a run, anything that helps you clear your mind and you’ll be able to concentrate more on coming up with your business idea.

Explore Your Interests:

When starting a business, you definitely want to come up with an idea that interests you and that you are passionate about. Think about things you would consider fun instead of work and maybe it’ll turn into a great idea!

Write It Down:

Take a pen and piece of paper and write down any ideas that come to mind throughout the day. It could literally be anything from a thought about something you use to get ready in the morning to how your lunch food is served. Write every product or service idea down that you think could be of value to someone.

Guaranteed you will have to eliminate some ideas because they just aren’t possible or there’s already some product out there that serves a similar purpose.

Think About What Bugs You:

Look at the way you do things and think about what frustrates you and how you can fix it. If you can think of a solution that others would find useful then there’s your idea!

Look At The New Fads:

New trends catch on fast, so try to get involved with a fad early! Fads come and go though, so try coming up with something you think people will stay interested in for the long run.

Take Charmed Aroma Candles, the candle with a ring in each one and an appraisal code. Women love the idea of getting a candle and jewelry, especially if they receive the high end $5000 dollar ring. People are very interested in this product and now another company is selling Pearl Bath Bombs. A bath bomb that fizzes till the hidden “pearl” is shown. This is another product that women will love with basically the same idea.

Do The Research:

What better way to find out what people want than to ask them? Talk to shoppers and see what things they would like to purchase but can’t find exactly what they want.

Always remember to do research while brainstorming, it is important to make sure there isn’t already an identical product or patent for what you come up with.