|By Morley Surcon,
Vice-President, Western Canada at Eagle
Contracting: Getting Started, Keeping It Going and Finding Help
As a Staffing Agency, Eagle is often asked to help guide independent contractors to assist them with everything from start-up advice to the best tax structures to setting up insurance. These are all great questions and deserve great answers. In our 19+ year history, Eagle has pretty much seen it all. That is, as an organization, we’ve seen it all… but people come and go and, depending on who you speak with, their personal experience may differ and any answer is likely to be incomplete. Advising incorporated contractors and sole proprietors is not our business. For these reasons, it is our company’s policy not to provide any specific advice.
So where does one go to collect the needed guidance? Eagle recommends that contractors speak with industry professionals – Lawyers, Accountants, Insurance Companies. We also suggest that they search out professionals that specialize in working with independent contractors – they should be able to provide references and testimonials to demonstrate this niche knowledge. Also, choose a specialist that has a proven track record supporting contractors in your province/jurisdiction. These professionals focus on the needs of contract resources in your area and will know the answers inside and out.
That said, sometimes you don’t necessarily need a formal consultation or you may simply want to keep up on issues relevant to your business. There are some great websites available that cater to these topics and, of course, the gov’t of Canada or provincial websites can be helpful as well despite their content being a little more static.
Regardless of where one receives their information, it is important that they have a proper business plan that includes legal, financial and risk mitigation components. Great industry help can either be “for free” or “for fee”… any costs are tax deductible for incorporated contractors and the difference between doing it right and “almost right” can really be worth the investment!
Some websites that might get you going are:
- Government of Canada – Starting a Business
- CRA – Small Business and Self-Employed
- CRA – Registering for a GST/HST Account
- Industry Canada – Guide to Federal Incorporation
- Service Alberta – How to Incorporate
- BC Registry Services – Steps to Incorporating in BC
- Government of Ontario – Incorporating Your Business