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Small Business Sourcing Guides Regulatory / Legal

Resources for your small business venture.
Funding / Financing
How-To / Educational
Contacts /Directories
Market Data / Statistics

Canada / British Columbia Business Service Centre

601 West Cordova Street Vancouver BC V6B 1G1
Phone: 604-775-5525 In BC: 1- 800- 667-2272 Fax: 604-775-5520
Website: Fax on Demand: 604-775-5515

Legal / Regulatory 2
Basics for Getting Started 2
Acts and Regulations 2
Taxes 3
Business Insurance 5
Funding / Financing 5
Financing Your Business 5
Sources of Financing 5
How-To / Educational 7
How-To Publications 7
Websites 8
Contacts / Directories 10
Business Associations 10
Magazines and Newsletters 11
Market Data / Statistics 12
Sales Forecasting 12
Sources of Market Data 12
Appendix 13
Consumer Taxation Offices 13
2 E-Business

Regulatory and Legal

Trade Practice Act

Legal / Regulatory Ministry of Attorney General
Consumer Services Office
PO Box 9297
Victoria, BC, V8W 9J8
Basics for Getting Started Toll-free: 1-800-564-9963
Tel: (250) 387-3045 (Victoria)
Basic regulatory requirements that are likely to affect you when starting Tel: (604) 660-3570 (Van)
your business include registering your business name, obtaining a Fax: (250) 953-3533
business license and paying taxes. For a more information on basic
regulatory requirements, visit the Canada / BC Business Service 457_01.htm
Centre's web site at:

Acts and Regulations

The following is meant solely to help you understand the main features
of primary regulations governing this activity, and is not meant in any
way to provide a legal interpretation.
All existing laws that apply to traditional commerce apply equally in an
electronic environment. Companies must comply with the law of any
jurisdiction where it is deemed to be “carrying on business.”
In Addition, for sales that require the shipment of goods to within a
country other than Canada, all exporting regulation apply. See the
Exporting Sourcing Guide located at:
The following regulations are just some of the more important ones
relating to a business in any retail environment.

Trade Practice Act

Any person who accepts an advertisement shall maintain a record of the
name and address of the person who furnishes the advertisement. For
the purposes of this act, a deceptive act or practice includes any oral,
written, visual, descriptive, or other representation, including non-
disclosure; or any conduct having the capability, tendency, or effect of
deceiving or misleading a person.

Last Updated: October 2000

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Legal / Regulatory continued

Sale of Goods Act
Sale of Goods Act Ministry of Attorney General
Under this Act, sellers of new goods are considered to be providing a Consumer Services Office
warranty of reasonable quality. The seller is responsible for either PO Box 9297 Stn. Prov. Govt.
repairing or replacing the defective goods; this is in addition to any Victoria, BC, V8W 9J8
manufacturer's warranty that may exist on the good. Practice has shown Toll-free: 1-888-564-9963
that it is easier to claim against the retailer. The retailer in turn can Tel: (250) 387-3045
claim against the manufacturer. Tel: (604) 660-3570 (Van)
Fax: (250) 953-3533

Income Tax (Federal) Taxes

The Taxation Branch of Revenue Canada administers this act. If you Income Tax (Federal)
conduct business as a proprietorship or a partnership, report your share Canada Customs and Revenue
of gross and net profits (or losses) for the business’ fiscal period on Agency
your individual tax return (T1). For an incorporated company, file a Tax Services
corporation tax return (T2) within six months of the end of the 1166 West Pender St.
corporation’s fiscal period. Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H8
Reasonable Expectation of Profit General Inquiries:
A business operating under a sole proprietorship or a partnership is (604) 689-5411 or
subject to a test of reasonable expectation of profit (REOP) review. A 1-800-663-9033
REOP review involves examining the various factors of the business to Business, GST, Payroll:
determine if there exists a reasonable expectation of profit, and thus the 1-800-959-5525
existence of a business, for income tax purposes. Requests for Forms:
If a business is determined to have no REOP, it will be deemed to be (604) 666-7577 or
not a business for income tax purposes. As such, any expenses and 1-800-663-1665
associated losses of the activity will be disallowed. Reasonable Expectation of Profit
Business Number Canada Customs and Revenue
When you open one or more of Revenue Canada’s four major business Agency
accounts: corporate income tax, import/export, payroll deductions (i.e. Business Window
Employer Number) and the goods and services tax (GST), you will 1166 West Pender Street
receive a Business Number (BN). The BN is a numbering system that Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H8
identifies you and the various accounts you have. Business Number Toll-free: 1-800-959-5525
registration kits can be obtained at one of Revenue Canada’s Business Business Number
Windows. Canada Customs and Revenue
Business Window
1166 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H8
Toll-free: 1-800-959-5525

Last Updated: October 2000

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Legal / Regulatory continued

Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Goods and Services Tax (GST) Canada Customs and Revenue
Most persons and organizations engaged in commercial activities in Agency
Canada who have worldwide taxable sales of more than $30 000 in any Business Window
previous four consecutive calendar quarters or in any one calendar 1166 West Pender Street
quarter, must register for and collect GST/HST. If your annual GST Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H8
taxable sales and revenues are under $30,000, you are not required to Toll-free: 1-800-959-5525
register, but may register voluntarily as long as you are carrying on a
Provincial Sales Tax
commercial activity. When you register for the GST, you will be
For a list of regional Consumer
assigned a Business Number (BN).
Taxation offices, see the Appendix.
Provincial Sales Tax (Social Service Tax Act)
This Act is administered by the Consumer Taxation Branch of the 179_01.htm
Revenue Division, Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations. The Trade-marks
Consumer Taxation Branch registers businesses that collect tax on
Ms. Doris Harms, Field Officer
behalf of the province; conducts field audits and inspections of these
Patents-Inventions Registration
businesses' tax collection records; and carries out office audits and
Industry Canada
compliance programs. You must register with the Consumer Taxation
Branch and collect social service tax (retail sales tax) on your taxable 2000 - 300 West Georgia Street
sales and leases, if you engage in any of the following activities within Vancouver, BC, V6B 6E1
the province of BC. ( internet customers that lives in BC will be Tel: (604) 666-0690
subject to PST) Fax: (604) 878-1123
§ Selling goods at retail

§ Leasing goods as a lessor

§ Providing legal services
§ Selling parking rights within the Vancouver Regional Transit
Service Area
§ Providing taxable services (e.g. repairs to goods)
§ Providing telecommunication services

A trade-mark is a word, a symbol, a design -- or a combination of these
(such as a graphic logo with a slogan) -- used to distinguish the wares or
services of one person or organization from those of others in the
marketplace. Trade-marks come to represent not only actual wares and
services, but the reputation of the producer. As such, they are
considered valuable intellectual property. A registered trade-mark can
be protected through legal proceedings from misuse and imitation.

Last Updated: October 2000

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Legal / Regulatory continued

Business Insurance

Insurance Bureau of Canada

Business Insurance
550 - 409 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1W9
With any small business venture, it is important to protect yourself
Tel: (604) 684-3635
against liability in case of an accident. Not all insurance agencies are
Fax: (604) 684-6235
interested in, or able to provide appropriate coverage to retail
businesses. It is important to shop around to find an agent who
specializes in small business and offers coverage appropriate to retail Sources of Financing
operations in particular. Premiums will vary between agents depending
To find the nearest Community
on their available plans and interest in providing coverage for your
Futures Development office in BC,
venture. For further information, contact the Insurance Bureau of
or call
Funding / Financing Canada/BC Business Service
Toll-free: 1-800-667-2272
Canada Small Business Financing
Financing Your Business Program
For further information on the
You may want to use one or more types of financing in your small CSBFA, contact the Lender of your
business. Options include; short-term debt financing, long-term debt choice or view the Web Site at:
financing or equity financing. For a more information on financing your
small business, visit the Canada/BC Business Service Centre's web site

Sources of Financing

Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC)

Community Futures Development Corporations provide business loans
to assist existing businesses expand, or to help entrepreneurs create new
businesses. Loan amounts are up to $125,000. There over 30
Community Future Development Corporations located throughout rural
British Columbia.

Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBF)

The Canada Small Business Financing Program was created to help
small businesses reach their potential by making it easier for them to get
term business improvement loans to finance the purchase or
improvement of fixed assets, for new or expanded operations.
Administered under the Canada Small Business Financing Act
(CSBFA), the program is a joint initiative between the Government of
Canada and private-sector lenders

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Funding / Financing continued

Business Development Bank of
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Canada
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is Canada's small 505 Burrard Street
business bank. BDC plays a leadership role in delivering timely and Vancouver, BC, V7X 1V3
relevant financial and management services, with a particular focus on Toll Free: 1-888-INFO BDC
the emerging and exporting sectors of the economy. BDC is dedicated Tel: (604) 666-7850
to helping create and develop Canadian small and medium-sized Fax: (604) 666-7859
businesses. for a local office check:
To help small and medium-sized businesses take up the challenge of e- BDC’s
commerce and establish a lead position for themselves, BDC created the Business Development Bank of loan. This flexible financing option allows entrepreneurs to Canada
cover the costs related to implementing a Web presence without delay 505 Burrard Street
and without straining current operations. Vancouver, BC, V7X 1V3
Toll Free: 1-888-INFO BDC
Self Reliance Loan Program Tel: (604) 666-7850
The Self-Reliance Loan Program is offered by Western Economic Fax: (604) 666-7859
Diversification along with Vancouver City Savings Credit Union and is for a local office check:
designed to improve access to patient debt capital for small businesses
starting or expanding in B.C.'s Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley and in
the Victoria metropolitan area. Self Reliance Loan Program
Western Economic Diversification
CANARIE E-business Virtual Clusters Program Canada
CANARIE's E-business Virtual Clusters Program is a shared-cost Duty Officer
funding program that will assist businesses, universities, and research Suite 700
institutions in developing, demonstrating, promoting and diffusing Price Waterhouse Building
advanced innovative E-business applications in a distributed virtual 601 West Hastings Street
cluster-oriented environment. Visit their website for a detailed Vancouver, BC, V6B 5G9
description. Tel: 1-888-338-9378
Fax: (604) 666-2353
Overview of Government Financial Programs
The Overview is the Canada/BC Business Service Centre’s publication
that lists government assistance programs and services for small
business. Both federal and provincial government programs are listed. CANARIE Inc.
Not meant to be comprehensive list of all business assistance programs, 110 O'Connor Street, 4th Floor
the Overview is a collection of the more popular programs that are more Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1H1
readily available to the small business owner Phone: (613) 943-5454
Fax: (613) 943-5443

Overview of Government Financial


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Government Program

Student Connections Program

How-To / Educational
How-To Publications

Retailing on the Internet

Government Programs
Publisher: Industry Canada
Student Connection Program
The Student Connection Program (SCP) hires and trains post secondary
students to provide Canadian businesses with customized training on 101 Ways to Promote Your Web
how they can use today's technologies to their business advantage. Site
Services include Internet training, e-commerce awareness and Publisher: Maximum Press
assistance. ISBN: 1-885068-37-9

Selling Online: How to Become a

How-To Publications
Successful E-Commerce Merchant
in Canada
All publication in this document are available in the C/BC Business
Service Centre’s library. Publisher: Macmillan Canada
ISBN: 0-7715-7643-97
Retailing on the Internet: A Guide
Retailing on the Internet: A Guide, is an information product designed
to assist small and medium sized Canadian retailers in determining what
role the Internet could play in their retail operations, how to go about
setting up an Internet presence, and how best to use the Internet to
enhance their overall competitiveness. Available on Industry Canada’s
Strategis website.

101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site

A guide book for promoting websites includes: attracting more of your
targeted customers, optimizing web sites from a marketing perspective,
utilizing newsgroups, mail lists, meta-indexes, e-zines, webrings,
cybermalls, and using offline promotions to increase online traffic.
Selling Online: How to Become a Successful E-Commerce Merchant in
An in-depth and clear resource for Canadian merchants covering all
aspects of Internet commerce (electronic commerce). Includes: five
stages to setting up an online store, establishing a merchant account,
maximizing online security and minimizing credit card fraud, online
marketing strategies, building e-commerce customer loyalty, tips from
panel of 10 Canadian online merchants, discussion of the future of
online selling.

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E-tailing Etailing
This book provides a step-by-step guide for consumer retailers wishing Publisher: Dearborn Financial
to enter the e-commerce market. It addresses both technological and Publishing
customer concerns. ISBN: 1-57410-129-3
Web Commerce: Building a Digital Business Web Commerce: Building a Digital
Indentifies the many different Web commerce solutions available and Business
helps to decide which system best fits the needs of your company. Also Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
describes how to best reach your target audience and how to personalize ISBN: 0-471-29282-6
and promote your Web site effectively.
Futurize Your Enterprise
Futurize Your Enterprise Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
A guide to doing business on the internet, it is designed to help ISBN: 0-471-35763-4
businesses focus on e-customers, and includes case studies, and
Cyber Law Canada
common pitfalls to avoid.
Publisher: Self-Counsel Press
Cyber Law Canada: The Complete User’s Legal Guide ISBN: 0-1-55180-125-6
This publication provides comprehensive coverage of every aspect of
retail buying and how to manage the buying process in order to
maximize profits and minimize losses. It also offers in-depth E-Commerce Software
discussions of the numerous skills and techniques to succeed as a buyer
or merchandise manager in today's competitive retail environment,
including: organizing and controlling the buying process;
understanding consumer demographics and psychographics; identifying
consumer trends and forecasting demand; analyzing and interpreting
sales records; using computers to increase competitiveness; and
shopping vendor lines and negotiating prices and services.
E-Commerce Hosting Sites
There are many websites that offer to set up a companies web presence
which includes: ‘x’ number of web pages, secured transactions, and Online Payment Services
credit card acceptability. It’s important to look at as many hosting
companies as possible and decide based on options, service, and price.
Some internet companies are giving certain service free to first time
users. An example is eParcel Solutions which give small businesses a
website with free shopping cart and shipping guide
Online Payment Services
These services allow you to send and receive cash over the internet. (paypal)
Other services allow you to accept payment from customers using any (others…)
major credit card in a secure environment. Debit money directly in
someones account to be withdrawn with an ATM card. Again, there are
many different companies offering similar services – check services and
prices for the best for your needs

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How-To / Educational continued

Electronic Commerce in Canada
Electronic Commerce in Canada
Privacy and Security Issues
This site is the virtual focal point for information on Canada’s
The ACT:
Electronic Commerce Strategy, outlining the various initiatives which
are helping make Candaa a world leader in the adoption and use of
electronic commerce psd/Pilot/LoPBdP/LS/362/362c6-
Privacy and Security Issues Issues:
The greatly increased information transfer capabilities of the internet
fosters security and privacy concerns by current and potential users english/privacy/632d1.html
AND ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS ACT tries to answer some of Net Gain – Doing Business on the
these concerns. Internet
Net Gain – Doing Business on the Internet
Industry Canada’s guide is designed to help you understand the
opportunities that exist on-line for your business and determine where Retailing on the Internet: A Guide
you should start to develop an effective Internet operation.
Retailing on the Internet: A Guide
Retailing on the Internet: A Guide is an information product designed to IBM e-Marketplaces
assist small- and medium-sized Canadian retailers in determining: (1)
What role the Internet could play in their retail operations; (2) How to
go about setting up an Internet presence; and (3) How to use the Internet
to enhance their competitiveness.

IBM e-Marketplaces eResolution

This Site has a small business section, with resource informatin to help
small businesses with understanding what it takes to successfully set up Guerilla Marketing
shop on the internet, as well as lots of other links to e-commerce related
A site for small and new businesses – information, on-line help, tools,
directories, e-commerce guide and marketing strategies
Private company offering on-line arbitration and mediation services, in
particular regarding “domain name” disputes. The Company is
affiliated with the Public Law Research Centre from Université de

Guerilla Marketing
This website complements the best selling book that was first released
in 1983 and has since sold over 1 million copies. It particularly focuses
on small businesses and how proper marketing can enable a business
owner to succeed and compete with businesses much larger then

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How-To / Educational continued

WED’s E-Business / E-Commerce
WED’s E-Commerce/E-Business Page page
The Western Economic Diversification site has an e-business page that
includes research and reports on e-business as well as very useful e- ce/default.asp
business and e-commerce links. Business Associations

Canadian Internet Registration

Authority (CIRA)
Contacts / Directories
British Columbia Internet
Association (BCIA)
BCIT Technology Centre
Business Associations 3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
The Canadian Internet registration authority is a non-profit organization
that has been given the mandate to set policy for and operate the .ca
domain. While CIRA does not issue .ca domain names directly they Internet Search Engines
certify the registrars.that perform this task. For a list certified registrars (.ca)
and to see which .ca domain name are currently available visit the (.ca)
CIRA website.
British Columbia Internet Association (BCIA)
Among the nine fundamental purposes listed under the BCIA (.ca)
constitution are the following: To support the development of a
knowledge-based communications infrastructure in British Columbia; (.ca)
to provide advice and guidance to government on the development and more listed at:
implementation of Internet services in British Columbia; and to provide
assistance and support to groups involved in the use, operation and
evolution of Internet services in British Columbia.


Internet Search Engines

There are multitudes of search engines on the internet each having their
own strengths and weaknesses: They all have different search
capabilities, gather information in different ways and relay the
information using different criteria. It is believed that all the search
engines have categorized a maximum of 25% of the internet – it would
be imperative for any business with a website to be within that
A comprehensive listing of search engines and search engine
submission tips can be found at:

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Contacts / Directories continued

Internet Directory 2000

Internet Directory 2000 - A Canadian Guide to the Best Web Sites and
Publisher: Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0-13-016419-4
A directory of 2000 Canadian web sites with information on: advanced Magazines and Newsletters
search techniques, avoiding crashes and system conflicts, finding plug-
ins and add-ons, security and privacy issues, e-commerce and online
investing, books and more.
ebiz Magazine
Magazines and Newsletters Publisher: Media Hill Publications
Inc. is a Canadian based website which looks at current
internet / technology issues. It’s possible to subscribe and receive news
directly to your email address.
Information Highways
ebiz Magazine Publisher: Shinwell Media Group
ebiz Magazine is the only dedicated e-commerce magazine for business
managers in Canada. Articles on Web Site Development, Venture Web Commerce Today
Capital, Marketing, Human Resources, Transaction Processing, Case
Studies, Web Statistics and more.
commerce is the online extension of The Globe and Mail's
Technology section. This is the Canadian destination for technology
news, information and community.

Information Highways
A Canadian based periodical whos mission is “to help Canadian
professionals create and deliver relevant, actionable electronic resources
to users.” On their website can be found a portion of the magazine free
to viewers.

Web Commerce Today

An online newsletter, that each month focuses on a key e-commerce
issue. The approach is practical and hands-on, writing especially for
merchants and store developers, to help them understand the issues
involved. Includes both very general articles as well as detailed and
technical e-commerce information.
Check the rest of the Wilson Internet site for other useful ecommerce
informationket Data / Statistics

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Sources of Market Data

FP Markets: Canadian
Market Data / Statistics Demographics 1999
Publisher: Financial Post Datagroup
ISBN: 1-55251-022-0
Iconocast, Inc.
Sales Forecasting
Sales forecasting is the process of organizing and analyzing information Media Metrix, Inc.
in a way that makes it possible to estimate what your sales will be.. For
a more information on sales forecasting, visit the Canada/BC Business
Service Centre's web site at: NUA Internet Surveys
The nature of the internet makes forcasting for an ecommerce
business difficult due to the industry being in its infancy, the lack
of historical data, and the variables involved.

Sources of Market Data

FP Markets: Canadian Demographics 2000

An easy to use reference guide on Canada’s cities and towns, census
divisions and provinces. This edition has estimates of the following
census variables: populations by age and sex, housing types, marital
status, private households, families, income, occupations, labour force,
home language and schooling. There are also projections for 2001 and
2004 for population, households, income and retail sales.

Iconocast, Inc.
Committed to bringing creative and enlightening techniques to
subscribers and fellow marketers via ground-breaking events that both
entertain and inform. The award-winning ICONOCAST e-mail list,
delivers provocative and insightful reporting on news, analysis and
trends affecting the Internet marketing industry

Media Metrix, Inc.

Media Metrix, Inc is a leader in Internet and digital media measurement
worldwide. Visit their website for comprehensive, reliable, and timely
audience ratings, e-commerce, advertising, new media and technology
NUA Internet Surveys
Nua Internet Surveys is the authoritative source online for information
on Internet demographics and trends. Nua is an online publisher, with
free newsletters such as Nua Internet Surveys and Nua Knowledge
News - reaching over 250,000 readers worldwide each week.

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Consumer Taxation Offices

Campbell River ------ (250) 286-7567

Cranbrook ------------ (250) 426-1599
Dawson Creek ------ (250) 784-2459
Kamloops ------------- (250) 828-4507
Kelowna -------------- (250) 861-7699
Nanaimo -------------- (250) 741-3652
Nelson ---------------- (250) 354-6799
Penticton ------------- (250) 492-1409
Prince George -------- (250) 565-4299
Terrace ---------------- (250) 638-6565
Vernon: --------------- (250) 549-5660
Vancouver ------------ (604) 660-4524
Williams Lake ------- (250) 398-4817

Last Updated: October 2000