Staff Directory

You are here

Step 4: Make It Official


Starting on the Right Path
Seven Steps for Help You Start Your Business

1. Take a Good Look at Yourself
2. Identify Your Customers
3. Build a Support Network
4. Make it Official
5. Facilities and Staff
6. Write a Business Plan
7. Obtain Financing

Keep It Going
Contact Information
Fun Facts


Step 4: Make It Official: Register your business

Operating a business can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but only if you register the business first and then keep up with the paperwork that is required.


Your business may need:

  • Registration with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission
  • A Municipal Business Licence
  • Registration with Nunavut Legal Registries
  • A Business Number from the Canada Revenue Agency
  • Registration with the Department of Health
  • Registration with the Government of Nunavut’s NNI Registry
  • Registration with the NTI Inuit Firm Registry

Licences and Permits: Depending on the type of business you have you may need special permits and licences before you begin operating. Businesses must also meet all zoning and fire safety regulations. The federal government’s BizPal online service will soon be available in Nunavut to help identify what you need. See:

Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti (NNI) Registration: The Nunavummi Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti policy provides an advantage for Registered Nunavut Businesses and Registered Inuit Firms when they bid on government contracts.

Once your business is established and has the necessary operating permits, contact the NNI Secretariat to apply for NNI registration. The process takes about six weeks – if your paperwork is in order. To learn more about NNI registration, call toll free 1-888-975-5999, or visit

Canadian Company Capabilities Directory: Some Nunavut businesses have registered with this directory, a searchable database of 50,000 Canadian businesses, with profiles containing information on contacts, products, services, trade experience, and technology. See:



All businesses in Nunavut must register with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission within 10 days of starting their operations, even when the business has no employees. To obtain a registration form visit: or call 1-877-404-4407.


Business Number (BN): You will need a BN if you require any one of the following Canada Revenue Agency business accounts: GST, payroll, corporate income tax, or import/export. For more details visit  or call toll-free 1-800-959-5525.

Payroll: Employers are responsible for deducting Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums and income tax from income paid to employees. These payroll deductions must be reported on the appropriate forms and the amounts you collect from your employees paid to the Canada Revenue Agency. You must also pay, on behalf of your business, amounts equal to the CPP and EI you have collected from your employees.

Atii! For specific details related to the collection of GST, payroll deductions and remittances by business type and other useful information for business operators, get a copy of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Guide for Canadian Small Businesses. Call toll-free 1-800-959-2221 or visit

Income tax: How you pay income tax depends on whether your business is incorporated, a sole proprietorship, or a partnership, whether you sell goods or services, what kind of inventory you have (if any), and your expenses.

For detailed information on tax on business income for sole proprietorships and partnerships, visit; for corporations, see


Different forms of business organization:

Speak with an accountant, lawyer or your Economic Development Officer about the legal status of your company before you start doing business.

Sole Proprietorship: The simplest business type. You own the business by yourself, you make all decisions, receive all profits, and assume all of the risk.

Partnership: You share the business with one or more partners. Each partner contributes money, labour, property or skills, and each shares the profits, losses, and risks of the business.

Corporation: You set up your business (incorporate the business) as an independent entity. As the owner you take a salary from the business.

Cooperative: A corporation which is organized and controlled by its members.

To see a fact sheet on the different forms of business organization, look up: