FAQ from Small Business Owners in Canada


Being a small business owner means a never-ending learning curve. At AF Accounting, we’ve been happy to help hundreds of small business owners over the years with their questions. Here are some of the more common ones.

When do I need to remit GST?

Canada Revenue Agency differentiates between small suppliers, and those that make taxable sales. Small suppliers do not exceed $30,000 in sales over four consecutive quarters, and therefore do not have to remit GST. They can, however, remit voluntarily if they wish. Those selling taxable goods at $30,000 or above must collect and remit GST. It is a good idea to register for a number and start collecting early in your business so you (a) don’t frustrate your clients when it comes time to collect and (b) don’t overlook when you cross the threshold and have to pay retroactively out of pocket. Learn more on the CRA website.

What is a cooperative?

Most small business owners know about sole proprietorship, corporations, and non-profits, but what is a co-operative? A co-operative is a business structure that involves a legal incorporation that is owned by an association of persons. Consumer co-ops are for services like housing, finance and health care. Producer co-ops are for goods made and marketed by its members. Worker co-ops provide employment for the members. Multi-stakeholder co-ops provide services for different stakeholder groups.

What is the cloud?

The cloud is the evolution of the office server. Instead of storing your information and backup in your office or home, you store it digitally in the cloud. Cloud computing has enabled many of the processes businesses use today. This is because those offering apps and services on the cloud can update, install patches, increase security, etc., from one location. Remember the days of having to download a patch or even worse – get a CD in the mail for an upgrade? With the cloud, that is all handled remotely by the administrators. Security is increased too because server farms are built with the highest level of physical and digital security. They are built to withstand hackers, theft, fire, floods, etc. If you do not already leverage the cloud for things like accounting software or collaborative work apps for your team, give it a try.

Why can’t I use my personal bank account for my business?

You can, it’s just a bad idea. We recognize that a business account is an investment but separating your finances between personal and business from the start gives you a stronger foundation as your business grows. It also makes it much easier to track expenses and create/remit reports.

Where can I learn more?

AF Accounting is the modern firm for online, hybrid, and brick-and mortar businesses. We use cloud-based tools to help small business owner across Canada and have accounting programs specifically for online and Amazon sellers. To learn more about us or about running a small business in Canada, visit us online today.

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