Startup 101: Getting down to business

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By Evan Wynn Kosiner

I started my first company at thirteen. Was I scared? Nope.

In sweatpants and t-shirt, with my backpack on my back, I TTC-ed to Service Ontario and asked the man at the front, “How do I register my business?” I remember there being a huge issue that I didn’t have a Social Insurance Number and could a 13-year-old even register a sole proprietorship? Turns out yes. I was so happy running home with the precious piece of paper that declared me, Evan Wynn Kosiner, an entrepreneur. I was the proud owner of Carabiner Productions.

It’s catchy ain’t it? And for $68 you can be an entrepreneur too. It costs $8 for a search and $60 for registration which lasts five years. Best of all you can now do it online. I had an appointment at TD a few years back, opening my fourth business’ bank accounts. It was 10 minutes before the meeting and I had yet to register it as a business. I went online to Service Ontario’s site from Starbucks across the street. Ten minutes later, bingo, I had a PDF certificate of my registration in my inbox.

Best of all, sole proprietorship taxes are tied in with your personal income tax. That means if you didn’t make anything, you only lost $68.

And boy is registering your business great for picking up girls. What girl can resist a guy with a business card with owner and president as his title?

For me, registering your first company is what declares someone an entrepreneur. It’s like all signs point to you going in that direction, but until you do, you haven’t taken action. Being in action when opportunities present themselves is the difference between an entrepreneur and someone who just thinks it is a good idea. Plus you’re now the “real deal.” You get to brand your creation, pay bank fees and have customers that love and hate your product.

You might even be surprised who your first clients are. At 13, Motorola was mine.

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