Incorporating Your Construction Business

If you plan on starting a construction business in Canada, then there are certain steps to follow to run a successful business. From obtaining permits and licenses to incorporating your business and finding low-cost financing, there are things to do to get started.

Regulations and Permits

Your construction business may need permits and licenses from the local, provincial, or federal authorities. In addition, construction permits usually require compliance with different regulations and zoning loans, including type and use of the building, permissible height, field margins, and others.

Incorporating Your Business

The next step is to think of a business structure that suits your needs best. Common types to look into include incorporation, general partnership, and sole proprietorship. There are two options to incorporate your construction business – at the federal or the provincial level. As a construction business, you will be hiring employees and workers for various types of work. Consider things like employment regulations and standards, tax returns, payroll, recruitment practices, and so on.

Business Plan

As a construction business, you will probably need a lot of money to finance your projects. This means that you need a good business plan to show creditors that you are serious about starting and running a successful business. Describe your company and focus areas, for example, residential construction, alteration and repair projects, large or small scale construction, etc. It is also a good idea to make a list of the services offered, for example, utilities installation, plumbing, exterior and interior painting, cement foundations, and carpentry. Other services include site preparation, obtaining permits and licenses, alterations and remodeling, and design work. Some companies also offer subcontractor evaluation and assessment services. Make sure you include the full array of services you plan to offer. If you already own and run a business, it is important to include a section on past performance and indicators such as inventory turnover, collection periods, operating expenses, sales, etc. List your long-term and current assets, including current borrowing, accounts payable, and current liabilities. You may want to include details such as company ownership, market segmentation and analysis, and market strategy. In your market analysis section, you may want to focus on different types of construction, including general, special facilities, restaurant, and office building construction.

Types of Financing

The next step is to look into and apply for financing. There are different options here, including construction and commercial loans, mortgage financing, home equity lines of credit and so on. A construction business loan, for example, usually requires collateral and good credit to qualify. Some finance companies offer loans to customers with fair credit and feature flexible payments. Applicants are not required to offer a business plan and collateral, and the process is quite straightforward. Finance companies only require bank statements. The interest rate can be considerably higher, however. Non-bank financing also comes with shorter terms in the range of 1 to 5 years. Some lenders offer financing with a term of 1 month or longer. Another option is to apply for a startup loan, equipment lease, or loan for equipment purchase. The type of financing that suits you best depends on many factors, including scope of project, cost of supplies and materials, number of employees, unexpected costs, and others.

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British Columbia Construction Industry

The construction business in British Columbia is a key industry with a strong impact on its future growth, sustainability, and residents' wellbeing.

Public Projects

There are more than 340 public projects underway in the province, including the Fraser Transmission Relocation Project, the energy systems engineering project at the Simon Fraser University, and the mixed use development on Burrard Street. A total of 19 projects were completed in 2016, worth $2.9 billion in capital costs. The largest project is the SkyTrains's Evergreen Line, worth $1.4 billion. Another large project is the Communications Centre in Telus Garden, worth $750 million.

Construction Associations

The BC Construction Association is a major association that works to facilitate competition and growth by offering services and technologies to small and large businesses. Members include stakeholders across Canada, including construction businesses and other interested parties such as developers, owners, allied services, suppliers, manufacturers, and trade and general contractors. The goal is to promote ethical standards, improve safety on the job place, and help businesses increase their operational and strategic benefits. There are four member categories – apprentice or student, public agency or owner, associate, and professional. Depending on the category, members are offered a number of benefits such as access to advertising and sponsor programs, employee benefits program, and affinity program. Additional benefits include members activities, member storefront, voting rights, eligibility for board membership, and many others.

Regional Associations, Members, and Events

There are different regional associations with a focus on construction, among which the Southern Interior Construction Association and Northern Regional Construction Association. Two others are the Vancouver Island and Vancouver Regional Construction Association. The latter works to represent the interests of professionals, suppliers, manufacturers, contractors, and non-union and union members across the Lower Mainland. Members provide professional services to institutions, commercial entities, and different industry sectors. The association organizes and hosts regular and special events such as the Tri-Council Meeting, Gold Seal Information Webinar, VRCA Christmas Luncheon, and many others. In addition, the association offers courses and online courses with a focus on safety, legal matters, leadership and management, computer skills, and business development. The leadership for safety excellence course, for example, covers several components, including training, investigations, inspections, and the supervisor's role. The Southern Interior Construction Association is another regional association that offers training and access to events, meetings, and resources. Membership benefits include discounts, advocacy initiatives, access to projects and tendering, and a lot more. Members also have access to an employee benefit program and access to HR consulting, employee assistance program, service and consulting teams, group health plans, and Copeman healthcare services. The Vancouver Island Construction Association is another entity that represents buyers of construction services, suppliers, manufacturers, trade contractors, and other interested parties. The association offers harm reduction workshops, licensed residential builder training, and online courses. The Northern Regional Construction Association is yet another professional association that offers online and classroom training and member benefits such as networking opportunities, and access to industry-related advocacy groups and resources. Additional benefits include online access to agenda and bidders lists, specifications and plans, and bid results and pre-qualification notices. Members are offered course discounts as well as access to seminars and workshops. Project services are offered to help businesses save valuable resources, time, and money.