When should I incorporate? I want to begin a business providing live online teaching by certified teachers. I am in Quebec, Canada.

I have started a successful small business (a summer camp online) this past summer. I didn't make a business plan and I didn't incorporate. I just found staff, built a website and marketed. It worked and worked well....everyone happy.


First of all, well done for the initiative. Sounds great.
When to incorporate is one of the most common questions I get when working with startups. The answer is not too early, in order to save the fees (mainly yearly reports and accountants), but before you have clients (who can potentially sue you) and before you have created anything of value (because then, when you transfer the intellectual property - IP) to the company, you will incur a tax event.
In this case, and based on the information you provided, you should definitely incorporate because:
1. You have paying clients (which means legal liability) and if they sue (I hope not, but IF), you want them suing the company, and not you personally.
2. You have "staff" - which again, comes with legal liabilities (by the way, best to 'employ' them as freelancers and not employees. Paying freelancers is much less of a headache.
3. You've created intellectual property which should be transferred to the company, and if you do it now, you may still be able to avoid a tax event (the website is worth money, and you're giving to the company - and whenever someone, or a legal entity, gets something of value, the tax authorities ask for a % - like when you get paid your monthly salary). In this case, there is now reporting to the tax authorities, but if you ever sell your business (have an 'exit' event) then the issue might come up.
Bottom line: you should incorporate.

p.s.: don't forget to add a terms of service/terms of use + a privacy policy (and no, copying it from another website - even if you made changes, won't work - this is still copyright infringement). Also, if you're targeting kids under 13 in the US, don't forget to include the sections regarding COPPA (children's privacy act).
Good luck!
I've successfully helped over 350 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received:

Answered 11 days ago

If you are still exploring the viability of this business, then Id suggest that you wait till the business generates its first cheque - or you will be hiring and need to do payroll. On the other hand, if you have the clarity of thought and action, and you are sure abt this opportunity, then there is no need to wait.

Either ways, keep all your receipts as most places allow for a certain amount of "pre-incorporation" expenses to be expensed. Talk to your accountant / auditor about it.

Wishing you the best!

Answered 8 days ago

When are you expanding to offer online classes for the materials covered during the camp? How do you get math teachers for kids on a Zoom session to work out cool math problems together? Excited to see where you take this MVP and what it blossoms into!

Answered 5 days ago

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