Insurance 101: The Basics On Securing Your Business

Is Your Business Adequately Covered?

The insurance world can be a foreign place to navigate through. Without the right professional advice, you may be opening yourself and your business to unnecessary exposure and liability. In today’s litigious world, proper insurance coverage is a necessity.

But what does YOUR business NEED?

Well, always talk to a professional that you trust to start. Work through where your liabilities are and what you can do to cover the gap.

The following is a breakdown of different types of business insurance and what they do.

PROPERTY:

Property insurance breaks down into two categories: BUILDING and CONTENTS. Ensuring to full replacement value is imperative.

LIABILITY:

Commercial liability insurance covers you and your business against the following:
Personal injury while on the premises
Medical payments
Tenant’s legal liability (For rental/lease).
Liability coverage protect your business from lawsuits caused by injuries caused within your business and issues unknowingly caused by you or your employees.

BUSINESS INTERUPTION:

Business interruption insurance kicks in usually after a disaster and during the rebuilding phase. It can cover:
Profits
Fixed costs
Temporary location costs
Some additional expenses

ERRORS AND OMISSION INSURANCE:

This is professional liability coverage required by some industries including service and advice providing individuals or companies (Think investments, insurance etc). It covers against the brunt of the costs associated with a claim won by a client regarding negligence, or as the policy is worded, Errors & Omissions. This does not cover against criminal prosecution but rather only civil suits.

CRIME and CYBER COVERAGE

These policies are to protect your money. They cover against fraud, employee theft, cyber crimes/fraud, robberies and more.

ABUSE COVERAGE

This type of policy is helpful in certain industries where your company is exposed to a vulnerable sector. It covers the agency and it’s employees.

WCB

As an employer, you are required to ensure that your employees are taken care of while at work.
The policy covers their wages if injury occurs while at work or as a result of. Documents are needed to be filled out immediately to ensure proper coverage.
There are a few exceptions where it’s not necessary but make sure to check with WCB before bringing employees onboard.

GROUP COVERAGE

Group coverage is your basic coverage for prescriptions, other medical needs, dental, sometimes optical and other hospital benefits.
It can cover (usually) full time employees, management and owners alike.
There are many different tiers and levels of packages available depending on the size of your business.
Group benefits are a great way to attract the right people to employ and help with staff retention.
This is a glossary of different types of insurance that businesses may come across or need at some point. Find a broker or other professional that can teach you exactly where your exposures are, what type of policies are available to cover that need, and where to get started.

Thank you to Kathy Anders from Foster Park Brokers Inc. in Edmonton, AB for information related to this article. If you have any questions on insurance products, she can be reached at Kathy.Anders@fpb.ca

 

 

Business Foundations: How to make your business official

So you have your business name and your plan and now you’re ready to run.  Only a couple of things left on your “list of things to do” and you’re on your way so let’s get this done so you can share your vision with the world!

One of the next first steps is to get your business registered on the federal and local levels.  This is not automatically completed when you pay the registrations office to register your name, that is only part of the process. At the Federal and municipal level, there are different processes that must be completed whether you are incorporating your business or whether you have a Sole Proprietorship/Partnership.

To Register a Sole Proprietorship/Partnership:

Your business is most likely going to need a federal business number. If you do not live in BC, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario or Saskatchewan, you will not receive this automatically with your provincial registration papers.  In this case you will need to register for one.

A Federal Business Number is a 9-digit number that is used across municipal, provincial and federal levels of government.

This number is used to open:

  • GST/HST Accounts
  • Payroll deduction accounts
  • Corporate income tax accounts
  • Import/Export accounts
*There are additional requirements for Quebec.

Keep in mind that when you’re running a sole proprietorship, you may not need all of the above accounts.  Taxes are paid on your income personally when you run a sole proprietorship and GST accounts are not always mandatory but do become so when you hit certain revenue thresholds. Make sure you’re in compliance by visiting the CRA websites or check with a business professional.

For municipal regulators, there are things that must be done as well including acquiring your local business license. Check with your local municipality for details on this including rates.

To Register a Corporation:

To register a corporation, the above must be completed, but there is still a little more to do. Once your NUANS name search is completed, and you have your name registered, you must also:

Complete Articles of Incorporation

Your articles of incorporation detail how your business corporation is structured. It also lays out where you will conduct business, any share structures, directors information, restrictions and any other provisions required. Once these articles are completed, you can submit them online

Your business is almost ready to go, so get things done right the first time, check with professionals or agencies and start your business with a STRONG FOUNDATION!

Below are links you may find helpful

Click for turnaround time and costs.

Link to forms

Find List Of Provisions

Articles of Incorporation

Building Business Foundations

So you have an amazing business idea and are wanting

to build a name for yourself but now what?

 

Business Foundations are the key to any business success.  Without a strong base, businesses lose fast. The to-do list is long and lengthy and even with the best business idea, without completing it, it’s likely to never get off the ground let alone be successful.

Business plans, registration, licensing, government regulations, financing, HR processes, insurance, record keeping and marketing plans are all on the list and need to be worked through, some before you even get going!

DO YOU HAVE EVERYTHING IN PLACE TO BUILD A GREAT BUSINESS FOUNDATION?

Let’s get started with a Business Plan.  (We will work together through the other steps in future posts)

Do you really need a business plan?

A business plan helps you understand your target market, research competition, build budgets, and outline your plan for success, whatever that looks like for you.  It also keeps you on track, identify targets, and manage cash flow.

There are also a number of instances where a business plan is vitally necessary (pitching investors, bringing in partners, and securing bank financing) but even if you don’t fall into one of those scenarios, it’s just good business sense to have one.  It can be detailed or simple but should cover the following information:

Company Description with Vision, Mission and Objectives.

  • Get detailed here; it will help paint the picture you have in your mind on what you want your business to be and where you intend it to go.
  • Basic company information including size, mission, vision and what you want to accomplish.

Executive and Management Summary

  • Who’s running the company, their qualifications and experience.
  • Management structure

Offerings

  • What product or service are you offering?
  • What need are you filling for potential customers?

Market Research

  • This section will detail your industry, competitors, market size, and where your business offering fits into the mix.

Marketing Plan

  • This will outline how you intend to market your brand, information on your pricing model, and how you will ultimately sell your product/service.
  • Outline traditional marketing methods as well as a social presence.

Financial Summary

  • Spend some time on this one.  It’s where a lot of businesses underestimate their costs causing them to stall or even close their businesses completely.
  • Detail your finances now, expected growth, start up operating expenses, and future needs.

Action Plan

  • Identify the steps you will take going forward, how you will measure success and identify some realistic goals.
  • Whether you opt to go with a detailed traditional business plan or a simpler one page document, going through and documenting these items and going through this process will give you some insight as to what will all be involved, give you a roadmap and help build a solid foundation that you can build your future successes on.

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