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How to Start an Online Business in Canada in 2021

By: James Nathan



Virtually anyone can start an online business in Canada so long as you’re willing to put in the work. Whether you want to create a home business or become the next eCommerce giant, the internet levels the playing field and provides endless legitimate business opportunities.

These days starting an online business is easier than ever as everything is designed to be accessible for the average person. This means you don’t have to be extremely tech-savvy or hire a website designer to start making money online. However, there are some things you need to do to get an online business started. Read on to learn what these are.

Steps to Starting An Online Business in Canada in 2021

1. Define Your Revenue Stream

How are you going to make money? Will you sell a service or a product? Will you do affiliate marketing on a lifestyle blog? Decide what your business is going to do and figure out the best way to do it. This means if you’re going to sell a product, get your inventory set up. If you’re going to be creating a product, instead of reselling an existing one from another source, take into account your timeline. Creating something like a customized pin or a personalized promotional item has different supply chain considerations than reseller products. If you’re going to sell a service, define what that service is and how it will work. If you’re going to do affiliate marketing, start reaching out to brands and seeing if they’ll partner with you.

2. Set Up a Website and Web Host

Every online business needs a website. To get started, you’ll need to build a website. There are a variety of website builders to choose from with varying levels of required expertise. It’s a good idea to research each of these website building options before making your choice, so you know which one is best for you and your abilities.

Once you’ve built a website, you need to get it up on the internet. To do that, you need a web host. If you’re starting an online business in Canada, it’s best to use a Canadian web hosting company. This is because Canadian hosts tend to use Canadian servers, which puts your customers closer to the server, which will result in faster page loading speeds.

3. Register Your Domain Name

Once you have a website and a web host, you’ll need to register your domain name. A domain name is the name of your website. It’s also the online address of your site. Essentially, it’s how people access your site. You will want to choose your domain name carefully. It should be unique and easy to remember. It should also describe your business. This will ensure that people who are interested in your business can find it easily.

You’ll need to register your domain name for it to connect people to your site. You can usually do this through your web host.

4. Create Content

Content is key to attracting customers and optimizing your site for search engine result pages. Even if your business is about selling a product or service, you will need content to educate your target market about what you’re selling and convince them that your offering is worth their money.

Content can take many forms. This includes things like blogs, ad copy, case studies, etc. Your website should have a variety of content types.

5. Market your Business

You must get the word out about your business. The best way to market an online business is through online marketing. Online marketing encompasses a variety of marketing avenues such as social media, email marketing, SEO marketing, content marketing, and digital advertising. You will want to explore as many of these channels as possible. If you’re not an expert in marketing, you should take some courses or hire an expert. Otherwise, you’ll find it difficult to perform online marketing successfully.

6. Register your Business

Now that your business website is set up and you have a marketing plan in place, it’s time to prepare for bringing in revenue. The first step to preparing to receive revenue is to register your business with the Canadian government. Each province has various regulations for business registration so, to begin with, you should contact your local branch of the Canada Business Network for information specific to your province. You will also want to educate yourself about Canadian taxes for businesses by visiting the Government of Canada CRA website.


Starting an online business in Canada in 2021 is not so difficult if you follow the steps we’ve outlined above. To remind you, those steps are:

  1. Figure out how you’re going to make money
  2. Build a website and find a web host
  3. Come up with a domain name and register it
  4. Create content to convince your target audience to do business with you
  5. Get the word out about your business with online marketing
  6. Register your business with the Canadian government.
Published: March 8, 2021

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James Nathan

James Nathan is a Geek & Internet freak currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in marketing information technology. He’s a die-hard digital marketer fan who keeps track of every little happening in the SEO industry.

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