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Business Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do I need to know to start a business?
  2. How do I start my own business?
  3. What permits/licences do I have to get to start a business?
  4. BTCRD Information
    1. Do I qualify for assistance?
    2. Do you offer grants?
    3. What kinds of businesses do you fund?
  5. How long will it take for you to respond to my application to a program?
  6. What is the difference between the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development?
  7. Can you help me get my trade papers updated?
  8. Does your department provide information for trades people about apprenticeship and certification?
  9. What do all those terms stand for?

Starting a business

1. What do I need to know to start a business?

That depends on your experience and the sort of business, location and market, and many other factors. Please contact one of our front line staff. We provide free, confidential business counseling. And if we don't have the answers you need, we can provide advice and information to help you make good decisions.

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2. How do I start my own business?

Well, it can be hard to know where to start. We've prepared a free guidebook, the Steps to Starting a Business Document which covers the basics for business start-up in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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3. What permits/licences do I have to get to start a business?

That will vary by the type of business. To get a business or GST number, register as a corporation or get permits required for specific businesses, contact your local Government Service Centre If you're not sure what permits you might need, contact the Canada Business Network,opens new window they provide guidelines and information.

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4. BTCRD information

  1. Do I qualify for BTCRD assistance?
  2. Do you offer grants?
  3. What kinds of businesses do you fund?
We get asked these questions a lot. The answer is always, it depends. What we'd like to do, is have you talk to one of our front line staff, get to know a little more about you and your plans and then we can provide specific, current answers.

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5. How long will it take for you to respond to my application to a program?

We will acknowledge your application promptly, but the time to approve or take action on your application will depend on whether the supporting documentation is complete, and whether we need additional information to complete our review.

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6. What is the difference between the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development?

The Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development is a department of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Department operates five lines of business in support of regional development and economic diversification:
  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development
  • Industrial Diversification
  • Innovation
  • Investment
  • Economic Intelligence

These are delivered through 23 offices throughout the province:

ACOA opens new window is a federal government agency which works to strengthen the Atlantic economy through enterprise development, community development and policy, advocacy and co-ordination. It has offices in each of the four Atlantic provinces.

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7. Can you help me get my trade papers updated?

The Department of Advanced Education and Skills manages apprenticeship and journeyperson certification in Newfoundland and Labrador. Visit the Department of Advanced Education and Skills Apprenticeship and Certification FAQ for more information.

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8. Does your department provide information for trades people about apprenticeship and certification?

Actually, the Department of Advanced Education and Skills handles this. You can get the answers to most questions at: Department of Advanced Education and Skills - Apprenticeship and Certification

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9. What do all those terms stand for?

If you have more that you would like us to add or explain:

Please send us an e-mail at

Here's a list of some of the acronyms and initialisms we use.
ACOAAtlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
ADIANLAerospace and Defense Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
BDCBusiness Development Bank of Canada
BR&EBusiness Retention and Expansion Program (BTCRD)
CBDCCommunity Business Development Corporation
CFIBCanadian Federation of Independent Business
CMECanadian Manufacturers and Exporters
CRDSComprehensive Regional Diversification Strategy (BTCRD)
EDGEEconomic Diversification and Growth Enterprises Program (BTCRD)
ICTInformation and Communications Technology
BTCRDBusiness, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
IRIFIndustrial Research and Innovation Fund (Research & Development Corporation)
LOOLetter of Offer
LSVCCLabour-Sponsored Venture Capital Corporation
MOUMemorandum of Understanding
REDBRegional Economic Development Board
SMESmall - and Medium-sized Enterprises

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