top of page

Teens, Become Your Own Boss!

Entrepreneurship (or the opportunity for self-motivated individuals to create their own career path and income) can begin at any age. Teens are starting businesses all the time in Canada by turning a passion or an idea into an income. StartUp Canada is a great resource to learn more of the ins and outs of starting your own company. And there are numerous books, podcasts, and videos on this topic as well.

First, let’s introduce you to the basics of starting a business and then highlight government programs available to young entrepreneurs.


There is no minimum age for starting a business. However, you need to be at least 18 years old to sign contracts or other legal documents. If you are under 18 and starting a business, you will need parents or a legal guardian or at last someone else over 18 to sign legal documents on your behalf. So be sure to discuss your business ideas with a parent or guardian before you start the process.

Legal Questions

Have legal questions before you get started? You can contact Pro Bono Resources in Canada (CBA). Their free legal advice hotline helps with your everyday civil legal needs (no family law or criminal law) and is generally offered to those who cannot afford a lawyer. You will be asked questions as part of the qualifying process, such as the amount of personal income earned by your household, your name, postal code, and age range. Using this information, they will assist you in finding a lawyer or paralegal, based on your needs.

Getting Started

There are several things to consider before you can sell your product or service. Most businesses will need to complete three basic steps:

1. Find out what licences and regulations apply to your type of business

2. Choose a business structure and register or incorporate your business

3. Determine if you will need to collect and remit HST (Harmonized Sales Tax)


Your business may need licences and permits from the federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government. It will all depend on what kind of business you plan on starting.


Depending on your location and the type of products or services being offered, federal, provincial and/or municipal business taxes may apply.

If you sell goods and services, you may need a business number to collect and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Most businesses that make less than $30,000 in any 12-month period are not required to charge HST. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for more information.

Now who can help you through the process and where can you get funding?

Programs and Financing

Here are some of the programs and financing options designed specifically for young entrepreneurs:

Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program

Futurpreneur Canada, backed by RBC, is awarding $10,000 cash prizes to new businesses led by young people!

A non-profit entrepreneurial booster backed by the Royal Bank of Canada is seeking young entrants across the country for a series of new $10,000 awards as the pandemic pushes more people to start their own businesses.

To be eligible, you should:

· Be between the ages of 18 and 39

· Create a business plan for a business that will employ you full time

· Work with a mentor for two years

· Own at least 51% of your business

If you are approved for funding from Futurpreneur Canada, you may also be eligible for additional funding of up to $40,000 through a special partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Contact Futurpreneur Canada:


Summer Company (Ontario)

If you are a currently a student returning to school in the fall, you could get up to $3,000 to help you start and run a summer business.

To be eligible, you should:

· Between the ages of 15 to 29

· Proposing a new business

· A resident of Ontario

· A Canadian citizen or permanent resident

· Committed to working an average of 35 hours per week

· Not operating a business or working elsewhere for over 12 hours per week during the program

· Not a past participant of Summer Company

· Other conditions apply.

Contact Employment Ontario:


Junior Achievement Canada

If you are a high school student wanting to start a business or improve your financial education, you may want to contact Junior Achievement Canada. Local businesses partner with your school’s teachers to give you real-world skills and mentorship from local business leaders.

Gain first-hand experience in running a successful business and learn how to create business plans, innovate, manage teams and take a new product to market.

To be eligible, you need to:

· Have your school contact JA

Contact Junior Achievement Canada:



If you are a youth entrepreneur facing mental health or addiction challenges, you could get, depending on the program, $300 to $10,000 to help start, grow or promote your product or service. Mentoring and help with developing your business plan and entrepreneurship skills are also available.

To be eligible, you need to:

· Be between the ages of 16 and 29

· Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident

· Self-identify as someone facing mental health or addiction challenges

· Be unable to obtain traditional bank financing for your business

· Not be in active bankruptcy

· Other conditions apply.

Contact Rise at:

647-232-RISE (7473)


bottom of page