Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It’s Good to Be the Boss

We all come to a crossroads at some point in our life - a defining moment to choose one path over another and accept where it leads us. After college I bumped around from job to job trying to build up my experience, and my resume, looking for the right opportunity to grow and be a part of something big. I hated it. I mean I really couldn’t stand it. Everything about holding a job made me feel rotten inside. It’s not that I’m averse to working hard, or that I think that having a job is wrong for everybody, it was just that after a decade in the rat race I discovered a few important things about myself.


The first thing that I learned was that working for someone else made me really tired. The simple expectation of adjusting my schedule to suit someone else left me lethargic and with a distinct palpable malaise that made me angry at life, and it seeped into my free time. Since starting my own business I actually work more than I ever have, but because it’s on my own terms I seem to have a lighter step and am able to walk between the raindrops which has helped me to enjoy my free time even more. The positive impact this has had on my health and wellbeing has also been noticeable as, because I no longer suffer from the same lethargy, I find myself using my free time to be more active as well as making time to cook a proper meal instead of settling for something quick and devoid of nutrition.

I Have Really Good Ideas

Within every company I ever worked for there was a hierarchy. It seemed odd to me that all the people higher up the chain of command were celebrated for having all of the best ideas. All of my contributions were immediately scoffed at and dismissed – until they were implemented and passed off as the boss’ big new idea. Now sure, there’s an argument for stick-to-itiveness, and that if I bided my time I could work myself up the ranks and start making the decisions. Maybe so, but I felt more burdened by the idea of seeing myself forced to pawn off the brilliant insight of an office lackey as my own because by the time it was my turn to get all the credit I was out of ideas.

I Don’t Value Security

I’m a risk taker and I always have been. I have gumption and believe that every time I get knocked down that I reemerge stronger than before. I know that there’s something comforting about having a job and knowing exactly where your next paycheck is coming from but it’s overshadowed by my own sense of excitement at starting something new and helping it grow. Having a steady job allows you to plan everything in advance and keeps you looking forward to your two-week vacation that was organized more than a year in advance, but being your own boss forces you take each day one day at time and keep your mind on what’s important right now.

Helping Others Grow

Within the hierarchy of all the companies I worked for I felt alone. I know I was supposed to emulate the work habits of those above me, but I felt like they kept their secrets of how they got to where they were under lock and key. Since striking off on my own, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job has been mentoring and learning from those that work for me. Sure, I sign the paychecks, but in my efforts to build a successful small business it feels like it’s something we all share. It’s also very rewarding to share my expertise with my colleagues who might not have as much experience as myself.

I Did It My Way

Everyone is different, and owning your own business is incredibly challenging. It’s certainly not for the feint of heart, and before entering into something so profoundly life altering one has to really have a clear picture of who they are. I was ready to sink or swim, and learn the hard way, because I knew that if I was going to feel fulfilled I had to put myself in a work environment where I felt that I could operate under my own terms. The decision to choose the path that I did has made all the difference in my life and I never thought twice about retracing my steps.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Nuance of NUANS

Your name can mean everything. It is what people associate with your brand and it is what will inevitably define your business in the minds of others. Therefore, it is imperative that you choose a name for your business that is original and that will stick in the minds of your target clientele. It is also important that once you have the perfect name for your business, that you protect it so that people don’t confuse your business with someone else’s. Below are some of the finer points of what one can expect when using NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) for registering or incorporating their business.

Not all provinces are created equal

No matter which province you live in, you will need to file a name search report. But, depending on where you live, you may have to file a name search report within your own province’s database. What NUANS actually refers to is a database for the following jurisdictions: P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Alberta, as well as the database of Canadian Federal Corporations. If you are registering your business in Quebec, for example, you don’t need to conduct a NUANS report, but you can if you wish. Doing so will give you an insight into whether or not someone has registered a business with the same, or similar, name as yours in another province, specifically those included in the NUANS database.

Don’t forget that no matter what insight you glean from any name search report that you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that your company name does not infringe on any third party rights.

The varied depths of NUANS search

Filing a NUANS report carries with it a fee to conduct the report. As a cost saving mechanism, it is possible to conduct a preliminary report at the fraction of the cost of a full report – a preliminary search costs about $0.23. However, the preliminary report only eliminates proposed names with exact matches to the names of other companies. A full NUANS report provides an even greater depth of insight by reporting company names that may be close, or could even illicit confusion, but costs significantly more and is required to register your business within the given jurisdiction. The reason a preliminary report can be beneficial is by allowing you to quickly ascertain whether or not a certain company name is available or not without the commitment of a full NUANS report. If you are satisfied with your company name, and its availability, you can then file for a full report and register your business.

Ordering a NUANS search report

Although there does exist a NUANS self-serve website, it is preferable in most cases to obtain your NUANS search report with the assistance of a NUANS registered member. The reason for this is that the self-serve website is limited to conducting NUANS reports for federal corporations. On the other hand, there are a variety of NUANS registered members available to you that are capable of not only filing the search report, but also of guiding you through the process of registering your company. 

Please visit for more information and to order your NUANS Report!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Advantages of a Shelf Company

Some Things Get Better with Age

You’re feeling good, you’ve rolled out the business plan, you’re partners are in with you, and everybody’s jazzed because it’s time to incorporate and move into the next phase of owning a business. But wait a minute, your accountant advises you that based on your company’s current credit rating you’re not going to be able to secure the type of loan you’re going to need to get things up and running.

“Why not?” you ask.
“Well, in order to get the kind of loan you’re looking to secure from the bank, they want to make sure that your company has more of a history of good credit.”
“But we’re brand new. What do we do?”

The answer is: don’t panic.

One option that is worth investigating could be investing in the purchase of a “Shelf Corporation”. Also known as an “Aged Corporation”, a shelf corporation is a corporation that has been around for a while, but just hasn’t been doing very much of anything.

How it Works – The Delicate Art of Credit Chemistry

To say that a shelf corporation has been doing nothing would be misleading. Like a fine wine it has spent time in the cellar patiently waiting for its moment to be corked. Most shelf corporations were designed and setup with the sole purpose of being launched at a later date and what transpires between bottling and the moment it is poured can be profound when it comes to a balance sheet.

First, by purchasing a shelf corporation, the relationship your company establishes with the bank is like one between good old friends. Right away they can see that your company has been around for a while and that you have a good credit score which makes them more trusting of your ability to pay your loan.

Second, much of what was required to start a company has already been taken care of. All of the basic ingredients have been blended together and it’s simply a matter of customizing them to your needs. A lot of the red tape that can potentially delay a start up is already taken care of.

Third, even if you are effectively getting your business off the ground today, depending on the shelf company you buy, you can literally say you’ve been in business for as long as the business has been in existence. Contracts that you may wish to bid on may require that a bidding company need have been in business for a minimum amount of time which would have otherwise have excluded you from bidding on the contract. With the years of experience you’ve gained through the shelf company, no one need be the wiser.

Finally, you can even merge your existing company with your shelf company as a means to facilitate building business credit.

Things to Consider

Remember, a lot of the heavy lifting has already been done for you and there’s a cost that comes with that. Like a good scotch, the price goes up the longer it’s aged. Sure the cost of the shelf company may be higher, but it also has a longer established history and that can go a long way.

Also keep in mind that before it becomes yours, a shelf company is literally a product on a shelf. There are lots to choose from so it is still important to do your research and find one that’s right for you. Not all shelf companies are created equal either. It’s important to get detailed information about the shelf company before you buy one.

Many companies that offer standard business registration and incorporation services also offer shelf corporations as well, and can help guide you through the process of determining what’s right for you.

For more information on buying a shelf company, please visit