20 Best Business Ideas To Start In Canada 2024: Be Your Own Boss

Have you ever wanted to start your own business in Canada?

Starting a small business is a huge step. While there is a certain amount of risk involved in starting any business, the right idea could be your key to financial freedom. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and you’re looking for the best business ideas to start in Canada, then look no further!

98% of employers in Canada are small businesses. If you’re ready to join their ranks and build a business from the ground up, here are some creative business ideas to get your thoughts flowing.

Is It Easy To Start A Business In Canada?

Starting a business is usually a lot easier than it seems. Realistically, the only things you need to start your own business in Canada are:

  • An idea (and hopefully a business plan)
  • Business number from the CRA
  • Business licenses from your province
  • Business license from your city
  • Business bank account

Once you have your idea, you can register your business name with the CRA to receive a business number (BN). This is what you’ll use for federal tax purposes, and it’s 100% free.

With your government-issued BN, you’ll then be able to apply for a business license through your province. This can cost anywhere from $75 to $300, depending on the type of business you’re starting and provincial regulations.

In total, starting a business in Canada can cost as little as $500, if you file for all of the paperwork yourself (rather than hiring an accountant).

Best Businesses To Start With a With A Low Investment

Starting a business in Canada doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some simple business ideas that you can start with little to no money in Canada.

1. Social Media Marketing Agency

Social Media Marketing Agency
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: None
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Learn social media marketing, work with local businesses

Local businesses often need a lot of help when it comes to social media marketing. Many small business owners simply don’t have the time or skills to tap into the power of social media.

If you have a good mind for marketing and know your way around social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, this can be a great online business to start.

The hard part is finding clients. I suggest starting off by offering a low-cost service to a friend’s business and then asking them to refer you to more clients. Let your work speak for itself, and soon you’ll be able to charge clients $500 a week or more to manage their social media profiles.

2. Coffee Stand

Coffee Stand
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $2,000 – $3,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy coffee materials, sell at events

According to CBC, Canadians drink more coffee than just about any other country in the world, making this a great small business idea. Starting a small coffee stand is a great way to tap into this ever-growing market. A simple stand might consist of:

  • A small food cart or collapsable table
  • Several large coffee carafes to store brewed coffee
  • Paper cups, lids, and sleeves
  • Flavoured syrups
  • Sugars and creamers

A great way to earn money with your coffee stand would be to register with local events, such as sports matches, car shows, or local festivals.

Early morning events tend to be more profitable, as people are already used to drinking coffee in the morning.

3. Window Cleaning Business

Window Cleaning Business
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $300
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $8,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy window cleaning materials, advertise to local businesses and homes

Looking for an easy side hustle to start? Window cleaning is an incredibly simple service that almost all storefronts and residential homes need. The materials are usually very cheap and consist of:

  • Buckets
  • Towels
  • Squeegees
  • Window cleaning solution
  • Brushes

You’ll also probably need a ladder to reach higher windows. For commercial jobs that require a higher lift, you can always rent a lift from an equipment rental company. Retail storefronts are likely going to be your best customers, though, and most windows are less than 15 feet tall.

Most window cleaners charge a set rate per pane or based on the square footage of the glass.

4. AirBnB Rental (Rental Arbitrage)

AirBnB Rental (Rental Arbitrage)
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $3,000 – $5,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $500 – $6,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Rent a property under your name, then list it on AirBnB for more

Rental arbitrage is one of the best ways to get into real estate with minimal investment.

The process is incredibly simple too. All you need to do is rent an apartment, condo, or home under your name. Then, you can list that property on AirBnB as a short-term rental.

Let’s say that your monthly rent is $2,000. If you list it on AirBnB for $180 per night and have a 75% occupancy rate, then you could earn over $4,000 per month.

Be careful with this strategy though, as it might violate terms of rental agreements, so make sure to read the fine print.

5. Painting Company

Painting Company
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $1,500
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy painting supplies, paint homes and businesses

You can purchase a decent spray painting machine, paint rollers, brushes, a ladder, and tape for around $1,500. Once you have your tools, you can sell your services to homeowners and small businesses.

This is one of the best small business ideas for those who enjoy hands-on work and have an artistic side.

You can earn up to $500 for painting small bedrooms and up to $10,000 for painting an entire home interior. Prices are subjective based on quality and difficulty, which allows you to set your own prices.

6. AI Automation Business

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $1,500
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy painting supplies, paint homes and businesses

If you’re looking for a business idea to take advantage of the emerging AI economy, you can’t go wrong with an AI automation business. OpenAI, the founder of Chat GPT, has created its AI as an open-source model, allowing anybody to download and customize the AI’s source code.

The best part is that you don’t even need to be a programmer to program your own AI. You can use Chat GPT to write all of the code for your personal AI by giving it instructions in plain English.

From here, you can approach small businesses and offer to create a custom AI to help them with their inventory, customer service, or whatever else they may need AI services for.

I would recommend charging an initial development fee to create the AI, and then leasing it to the business for a monthly fee. Once they see how it helps them streamline their business operations, they’ll have no problem continuing to pay the fee.

7. Cell Phone Repair Business

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $300
  • How Much You Can Make: $3,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy small electronics tools, fix phones

When was the last time that you cracked your screen? If you’re like me, then it probably wasn’t too long ago.

Although many cell phone owners opt to use their phone’s insurance to replace broken phones, not everybody opts in for the monthly insurance service offered by cell phone companies.

If you want to make money fast, a cell phone repair business is incredibly affordable to start, and you can honestly start your business out of your home or garage until you can afford to rent a small office space.

As a cell phone repair specialist, you’ll take phones apart, replace screens, charging ports, buttons and more. You can learn all of the skills you need by spending a day on YouTube and practicing with your own phone.

If you’re still not 100% confident, you can even offer to do your first few jobs for free to gain more experience.

To give you an idea of how much you could make, a screen repair job can easily cost between $100 and $250 and usually won’t take longer than a couple of hours.

8. Personal Training Business

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $500
  • How Much You Can Make: $1,000 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Get certified, offer online and in-person training sessions

The fitness industry is projected to grow by 171% by 2028 in Canada. You can become a certified personal trainer within a few weeks and start taking your own clients.

One of the easiest ways to make money as a personal trainer is to find in-person clients through your personal connections and the local community. You can take them to your local gym (as long as they don’t have personal training rules) and exercise with them there or do callisthenics in the park.

Once you save up some money, you can rent a small office space and turn it into a personal training gym for your clients.

I would argue that the real money comes from acquiring clients online and selling online courses, though. If you can build a social media brand, you’ll be able to start selling personalized training and nutrition courses to clients online.

You can even charge a monthly fee for virtual consultations, check-ups, or video workout sessions.

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Best Businesses To Start With At Least $50,000

If you’re working with a little bit more money, here are some of the best business ideas to start if you’re working with around $50,000.

9. Food Truck

Food Truck
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $35,000 – $50,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $500 – $8,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy a food truck, market it, and sell food

If you’re a decent chef or have a unique food idea, then a food truck can be a very profitable business opportunity. It’s a great way to get into the industry without having to invest hundreds of thousands into a full-blown restaurant.

You can purchase pre-built food trucks for around $30,000. Then, you’ll need to get it wrapped with your logo and modify the kitchen space to your needs.

The hard part is advertising and growing your business. Once you’re popular in your local area, though, your food truck can earn thousands of dollars per week by setting up in a regular location or selling food at events.

10. Landscaping Company

Landscaping Company
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $25,000 – $60,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $2,000 – $15,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy landscaping equipment, a truck, and a trailer

If you like working outdoors, then a landscaping company is one of the best small business ideas during the spring and summer months. You’ll need to account for the following equipment to start:

  • Push mower: $200
  • Riding mower: $10,000
  • Pickup Truck: $15,000 (used) $40,000 (new)
  • Equipment trailer: $7,000
  • String trimmer: $650
  • Edger: $650
  • Hedge trimmer: $500

Once you build your customer base, it’s a business that you can scale by hiring employees. If you’re concerned about not having business in the winter, you might have to pivot to something like snow removal during that season.

11. Sell With Amazon FBA

Sell With Amazon FBA
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $10,000 – $50,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $100 – $20,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy wholesale items, store them in an Amazon warehouse, sell them online

If you’re looking for online business ideas, Amazon FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) is an interesting way to earn passive income. It involves purchasing wholesale products at a bulk discount, listing them on Amazon for retail price, and selling them for profit.

With the FBA program, you won’t have to lift a finger. You can ship your inventory directly to Amazon, where it will be safely stored. They’ll handle all shipping and handling for a cut of your profits.

All you have to do is set up your online store. The most important part is to make sure that you do your product research and find a good niche product that’s in high demand or trending. There is risk involved though — if your product does not sell, you could be out your entire investment.

12. Commercial Cleaning

Commercial Cleaning
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $30,000 – $50,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $1000 – $7,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy cleaning tools, truck, and trailer, then advertise to businesses

If you don’t mind late nights, then commercial cleaning can be a great small business idea. You’ll usually be cleaning large offices, restaurants, warehouses, or factories after hours.

To start, you’ll usually need a good floor-cleaning machine and possibly a floor polisher as well. You’ll also need lots of mops, commercial vacuums, and a truck-and-trailer setup to store everything in as well.

If you’re looking for an additional side hustle, you can even use some of your tools to open up a small car wash business on the side!

13. Mobile Pet Grooming

Mobile Pet Grooming
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $40,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $500 – $10,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy a large Sprinter-style van, equip it with grooming tools

If you like animals, this is an excellent small business idea. The pet grooming market is constantly growing, so your services will always be in demand.

To start with, you’ll need a large climate-controlled van that can hold all of your grooming equipment. This will be your biggest investment. Then you can market your services online and through local pet stores and shelters.

14. Open A Convenience Store

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $50,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $15,000 – $25,000 per month
  • How To Start: Rent a store space, buy shelves and coolers, stock it

There will always be a need for convenience stores. Sure, you can save money by going to the grocery store or ordering online, but those aren’t convenient.

People visit convenience stores because they’re fast, quick, and easy. They want to grab a snack and a cold drink and be in-and-out in less than 3 minutes.

To start with, you’ll need to lease a store space. Then, you can buy some secondhand shelves to stock snacks and other necessities, as well as a few coolers to keep cold drinks in.

If you get a license to sell beer, wine, tobacco, and lottery tickets, you’ll get even more customers.

As long as your convenience store is in an area with steady traffic and there isn’t too much competition, it’s almost guaranteed to succeed.

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Best Businesses To Start With At Least $100,000

If you have access to around $100,000 in capital, here are some profitable businesses to start in Canada. If you play your cards right, you may be able to turn these “small” business ideas into big business.

15. Purchase A Rental Property

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $30,000 – $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $5,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy a property, rent it to tenants

$100,000 is enough to make a 10% down payment on a $1 million property, and depending on where you live, that could be a multi-unit household, which could develop into a very profitable business.

Rent out each of the units and make sure that your income covers your mortgage, taxes, and maintenance/repairs. You get to keep the difference. If you can hire a property manager, then this is an almost entirely passive income business model.

16. Car Rentals

Car Rentals
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $50,000 – $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $5,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy cars, rent them out on Turo

With $100,000 you could purchase two or three used luxury-style vehicles and rent them out on Turo. Turo is an app that works like AirBnB, allowing owners to rent vehicles out to drivers.

This can be a particularly lucrative side hustle if you live in Toronto.

A $30,000 vehicle can be rented for up to $100 per day or more. You can rent vehicles on a daily or weekly basis. If you want the business to be truly passive, you can hire a driver to deliver the vehicles to customers.

17. Create a Coworking Space

Create a Coworking Space
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $80,000 – $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $2,000 – $20,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy an office space, furnish it, rent it out to members for a monthly rate

Now that remote work has become the new normal, coworking spaces are a great way to capitalize on commercial office space.

You can buy or rent a commercial office space, furnish it with modern desks, printers, chairs, and other office supplies and rent the space out to members.

It works just like a gym — members pay for access and can come and go as they please. You just have to pay a daily cleaner and keep up with utilities.

18. Heavy Equipment Rental Company

Heavy Equipment Rental Company
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $35,000 to $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $4,000 – $20,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy heavy equipment, rent it out to contractors

Many contractors don’t own their own heavy equipment. When large jobs come up, small contractors often pay thousands of dollars per week to rent front-end loaders, excavators, tractors, and more, making this a lucrative business opportunity.

All you have to do is keep up with maintenance on the equipment and have a space to safely store the equipment when it’s not being used.

19. Luxury Spa

Luxury Spa
  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $3,000 – $15,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Build a high-end luxury spa, hire aestheticians, market it

High-end spa treatments can easily cost hundreds of dollars. By creating a luxurious space and hiring licensed professionals, you can create a one-of-a-kind luxury spa that caters to high-end clients who want to treat themselves.

The beauty industry will never go out of style. You just have to market it the right way.

20. Towing Company

  • Average Investment Needed To Start: $80,000 – $100,000
  • How Much You Can Make: $10,000 – 15,000+ per month
  • How To Start: Buy a tow truck, apply for licenses, and start towing

Accidents occur quite frequently in Canada, and many drivers need their vehicles towed immediately after. In addition to towing post-accident vehicles, towing companies are also:

  • Requested to transport vehicles to and from auto shops
  • Contracted by police
  • Contracted by dealerships for repo jobs
  • Contracted by the city to tow illegally parked cars

If you can lock in multiple contracts and connections, starting a tow company is among the most profitable business ideas. A new tow truck can easily cost up to $80,000 or more, especially if you’re looking at the larger flatbed models that can carry larger vehicles.

Depending on your business model, you may also need to rent an empty lot (and build a fence around it), to temporarily store vehicles that you’ve towed.

As a solopreneur, you can earn between $40,000 and $50,000 per year in net profits. The real money comes from expansion, though. Once you build your business credit, you can request a loan for a second or third truck and hire professional drivers, allowing you to operate 24/7 around the clock.

With multiple trucks and drivers on the road, you can eventually grow your towing business to a full-time passive income-generating machine.

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Best Business Ideas To Start In Canada

I hope this inspired you and gave you some ideas to build on. There are countless profitable business ideas out there, and the chances are that the best one has never been discovered.

The market rewards innovation and risk, so the more creative and bold you can be with your business, the more you stand to earn (and also possibly lose, so be sure to do some market research first!)

If you want to learn more about how to save money to launch your dream business, be sure to check out my guide to saving money in Canada, so you can start building capital.

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Wealthawesome.com. Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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