3 ways to get started in business

There are 3 ways to go about owning a business. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which you should examine thoroughly before you decide on a course of action.

Start a new business

  • You coordinate all of the activities required to set up your business.
  • Risks are somewhat higher than purchasing an existing business or a franchise.

Buy an existing business

  • The most popular way to get started in business.
  • Usually less risky than the other ways of getting into business.
  • Be sure to do your market research before you put together a purchase offer.


See our guide, Comment acheter une PME (in French only, PDF, 3 MB), to better understand the steps involved in purchasing an existing business.

Buy a franchise

  • A contractual agreement signed with a franchiser gives you the right to sell a product or service, generally within a protected territory.
  • Main advantages: customer traffic, expertise, and, to a certain extent, purchasing power with suppliers in the network.
  • In practice, you own the business, manage it and assume the risk of running it but answer to the franchisor.
  • It is strongly recommended that you have the franchising contract reviewed by an attorney before you sign it.