Becoming your own boss

Make your own decisions

Looking to go it alone?

Though being self-employed can be very rewarding, it has its fair share of challenges and comes with lot of responsibility. Here's some advice to help you make a smooth transition.

"The first condition of happiness is that man may take joy in his work."

- André Gide, French author

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Grow your business with our banking solutions and expert advice for SMEs from National Bank Business Central

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5 tips for success

Self-employed workers account for 15.2% of the work force

Find out more about being self-employed

Before you take the leap, make sure you fully understand what it means to be self-employed. As a self-employed worker, you'll choose your own hours, purchase your own stock and equipment, and potentially earn more, but you'll also take on more risks—and could even lose money. You'll face very different challenges than you would as an employee.

You can choose to operate as a sole proprietorship or incorporate your business. Consult the website of your province's business registry for more information and to find out if you need to register your company. 

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Enlist the right support

There are a number of government organizations that can help you establish your business. Some of them, such as Emploi-Québec and the Canada Business Network, can offer financial aid based on your situation, while others provide support.

You'll need to hire a good accountant, who can identify all the tax deductions you are eligible for as a self-employed worker. You can also consult a National Bank advisor for help with various issues, including tax strategies. Feel free to contact us to make an appointment.

Make an appointment

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Three people working together while looking at their computers
Three people working together while looking at their computers
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Separate your business finances from your personal finances

If you operate a sole proprietorship, no distinction is made between your personal and business finances. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to open two separate accounts. This will make it easier for you to manage your finances and file your tax return.

Further reading

Tax strategies

Get the insurance coverage you need

When you're self-employed, you can't count on anyone else for your income. We recommend taking out disability and critical illness insurance. If the unexpected should happen, you'll be covered.

Further reading

Critical illness and disability insurance: can it affect your mortgage loan?

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Woman talking with a health care professional
Woman talking with a health care professional
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Build up your savings

Since you are your own employer, you'll need to build your own retirement savings. Try to max out your RRSP and TFSA contributions each year.

You should also consider saving some money in a High Interest Savings Account to pay your tax bills and cover slower periods. Set up a systematic savings plan for hassle-free saving. Select the frequency and amount, and funds will automatically be transferred to your savings account.

Learn more about systematic savings

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Are you planning to buy a home? Our Program for the self-employed makes it easier for you to qualify for a mortgage.

Make your plans a reality

High Interest Savings Account

Enjoy an attractive interest rate and access your funds at any time.

See the account


Ensure your peace of mind with our critical illness and disability insurance.

See insurance solutions

Got other plans?

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Ready to take the leap?

Talk to one of our experts to get tailored advice.

Make an appointment

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