Starting a home-based bookkeeping business in Canada provides many entrepreneurs with the opportunity to earn a good living while enjoying the benefits of working from home. While there are no professional licenses required to be a bookkeeper, The Institute of Professional Bookkeepers in Canada has a professional certification course and exam that leads to a designation of Certified Professional Bookkeeper. The designation is designed to create a professional standard and shows clients you have the level of knowledge, education and skills to offer the services. A bookkeeping business provides the entrepreneur with a level of flexibility when it comes to working hours. Of course, your flexibility depends on the requirements of the client.

Things You Will Need
  • Business plan

  • Office space in your home

  • Computer with Internet access

  • Fax machine

  • Separate phone line (optional)

How to Start a Home-Based Bookkeeping Business

Write a business plan. According to the website Canadaone, “Many entrepreneurs will skip over the planning stage, but to do so puts your business at risk.” A business plan “is a useful tool that can help you meet your goals.” Business plans don’t have to be long but should include “an overview of the company, financial goals and objectives, a marketing plan, and an analysis of the market and your competition.”

Come with a good name for your business. Whether you are starting a home-based business or any other type of business, you need a good name. According to the website a good business name should “indicate the kind of business you are in, be easy to remember, be distinctive, catch the client's attention, create a professional image and finally inspire clients to buy from you.”

Choose a business structure. Whether you choose to operate your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership or register your company as a corporation, each of these structures has its own benefits and drawbacks. Many cities have small business centers that can provide advice. And, the government of Canada has information on its “Service of Entrepreneurs” website.

Register your business name. With the exception of corporations, registering a business name is done in the province in which your business is located. Go to your province's website and search “registering a business” and follow the specific guidelines for your province. In addition, while it is not necessary for all businesses, many will require municipal licenses. Check with your local chamber of commerce to see if your city requires you to have a license.


Once your business is registered and you are ready to start, be sure to have business cards and letterhead printed up. Both add a level of professionalism to your business and can be obtained for a small cost. Consider joining a business networking group or local chamber of commerce. Many networking groups will allow only one person or company to represent a specific industry and they encourage referrals within the group.