Find your area
AREA COVERED AND SERVICES
Where does my business have to be located or operated in order to use the services of PME MTL?
- To call on PME MTL services, your business must be on Montréal Island or be plannign to locate there.
What can PME MTL do for me?
- PME MTL is the main service outlet for all entrepreneurs or groups of entrepreneurs (community-based enterprises), whether you are just starting out, consolidating, expanding or transferring your business to the next generation.
- PME MTL offers support, advice and financing in the form of loans or subsidies, as well as recruitment, mentorship and training services, etc.
- PME MTL can tell you all about the Centre-Ville area and its development opportunities, in addition to helping you adapt to local and regional economic development conditions.
Do the six PME MTL network hubs all offer the same services?
- The six PME MTL hubs all have the same structure and the same local economic development mission, so they do offer the same support services for entrepreneurs. However, the services are organized differently to suit each area, and may reflect different priorities and criteria.
- Some hubs have developed specific agreements with various partners. See your hub’s “Services” page for complete details.
Are there costs associated with the services offered by PME MTL?
Nearly all the services offered for entrepreneurs and businesses are free.
How and when can I meet with an advisor?
How and when can I apply for financing?
- Your business plans are already well advanced or you already have a business plan prepared? Then you’re ready to meet with an advisor, who will explain in detail how to apply for financing. Find the advisers in your area.
LAUNCHING YOUR BUSINESS
Would I make a good entrepreneur?
- Every entrepreneur is different, but there are certain common motivations, aptitudes and skills shared by people who successfully build their own businesses.
Your business plan
What is a business plan?
- A business plan is a planning tool that lets entrepreneurs structure their ideas. It identifies the mission of the business, the vision and values of the entrepreneur(s), and the services/products to be offered. It also analyzes the market (segmentation) and the competition and lays out the marketing strategy, financial forecasts, etc.
- Your business plan will be used as a management tool and a way of presenting your organization when seeking financing or partnerships.
Can a PME MTL advisor help me draw up my business plan?
- PME MTL advisors can support you in drawing up your business plan. In particular, based on the materials you have prepared, they can:
- Comment on certain elements and suggest improvements;
- Identify any elements to be improved or changed to make sure your business qualifies for possible sources of financing;
- Give an opinion on the feasibility of your project;
- Help you integrate your planned business into the local and regional economic development context (relevance, complementarity, networking); and
- Depending on how far along you are in planning your business and your experience, support you through the following steps.
- Needless to say, a PME MTL advisor can never guarantee that your business will be a success – there are too many unpredictable factors along the way. But our advisors will give you the most objective possible opinion on the measurable elements of your plan.
I already have a business plan and I’d like an opinion
- Of course, PME MTL advisors will be happy to give you their opinion. Find the advisers in your area.
Can PME MTL advisors help me prepare my financial forecasts?
- Yes, at this stage PME MTL advisors can meet with you. Find the advisers in your area.
Can PME MTL advisors help me prepare a market study?
- Yes, PME MTL advisors can guide you and give you some ideas. A market study is a very important part of planning a business, to make sure that your goods or services are suited to the target market. A detailed market study will help your business understand the market it is entering, better face the competition and take advantage of opportunities. Find the advisers in your area.
Social economy and social entrepreneurship
What is a social economy enterprise?
- A social economy enterprise:
- serves members of the community rather than simply generating profits;
- includes a democratic decision-making process, allowing users and workers to participate;
- places greater emphasis on individuals and jobs than on capital when distributing surpluses and income.
What is the difference between a co-operative and a non-profit organization (NPO)?
- Generally speaking, a co-operative serves its members, while an NPO serves the community. The members of a co-operative usually make regular use of its goods or services. They may be users or customers of the goods or services offered, or work in the co-operative. There are different kinds of co-operatives: workers, producers, consumers, solidarity or worker-shareholders. NPOs are more flexible and tend to have a less formal structure.
How can I create an NPO?
- Form a group of promoters/founders (at least 3 people)
- Register the NPO with the Registraire des entreprises
- Draw up its statutes and by-laws
- Hold a general assembly to found the organization, elect a board and adopt the statutes and by-laws
What is social entrepreneurship?
- The term “social entrepreneurship” doesn’t refer to the legal status of an organization but rather describes a business with a strong mission, regardless of its legal form (it may be either a social economy enterprise or a for-profit business). The concept of social entrepreneurship places the emphasis on the entrepreneur, his or her values, mission and approach and the social impact of the business, rather than being concerned (as in the case of a social economy enterprise) with the social and community distribution of profits.
Location and set-up
How can I find premises that meet my needs in the Montréal Centre-Ville area?
What are the zoning by-laws in Montréal? Do I need a certificate of occupancy?
- Before renting or buying premises for your business, make sure it is in a sector zoned for your activities. To find out the authorized uses in your sector and obtain a certificate of occupancy, contact the Permits and Inspections Division of your borough:
Do I need any other permits before starting my business?
- You must have a certificate of occupancy in all cases (see above). In addition, you need specific permits for certain types of activity. For instance, if you are opening a restaurant, you will have to have a permit from the Quebec department of agriculture, fisheries and food (MAPAQ). Here are some sites where you can get more information:
Legal form and constitution of your business
Do I have to register my business?
- In Quebec, most businesses have to register with the Registraire des entreprises as soon as they are created, and declare their legal form.
How do I choose a legal form for my business?
- The legal form you choose will depend on what your business will be doing, the number of people involved, risk management, financial and social objectives, etc.
- Each form has its advantages and disadvantages.
How do I draw up a shareholders’ agreement?
- You are best to consult a lawyer or notary, to make sure you fully understand the clauses of this kind of agreement.
How do I register a social economy enterprise?
- A social economy enterprise may be created as a non-profit organization (NPO) or a co-operative (co-op). In Quebec, when a social economy enterprise is a NPO, it is registered under Part III of the Companies Act (see Registraire des entreprises). Co-operatives must be created under the Co-operatives Act (see the website of the Ministère de l’Économie, Science et Innovation Québec, direction de l’entrepreneuriat collectif) (in French)
Can I change the legal form of my business once it is up and running?
- Yes. You can make the change by contacting Revenu Québec, Revenue Canada and the Quebec Registraire des entreprises. This may have tax consequences, however. Revenu Québec and Revenue Canada recommend that you meet with an accountant first, to minimize the tax consequences and make sure that the change is done properly.
How do the GST and QST work?
- All businesses carrying on commercial operations in Canada must register for GST and, in Quebec, QST, the only exceptions being small suppliers with annual sales of less than $30,000. These small suppliers are not required to collect sales taxes, but if they choose this option they cannot be reimbursed for any sales taxes they have paid.
FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS
Are there subsidies available to finance my business?
What financial resources are available?
- PME MTL offers different financing programs and measures, for social economy enterprises and for-profit businesses alike. See our Financing section.
- PME MTL funds are often useful as levers in putting your financing together. Our advisers can help you do so with the different partners that might contribute to your business:
- For-profit business: Investissement Québec, BDC, Desjardins, Futurpreneur, other financial institutions.
- Social economy enterprise: RISQ, Filaction, ACEM, charitable foundations, Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins, Fiducie du Chantier de l’économie sociale, government programs (depending on your industry)
Are all entrepreneurial ventures eligible for financing?
- Some industries are excluded:
- any business that is sexual, religious, or political in nature, and any business whose activities are degrading, discriminatory or controversial (war games, tarot card reading, astrology, pawn shops, etc.);
- seasonal projects, unless the developer can show that the business provides him or her with full-time employment.
I’m planning to expand my business. Is it eligible for financial support?
- Yes, if the planned expansion qualifies.
See our page on Financing.
GROWING YOUR BUSINESS – EXPANDING
Can PME MTL help me if my business is in difficulty?
- You can make an appointment with a PME MTL management advisor. They are there to support businesses at every step along the way. Find the advisers in your area.
Can PME MTL help me recruit staff?
- The PME MTL job placement service can help you define your needs, prepare job offers and recommend pre-screened candidates. Our advisors will also be able to tell you about the different programs or measures designed to help you.
TRANSFERRING YOUR BUSINESS – ACQUIRING AN EXISTING BUSINESS
Can PME MTL advisors help me transfer my business?
- PME MTL offers advisory and support services for transferring a business or purchasing an existing business. Find the advisers in your area.
Can PME MTL advisors help me acquire an existing business?
- PME MTL offers advisory and support services for acquire or purchasing an existing business. Find the advisers in your area.