Registering a Business (especially in Canada)


Barb said: Jun 14, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
685 posts

Hi Kate,

As I have a very small studio (in Canada), I have chosen to only operate under my own name as a tutor. I understand that I am then not required to have a business license in our city. I would be interested to hear from other teachers who have registered their business.

I teach in my home, so we pay a higher rate to cover a home business (liability as well as to cover any books, computers, etc. related to my business—I already have a separate rider for my cello), and I can have up to three students here at a time for that.

I am planning a summer class at our rec center where the city allows instructors to operate under the umbrella of the center as far as a business goes, and their insurance also covers me. It seems to be a very good arrangement. I set my own fees, and they keep $15 registration fee per registrant—no size limitations.

Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Renee Werenka said: Jun 15, 2012
Renee WerenkaPiano
Airdrie, AB
1 posts

Hi guys,

I also have a small studio in Canada, and have always run under a different name. I have a business license in the city as a private music teacher, and also am a member of my local and provincial registered music teachers.

I have never truly registered my business name, and actually, when I set it up about 10 years ago, I even set up a bank account with the business name on it!
When it comes to tax time, I just include a separate ‘Statement of Business Activities’ with my tax return, and write off a bunch of purchases that I have made throughout the year related to my teaching. I think that would be the same no matter whether you are using your own name or a different name.

I’m interested to see what you come up with in your searches as well as what others have to say about this topic!

Deborah said: Jun 19, 2012
1 posts

I work full time outside the home but I also teach piano two afternoons a week and Saturdays. For my taxes I claim in the income and expenses as Self Employed. I didn’t realize that I could pay into EI for that, though I already get mat leave etc from my regular employer. I should look into that for the next year if it’s not to much paperwork. I issue the tax receipts for my students for the Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit (up to $500 per kid and the parents get $50 back) and the Canada Children’s Fine Arts Activity Tax credit (same).

I’ve actually been operating for years without knowledge about the insurance requirements, hmmmmm. However I recently learned that the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA) offers an umbrella coverage for all the members. I haven’t joined yet because I didn’t realize they opened up the membership to folks with only Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music and pedagogy certificates (formerly, they required the ARCT, Masters Degree in Music and SIX students who scored First Class Honors in Piano Exams). I was invited to teach at a music school and they asked me to be a part of ORMTA so that’s how I learned about the insurance.

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