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Guide to Start a Business

Chapter 7 - Sources of Business Information and Advice

This chapter lists sources of information and advice on establishing your business in the NWT.

In this chapter you will learn of organizations that can give you valuable information required for planning your business. In most cases, all it will cost you is the time and effort to approach the various sources and request the information you need.

Depending on the nature of your business and the source you are approaching, you may want to consider a basic non-disclosure agreement, which will ensure that the person you confide in agrees to keep your information confidential.

Public business information sources

Programs include contributions, grants and information services. Community Economic Development Officers or ITI Regional Offices will be able to your answer questions about the programs available and what you need to meet application requirements. 

Prosper NWT and Canada Business NWT can offer you the information you need to start your business. View this website for more information.

There are several Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) in the NWT. They offer general business advice and training as well as monitoring and aftercare. Most CFDCs also act as Regional Access Partners for Canada Business NWT. 

Opportunities exist with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The BDC offers loans and management consulting services to businesses. 

Private business information sources

The local bank of your choice or the nearest financial institution can provide you with a wide range of information and services useful in establishing a business. The local banking sector works closely with the local business sector to provide information that is both accurate and up-to-date. They can evaluate your business plan by pointing out areas that are weak or strong. With their contacts in the business community, they may be able to recommend other possible sources of advice and information for your business. Many of the chartered banks also provide publications, brochures and workbooks to assist you with business planning.

Consultants can provide you with expertise in many specific areas of business operation and market research, in return for a fee for this service. If you are planning a business that requires a lot of technical research then consultants, despite the cost, could be the best source of information. Consulting services range from general business advice to specific areas of professional expertise such as engineering or industrial.

Accounting firms can provide you information on business planning and help you financially manage your business. Many accountants will provide an initial consultation for free (always check first) and many of the larger or national firms also have printed materials for you to use, including business planning workbooks and manuals, tax manuals and periodic newsletters containing business advice.

Like accounting firms, law firms can offer a great deal to the potential business owner. Information available from law firms will deal with the legal roles and responsibilities of a business. Law firms will also be able to advise you on the best form of business organization. Many law firms provide free publications and brochures on these topics and have periodic newsletters that you can request at no cost.

Please refer to your local telephone or online directory for contact information for banks, consultants, accounting firms and law firms specific to your area.

Fellow businesspersons or friends can provide valuable advice when planning your business. Although you may hesitate to confide in these people, they should not be ignored as possible sources of information and advice.

Many business associations and groups offer advice and seminars to members. These groups include the Chambers of Commerce, Chamber of Mines and Northern Manufacturers Association.

CDETNO can help you to find employees or reach French-speaking markets in Canada and abroad. CDETNO also helps NWT francophones who wish to start their own business.

A variety of publications that offer advice and information on establishing a business are available. Canada Business NWT has an extensive business library of reference and research materials. You can also contact your local Economic Development Office, chartered banks, accounting firms, law firms or a BDC office for current publications. Your local library or bookstore may also be of help to you.


NWT Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 1093
Yellowknife, NT  X1A 2N8
Tel: (867) 445-7680

Conseil de développement économique des Territoires du Nord-Ouest (CDETNO)

Diamond Plaza Building
5204, 50th Avenue, Suite 102
Yellowknife, NT X1A 1E2
Tel: (866) 849-9139

Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

NWT Commerce Place
4th Floor – 4921 49th Street
Yellowknife, NT 
X1A 3S5
Tel: (867) 920-4944

Thebacha Chamber of Commerce

68 Portage Ave.
Fort Smith, NT 
X0E 0P0
(Tel: (867) 621-2795

Hay River Chamber of Commerce

10K Gagnier Street
Hay River, NT 
X0E 1G1
Tel: (867) 874-2565

Norman Wells and District Chamber of Commerce

Sache Avenue
Norman Wells, NT 
X0E 0V0
Tel: (867) 587-6609