Provincial & Regional Business Resources
Access Nova Scotia
Provides access – online and on-site access – to various provincial government services, including permits, licences, business registrations, statistics, property information, birth/death/marriage certificates, and many other business and consumer services.
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
ACOA works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive by working with diverse communities to develop and diversify local economies, and by championing the strengths of Atlantic Canada.
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
The Atlantic Chamber of Commerce serves as a federation of some 100 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout Atlantic Canada, representing more than 16,000 businesses and professional people.
BizPaL is an online service that helps create a customized list of licenses and permits needed to start or operate a business in Nova Scotia.
Find information on business programs offered by the province and information on locating your business in Nova Scotia.
Canada Business Nova Scotia
The Canada/Nova Scotia Business Service Centre is part of a national network of Canada Business Service Centres with the mission to improve the start-up, survival and growth rates of small and medium sized enterprises by giving business people access to accurate, timely and relevant information and referrals.
Department of Labour and Advance Education
The Department of Labour and Advanced Education works to provide fairness, safety and prosperity for all Nova Scotians by helping them live, learn and work to their highest potential.
Entrepreneurs’ Forum (EF)
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum provides access to a network of advisors who are there to advise entrepreneurs at all stages of business development.
Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI)
NSBI is Nova Scotia’s private sector-led business development agency, helping companies enhance their competitiveness through trade development, financing and venture capital.
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
The NS Human Rights Commission is committed to actively engaging and working with all Nova Scotians and our diverse communities to address issues of discrimination.
Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies
Use the Registry of Joint Stock Companies to register your business, search for information on existing registered businesses and more.
“Universities, the Nova Scotia Community College, and the province have come together to create four sandboxes where students, innovators and industry can develop new ideas that could become businesses. Each sandbox will offer a combination of academic programming and entrepreneurial, professional and management resources”.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Province of Nova Scotia services available through various offices throughout the province as well as telephone and website.
ThinkFARM supports initiatives that attract new entrepreneurs to agriculture and food related ventures, nurtures their entrepreneurial capacity, and accelerates their competitive position in the marketplace.
Workers Compensation Board of NS
Funded entirely by the employers of Nova Scotia, the WCB provides workplace injury insurance for more than 18,000 employers, representing about 300,000 workers across the province.
Federal Business Resources
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
BDC is wholly owned by the Government of Canada and its mandate is to help create and develop Canadian businesses through financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting services, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
CRA is the federal agency that administers taxation and the tax laws for the Government of Canada and for most provinces and territories as well as international trade legislation, and various social and economic benefit and incentive programs delivered through the tax system.
Export Development Canada
Export Development Canada offers financial and risk management solutions to help Canadian businesses expand into the U.S. and other international markets.
Fundica is an online tool that helps entrepreneurs intelligently and effectively searches for funding sources for start-up and growth.
Futurpreneur Canada (previously called Canadian Youth Business Foundation) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing the nation’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time by offering pre-launch expertise, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring.
Industry Canada’s mission is to foster a growing, competitive and knowledge-based Canadian economy. This department has a broad mandate and offers many resources and services.
National Research Council Concierge Service
The Government of Canada’s Concierge Service provides a single access point where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can find high-quality, timely advice to help them innovate and accelerate their growth.
Statistics Canada provides statistical information relating to the commercial, industrial, financial, social, economic and general activities and conditions of the people of Canada. Statistics Canada is an excellent source for secondary market research information.
Connections Guide – An Immigrant’s guide to starting a business in Nova Scotia
This resource will assist you in understanding the Nova Scotia business culture and the process of starting a business in Nova Scotia.
ISANS LinkedIn group
Join for updates, networking opportunities, and to connect with the business community.
Local Business Community Support
Black Business Initiative (BBI)
BBI supports the development of business and job opportunities for Black Nova Scotians and is committed to growing a Black presence in a diverse range of business sectors including high-tech, manufacturing, tourism, and the cultural sector.
Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED)
CEED supports entrepreneurs at every stage of business growth and development. Perhaps most commonly known for small business loans and other financing programs, they also offer mentorship, education and other resources.
Centre for Women in Business (CWB)
CWB offers a variety of programs aimed at enhancing the knowledge and business management skills of women through advisories, workshops, mentoring programs, networking events and conferences.
Community Business Development Corporations (CBDC)
CBDCs assist in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.
Halifax Chamber of Commerce
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is a best-practice, business advocacy organization representing 1,500 member businesses and promoting local business interests.
Greater Halifax Partnership
Halifax’s economic development organization.
Innovacorp helps start-up companies commercialize their technologies and succeed in the global marketplace.
The incubation house of start-ups. “Provide World class mentorship and support to new startup and potential entrepreneurs. Encourage the establishment of new startups. Develop growth and maturity in existing startups. Develop community-driven education and support frameworks. Create a brand that is seen as a beacon of the Atlantic Canada startup community”.
St. Mary’s University Business Development Centre
SMU BDC is a non-profit organization focused on business development within Atlantic Canada and beyond. The staff are committed to enhancing the prosperity of the community by providing assistance to businesses and non-governmental organizations in research, planning and implementation.
Sources of Finance
Government Grants and Programs
Nova Scotia Government: Financing & Funding
Industry Canada and Canada Business: Grants and Financing
Import and Export
These various organizations offer a wide variety of services and resources for companies intending to import or export:
Market Research Resources