A start-up is a business in the earliest stages of getting established. Companies may stay in start-up mode for as long as three years.
Start-ups take many forms. They may:
- Be sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited partnerships or corporations
- Sell an established product or service, or a new product or service
- Sell to an established market or a new one
- Operate domestically or internationally
- Meet new market needs
- Answer an existing market need created by the departure of a company that previously met that need
- Arise in any industry, existing or new
- Be launched by someone with or without prior business experience
- Be fully funded or require investor funding
If a first-time entrepreneur buys an existing business, the business is not considered a start-up.
More about start-ups
Canada produces the same number of start-ups annually as other countries with similar success rates. However, fewer Canadian start-ups grow into “mid-market companies,” that is, larger, more mature businesses. This is mainly because Canadian entrepreneurs often sell their start-ups to foreign investors, who then take on the risk associated with growing to a mid-market size and beyond.