Starting a Business


The Halifax Partnership can help your company maximize the cost benefits of our business environment when opening a business in Halifax by:

  • Offering you opportunities for networking at our events and making vital connections in the business community
  • Providing information to your relocating employees

Business development agencies and resources in Halifax

Access Nova Scotia

Everything you need to know to start and operate a business in Halifax

  • BizPal is an online, one-stop service for entrepreneurs that simplifies the process of finding information on business permits and licences from all levels of government - federal, provincial, and municipal. Simply answer a series of questions to obtain a list of permits and licences specific to your business activities, which includes basic information and links to more details where available.
  • Canada Business Network Grant Portal is an interactive tool that helps to locate incentives, grants, and financing based on the kind of activity your business is undertaking. By tailoring your search based on province and the type of business you operate, it will generate a list of incentives available in your area.
  • Nova Scotia Business Registry - Register a business =; apply for, pay, and renew business licenses; view and change business information; receive tender opportunities by email
  • Permits & Licences - This directory contains information on more than 450 licences, permits, registrations, certifications, and related services administered by Province of Nova Scotia Departments and Agencies.
  • Nova Scotia Labour Standards Division - In Nova Scotia, the employer-employee relationship is governed by the Labour Standards Code. The Labour Standards Division, which is part of the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour, is responsible for the Code. The website offers a plain language Guide to the Code, a chart of paid and unpaid holidays in Nova  Scotia, and fact sheets on topics such as vacation pay, overtime, minimum wage, exceptions for certain industry sectors, and more.

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Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

ACOA works with its many partners to help individuals involved in small and medium-sized enterprises acquire the financial resources needed to succeed and create jobs in the Atlantic region. Learn more »


Blue Water Community Business Development Corporation

CBDC Blue Water is one of over 40 Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) serving Atlantic Canada.  Being a CBDC, we promote economic development in rural areas by providing financial assistance, training and counselling to small businesses.
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Canada Business – Nova Scotia

Starting or Expanding your business – an ideal starting point for anyone in Nova Scotia.  Our goal is to provide your business with the resources it needs to grow and prosper, including a wide range of information on government services, programs and regulations.  Canada Business promotes entrepreneurship and innovation, and provides assistance through an organized network of service centres across Canada. Canada Business is a collaborative arrangement among federal departments and agencies, provincial and territorial governments and not-for-profit entities. Learn more »


Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED)

A non-for-profit organization with a vision of creating a vibrant and entrepreneurial Nova Scotia. CEED has been committed to advancing and supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship for more than 20 years, and through innovative programs and services, CEED empowers individuals and communities to achieve their full potential. CEED delivers the Self Employment Benefits Program, offers small business financing, startup business skills training, entrepreneurship education and the Youth Employability Project.  Learn more »


Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI)

NSBI focuses its activities in four areas: business attraction, business retention and expansion, trade promotion, and lending and finance.  Learn more »

Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre

Assisting businesses at all stages of development, from start-up to times of difficulty, the SMU Business Development Centre produces cost-effective solutions for private, public, and not-for-profit clients. Through professional consulting services, international programs, skills development and training, experiential student learning, and university resources, staff can help in all functional areas of business - accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, and operations. Learn more »


Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)/ Business Development Services

ISANS Business Development Services works to build a diverse business community. They provide immigrants and international students with the tools you need to start and grow your business.  ISANS has a dedicated team of business professionals to assist you in what you need to do before, during, and after opening your business. Business Services also creates links with the business community at large and promotes contributions of immigrants, while addressing the challenges which they encounter. Learn more »


Nova Scotia Works

Nova Scotia Works employment services centres help Nova Scotians understand, prepare for, and fill the needs of the province's job market. Nova Scotia Works also helps businesses recruit, manage and develop the talent they need to be more productive here at home and around the world. There is a network of Nova Scotia Works centres across the province. Learn more »



Strategis is Industry Canada’s comprehensive business information source offering timely business and consumer information, business management tools, government services on the Internet, an extensive directory of Canadian financial providers, a powerful search engine of financial providers, information on different types of financing and financial providers, and tips to help you secure financing. Learn more »

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The Business Development Bank of Canada is dedicated to helping create and develop Canadian small and medium-sized businesses. As a financial institution wholly owned by the Government of Canada, the BDC plays a leadership role in delivering financial and consulting services with a focus on the technology and export sectors of the economy. Learn more »

Invest in Canada

The Invest in Canada website is a one-stop shop for those looking to establish or expand a business in Canada.  It provides information and statistics for companies, investors, and entrepreneurs, to ensure that they are able to make informed decisions about venturing into the Canadian business environment. Learn more »


Local Businesses

In addition to these agencies, many Halifax Partnership Investors work with companies to help establish and grow businesses. See our list of Investors to find out which companies can help your company.



Resources Outside Halifax


ConsumerAffairs provides a comprehensive overview of business loans and features user/expert reviews. The ConsumerAffairs Business Guide covers a range of business loans profiles for consumers to compare, highlights which features matter most in a loan and shows the companies that actually meet entrepreneurs needs. Learn more »