Resources for Experts Age 45+ to Support Starting a Freelance Business

There are various actions to take to start your freelancing business, so that you can be sure you are in compliance with business registration and tax obligations, and get tips about how to optimize your life as a freelancer. The following list of resources may be helpful to seniors setting up their expertise profile to be a seller on The following references are provided as a courtesy to help age 50+ to set up their business. They are not all inclusive and do not replace the need for expert advice if so desired.


Tips on How to Start Your Freelance Business

The following guides are aimed at people who plan to pursue freelancing fulltime, and some in reference to starting a business that requires investment in real assets, so not all of the information will be as relevant. But there are some very good recommendations, as a sort of checklist of things for you to think about and do. Some of them discuss finding clients/customers – of course, is a major potential source for you.


Guidance for starting a new business (including freelancing): 

"WISER: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Business After the Age of 50", by Wendy Mayhew, is your fundamental handbook for entering the new wave of "school-of-life" entrepreneurs. It is an all-encompassing exploration of the unique challenges and rewards surrounding later-years ventures, including all the tools and information needed to join this fastest-growing group of budding entrepreneurs. For more information on the book and how to purchase it:


How to Set up A Freelance business in Canada  

Canadian Living Freelancer Guide

This is a general purpose guide from Canadian Living Magazine, with some pointers on business formation and marketing.


Starting a Freelance Business: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Hubspot Guide to Setting up a Freelance Business

This guide has a 12 point checklist to help establish your approach and plan for your business. Targeting at a younger adult age group going at it fulltime, from a US perspective, nevertheless some useful parts to it.


7 Things You Need to Know When Filing Freelancer Taxes in Canada 

Freshbooks Canadian Freelancer Tax Guide

A good solid checklist on registering your business and tax planning, Canada-specific, from an accounting software company.


Freelance Taxes in Canada: 9 Things You Need to Know

Intuit's Freelancer Tax Guide for Canada

Useful Canada-specific guidance on a freelancer’s tax obligations, also from an accounting software company.


Definitive Beginner Guide for Freelancers

Hosting Canada's Freelancer Guide

A good general overview of becoming a freelancer, and things to think about. Not all will be relevant, but worth a review.



Government of Canada Resources

The following references will help you with the actual sources and steps to deciding on your business structure (most likely a “sole proprietorship”), registering it, income tax obligations, and determining GST/HST requirements for your business type in your province, so both have influence on that.


Starting a Business 

Government of Canada Business Starting Resources

A good introduction to starting any kind of business in Canada, with links to more specific information for freelancers, and deciding to be the business type called “sole proprietors”.


Registering your business with the government 

Government of Canada business registration information

This helps you determine whether you need to register your business, and if so, how to do that.


Checklist for Small Businesses

Government of Canada Small Business Checklist  

This handy checklist for any kind of small business provides a list of further resources that may be of help.


Sole proprietorship 

Government of Canada tax information for sole proprietorships

This is an introductory resource on income taxes and GST/HST for sole proprietorships.


GST/HST obligations for businesses

Government of Canada GST/HST guide

This general resource on GST/HST for any size of business has links to more specific and relevant information for you.


Calculating GST/HST if required to collect and remit it 

Government of Canada GST/HST calculations information

Generally a small business does not need to register, collect, and remit GST/HST unless it makes over $30,000 per year in revenue/sales. This resource helps with understanding the different categories relating to GST/HST decisions. Please not that if you are required to collect and remit GST/HST, you should add that amount to your prices for your customers. is not able to do this for you.


Calculating Your Personal Income Taxes for Income Through

Tax Tip - Top 10 tips for your platform economy tax obligations

This is very helpful guidance directly from the CRA for people who earn income from online activities and various types of "gig" or "sharing" econcomy sources.  See the link for the full article, which starts with:

"Tip 1 – Know your area(s) of the platform economy

There are four areas in the platform economy

  1. Sharing economy (for example, using and sharing assets like cars and spaces)
  2. Gig economy (for example, short-term contracts, freelance work, or other temporary work)   THIS IS ELDERBERRY.WORK
  3. Peer-to-peer (P2P) (for example, selling goods like clothing)
  4. Social media influencers (for example, individuals with influence or significant presence on social media)

Each area of the platform economy is unique, and participants can have different tax obligations."


Retail Council of Canada provincial sales taxes chart

RCC provincial sales tax summary

This handy chart shows the sales tax rates by province, whether they collect PST, GST, or combined as HST. Note that BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec collect provincial sales tax. If you reside in one of those provinces, you should check with the respective government resources to determine your PST obligations.