Prince Edward Island may be Canada’s smallest and most rural province, but that doesn’t prevent people from starting a business and having success in PEI.
PEI is known for its red sand beaches, rolling hills, and world-class golf courses. Businesses related to tourism are popular selections.
However, you have many other options when considering operating a business in Prince Edward Island. Our guide provides advice for the most popular industries in PEI, as well as advice for entrepreneurs who want to start a business on the island.
Major Industries in Prince Edward Island
Traditionally, the economy of Prince Edward Island has focused on tourism, agriculture, and fishery for many centuries. Other industries in PEI include information technology, health care, manufacturing, bioscience, and aerospace.
More than 1,300 farms operate on nearly 600,000 acres of land cleared for agriculture in PEI. Farmers here produce potatoes, dairy, beef, pork, grains, and oilseeds, among other items.
Common businesses related to tourism in Prince Edward Island include bed and breakfast facilities, restaurants, golf courses, and cultural attractions.
Fisheries in PEI routinely harvest a number of species, including lobster, blue mussels, oysters, clams, trout, snow crab, rock crab, cod, and giant bluefin tuna, as well as sea plants used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals.
Best Business to Start in Prince Edward Island: 9 Promising Industries
When brainstorming the best business to start in Prince Edward Island, keep in mind the province’s nine priority growth sectors that show strength now and that are poised for growth in the near future. They include:
A government organization called Innovation PEI provides help to small businesses in these areas of the economy. All of Innovation PEI’s work aims to spark growth across Prince Edward Island’s economy.
If you are considering starting a new business, looking for an opportunity related to these growth sectors could help your chances at success.
Service businesses related to agriculture, tourism, and fisheries have shown strength for many decades. But service businesses related to the technology sector are growing, too.
How to Start a Business in Prince Edward Island: Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Start with the basics:
2. Determine what regulations apply to you:
3. Create a business plan.
Developing a business plan is an important aspect of starting a business. It gives you a guidebook to move toward your goals. The plan shows others you are serious about this venture, including potential financiers.
The business plan should include:
4. Seek funding.
Finding the money you need to start the business is a challenge. If you plan to go to a bank for a business loan, you need a highly detailed business plan in place.
Besides looking for a traditional bank loan, there are hundreds of government funding programs that you may qualify for. Check out our round-ups of the best funding programs:
5. Seek out advice and support from others.
Many successful business owners in PEI and other places wouldn’t be where they are today without help from others in the beginning. If you need some advice, reach out to accountants, lawyers, bankers, or mentors in professional organizations in Prince Edward Island.
Not only can such people provide tips for success, but they also can point out mistakes they made in the early days that you can hopefully avoid.
Prince Edward Island Small Business Grants: Top 5 Grants to Grow Your PEI Business
- Employ PEI – For Employers
- Marketing Assistance
- Strategic Improvement Assistance
- Capital Acquisition Assistance
- Workplace Skills Training
Business for Sale Prince Edward Island: Business Opportunities in Prince Edward Island
You may have a clear vision for the industry in which you want to operate a business in Prince Edward Island. However, the number of steps and the amount of work required to start a business from scratch can feel overwhelming.
If so, you may be a candidate to purchase an existing PEI business. We collected a number of resources you can use to find business others are trying to sell.
Online Business Marketplaces
A good starting point for seeking businesses for sale in PEI is through an online business marketplace, such as the following:
Real Estate Brokerages
Real estate brokers operating in Prince Edward Island often will list businesses for sale, as well as residential property, retail property, and commercial property. Local PEI brokerages that have some businesses listed for sale include:
Online Classifieds (For Sale by Owner)
Because realtors charge a fee, some business owners may try to sell their businesses on their own. Some sites that list these businesses for sale by owner include:
Business brokers in PEI focus on matching buyers and sellers of businesses. Because they focus on business transactions, they often can help speed up the process of obtaining a business. They help with negotiations, serving as a go-between for you and the seller.
Business brokers sometimes receive notice of businesses that are coming up for sale before they actually hit the market, giving you an early chance at buying them. These brokers often excel at finding niche businesses, too, if that interests you.
Some of the top business brokers operating in Prince Edward Island include:
Business Registration in Prince Edward Island
- Choose whether to create a business with the legal structure of sole proprietorship, PEI corporation, or partnership
- Choose the business name you want to use
- Search the PEI business registry to ensure your desired name is available and unique
- Reserve your business name through PEI’s new online registration system and submit your payment
- The PEI Registry Office will review your application and advise you about approval or denial
Innovation PEI provides a checklist of steps new businesses need to follow, too.
Business Licences in Prince Edward Island
Depending on the type of business you are starting in PEI, you may be subject to holding certain licences and permits. The following websites can help you figure out what licences you need.
Business Insurance in Prince Edward Island
The provincial government of Prince Edward Island does not require businesses to hold particular types of insurance coverage. However, operating a business without the safety net of insurance coverage is a dangerous idea.
Some of the most common types of business insurance include:
You may need workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees as well.
Business Laws in Prince Edward Island
As you start and operate your business, make sure you are following business laws in effect in PEI, including:
Business Taxes in Prince Edward Island
Taxes are part of life, even for a business owner. Laws and regulations related to business taxes in PEI include:
The current provincial business tax rate in Prince Edward Island ranges from 1% to 16%.
Prince Edward Island Business Immigration
Prince Edward Island is an environment where immigrants are encouraged to start businesses right away. Immigrants can make use of the Work Permit Stream program to start a business and to work toward becoming a resident.
Small Business Resources in Prince Edward Island
For many people, one of the most appealing reasons for starting your own business in PEI is so you can be your own boss … and do the exact opposite of what all your bad bosses did to you! You get to make all the decisions when you are running your own business.
Fortunately, even if you are working for yourself, you don’t have to go it alone. You can access multiple local resources to help you start and grow your business.
Prince Edward Island Business Directories
General Business Directories
Indigenous-Owned Businesses Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island Business Associations & Organizations
Prince Edward Island Business News
Other Prince Edward Island Resources for Business
Government of PEI Websites
- Corporate and Business Names Registry
- BizPal PEI
- Permits, Licensing, and Business Tax
- PEI Business Navigator
- Guide to Employment Standards in PEI
- Guide to Corporate and Business Name Rules
- Types of Businesses in PEI
- Register a Business: Co-operative
- Renew a Business: Co-operative or Non-profit Corporation
- Planning your Marketing Strategy
- PEI Businesses for Sale
- Companies Act Fees Regulations
- Prince Edward Island Economic Indicators
- Aquaculture Industry in PEI
- PEI Economic Overview
- Why should I locate my business to PEI?
- Small province, big opportunity: renewable energy on prince edward island
- Growing Atlantic Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity
- Bioscience Industry In PEI
- New Business Checklist
- Map Out your Operational Plan
- Finding the right staff
- Preparing your Business Plan
- Developing your business idea
PEI Business Legislation
- Business Corporations Act
- Employment Standards Act
- Labour Act
- Workers Compensation Act
- Youth Employment Standards Act
- Retail Business Holidays Act
- Partnership Act
- Limited Partnerships Act
- Co-operative Associations Act
- Credit Unions Act
- Companies Act
PEI Industry Resources
- Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Summerside Chamber Of Commerce
- Kensington & Area Chamber of Commerce
- West Prince Chamber of Commerce
- Chambre de Commerce Acadienne et Francophone de L’Î.-P.-É.
- Tourism Industry Association of PEI (TIAPEI)
- A.C. Aerospace & Defence Association
- PEI Fishermen’s Association Ltd
- PEI Aquaculture Alliance
- Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture
- Community Business Development Corporation
- Charlottetown Area Development Corporation
- Resources West
- Central Development Corporation
- La Société de développement de la Baie acadienne
- Summerside Regional Development Corporation
Other PEI Business Resources
- Skills PEI
- Work PEI
- Opportunities PEI
- Canada Business Network
- Innovation PEI
- Trade Team PEI
- PEI Connectors