It is relatively easy to start a small escort business in the Yukon Territory, and as escort services are few and far between in the area, you’ll be ahead of the class by making your business legit with the municipal and federal Canadian government. This process is especially easy if you keep your business small and designed to be run and managed by a limited number of persons. When starting your escort business, you’ll want clearly define what your business does, who manages it and who receives profits. The simpler the layout, the easier it will be to register the company and file business reports and taxes yearly.
Step one: Define and describe your business
There are several kinds of business structures applicable for running an escort business, and picking the right one for you is important. For example, someone working independently as an escort and someone running an agency would utilize two different business structures. Ask yourself these questions and your business model will start to take shape for you.
- How do I define my work? What is it, in essence, that I serve? Do I supply the connections between escorts and clients, or am I myself the escort and am providing the company?
- Am I the only one who will benefit monetarily from my business? If not, who else will and why are they collecting profits?
- Am I the only one who will manage my business—schedule clients, hire drivers etc.? If not, will it be another owner doing this or someone I employ?
- Will I be hiring regular employees to take calls, set up appointments, manage any office work on a regular basis etc., or will I maintain my business by myself?
- Will I be hiring independent consultants (freelance escorts) and, if so, how do I expect to manage and pay them?
- Who will fund costs such as buying advertisements in newspapers, renting an office or the cost of running a website?
- Would I ever want to brand my business name or logo?
- Who will be responsible for my business if I run into debt? Is this just me?
- Will I ever want to sell my business?
Another step in articulating your business is to write a one-sentence summary of what the business actually does. As an escort you’re registering a service you provide, rather than a product that you sell, and this service will need to be articulated on various forms and in marketing materials. Make this unique to you from the questions you’ve answered above, along the lines of “We provide company to our clients in a social setting”.
For information on what terms you legally can and cannot use, refer to our article The fine legal line between escort and prostitute: some strategies for an escort to stay out of trouble.
Step two: Choose your business structure
Once you have a handle of what your business is and how it will be run, it’s time to pick out a business structure. Below are quick definitions of the three business models that apply best to a small escorting service in Canada: a sole proprietorship,a general partnership and a corporation.
- Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest business structure, with a minimal amount of paperwork filing. One person owns and operates the business, and is responsible for all profits and losses. If you are just starting out and/or will be managing your company alone, this is what you want.
- General Partnership: This retains the responsibility of a sole proprietorship, but is owned by two or more persons, called partners. In a general partnership, all partners share equal responsibility regarding funding and managing the business, as well as responsibility should the business run into financial trouble. If you have a small group of persons whose strengths will manage arranging and seeing clients, this is what you should choose. However, as you are equally responsible for losses, it can be a risky investment. Within the escort service world, it makes more sense to join into a general partnership than a limited partnership, where the financial / legal responsibility of the company is not shared equally.
- Corporation: The business is a legal entity owned by shareholders and run by its directors (which will, most likely, be you). While the shareholders may invest money and collect in profits, they are not responsible for losses or claiming personal bankruptcy if the business declares such. However, if the directors are judged to be personally at fault, they may be held responsible for the unaccounted amount. This model requires a good amount of paperwork and applicable fees, and most likely the addition of an accountant and business lawyer as well. A corporation is the way to go if you have been in business for a few years, juggle many consultants and clients, and want to expand and legitimize your work on a higher platform. If that’s not you, don’t become a corporation.
For more information on what these mean specifically in the escorting world, and the processes for each, please refer to our articles:
- Do I want to be a sole proprietor?
- Do I want to be part of a partnership?
- Do I want to be a corporation?
For more information on these entities within Canada, visit Canada Business » Government Services for Entrepreneurs.
Step three: Create your name
Let’s pretend your name is “Jane Doe”. First, decide whether you simply want to call your business your name (“Jane Doe”) or your name and service (“Jane Doe Escort Service”). If you use these names as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you are not required to register your business. However, if you choose to take on a name such as “Jane’s Escort Service”, you are considered to be functioning under a business name (also called a Doing Business As or DBA name) and will have to register it as such. Corporations, which are their own legal entities, must register their business under a business name.
If you’re required to or simply want to take on a business name, have fun creating it. Do you want to be flirty and funny? Try “Jane Doe: The Company Company”. Feel like being a little more discreet and want to stay out of the limelight? Try something demure, like “Jane’s Social Consulting”. Your name can be as simple or as flashy as you’d like, just make sure it’s honest to what you want your business to be. Do you want to push the envelope of acceptability or maintain a low profile?
For more information on business structures within the Yukon Territory, visit the Government of Yukon Department of Community Affairs » What types of businesses are there?.
For more information on what legally should and should not be in your business name in the Yukon Territory, visit the Government of Yukon Department of Community Services » Name Guide.
Step four: Register your business / business name
As an escort, chances are you can contain your business to operating within the Yukon Territory. Doing so means that you register your business on a municipal rather than federal level as you would if you were to, say, see clients in the NWT or British Columbia, saving you some time and money.
Sole proprietorship / partnership
All businesses in the Yukon Territory must register their business name with theYukon Department of Community Services. While most provinces only require this if using a DBA name, all individuals conducting business in the Yukon Territory must do so.
To reserve your business name, you must first get the name approved by staff member of the Corporate Affairs office at the Department of Community Services. You can then file a Declaration of Use of Business Names form with a $25 filing fee.
If you are using your own name or the collective names of the partners as your business name, you do not have to continue with further registration.
If you use a DBA name, however, you’ll have to file a Declaration of Partnership, which specifies the purpose of the company and information about the partners. If you’re a sole proprietorship you’ll use the same form, and simply put yourself as the sole ‘partner’.
Once you’ve registered your business you can get your BN (Business Number) that will make it easier to apply for permits, pay taxes and exchange business information within government offices. For more information on obtaining a BN, go to Canada Revenue Agency » Business Number Registration.
To register your escort corporation you’ll need to file several things with the Department of Community Services.
- NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automatic Name Search) report: compares your name nationally with other corporations registered. There are many government-approved services that can do this for you, or you can do so through Corporations Canada. For more information and links to services, go to the Government of Canada » NUANS.
- Articles of Incorporation: outlines the purpose of the company, the details of the shares allotted, the number of incorporators and any restrictions that the company must function under.
- Notice of Address: files the physical location of the company.
- Notice of Directors and Officer: specifies the directors of the company and their personal addresses and head officer.
Because of the highly intricate nature of registering a corporation it is strongly recommended that you seek advice / register through a business lawyer, especially as fees, dues dates and forms often change and are not always available online.
Step five: Register for / pay business taxes
- If you are a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll have to report your self-employment income on your T-1 General return. Your choice of when your business year ends affects your tax bracket, so it’s smart to do some research and consult with a professional when becoming familiar with self-employment and small-business taxes.
- If you’re a corporation, you’ll pay both municipal and federal corporation taxes, which now stand at 4% and 11% respectively (for corporations who make less than $400,000 yearly). This tax is administered through the Canada Revenue Agency, but updated and relevant information is best found at the NWT Department of Finance.
- If you have employees, you’ll need to report and deduct payroll expenses at the Canada Revenue Agency. This contributes towards employment insurance, the Canadian pension plan and income tax.
- If you have employees, you’ll need to provide workers’ compensation and enroll your business with the Yukon Worker’s Health and Safety Board.
- As an escort providing a service, you may have to apply the federal GST (Goods and Service Tax) on to your service, which currently stands at 5%. For more information consult a business lawyer or go to the Canada Revenue Agency. Lucky for you there is no provincial sales takes in the Yukon Territory.
For more information and answers to common tax questions, go to the Yukon Department of Finance.
Step six: Get necessary licenses and permits
You may be required within your municipality to have additional licenses or permits on top of your basic business registration, depending on how you’re running your business specifically within that locality. For a personalized guide on which licenses and permits you’ll need to obtain, go to the BizPal Service Yukon Territory.