When you think of opening a small business, often you first look within your networks for people that may be of assistance to you.
You may realize you don’t need to look beyond your own family, since they already have some of the skills/qualifications you need. Hiring a family member to help you run your business is common.
Hiring family can offer specific benefits:
- Family members are available to you beyond traditional working hours or days.
- You may be comfortable leaving your business with them for a day or two.
- They may have a specific skill you need (e.g., a cook, graphic designer, assistant).
- You give them an employment opportunity and experience.
- You may be passing off your business to a family member in the future.
While this is all great, you should be aware certain government agencies have rules in place for this type of hiring. Be mindful of the Canada Revenue Agency as well as Service Canada, both of which outline who is eligible (or ineligible) for Employment Insurance (EI) programs, such as maternity, parental leave, and sick benefits.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has a variety of webinars available, including one that provides you with information on the EI rulings process. Please note that the EI Rulings process is for active hires, not for hypothetical situations.
Hiring family members can help keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive in your family, so make sure you know how this type of employment works within government programs.
Cesar Gomez, CFIB Business Counsellor