The main question to ask yourself is “Is there a reasonable expectation of profit” when conducting activities in a start-up venture. Quite often in a new business, time and money must be spent before revenue is generated. Expenses must be fully documented and be made with a profit motive. Otherwise CRA may use their 3 year time frame to audit expenses and judge whether they were commercial or more personal in nature.
For further information, reference should be made to Policy Statement P-176R entitled “Application of Profit Test to Carrying on a Business” on the Canada.ca website