Saskatchewan’s business environment is growing and changing, which means there are new opportunities for entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. The province is home to more than 146,000 businesses, and the government is committed to supporting entrepreneurship and business growth.
Almost 99% of all businesses operating in Saskatchewan are small, meaning that they have fewer than 50 employees. However, there are also numerous opportunities for medium and large businesses to establish themselves in the province.
The Saskatchewan government provides flexible business registration options and allows businesses to register online. The province also offers a number of programs and services to support businesses, including the SK Startup Institute, which provides resources to help businesses start up, expand, and succeed.
If you plan to register a business in Saskatchewan, you should first decide on a business structure, and a name for your business. The next thing to do is obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and fill out the required forms online through The Saskatchewan Corporate Registry.
You can pay all the registration fees with a credit card. Once everything is ready, you should receive your business registration certificate within two weeks.
- Forms of business available in Saskatchewan
- Choosing a business name in Saskatchewan
- Registering business name in Saskatchewan
- Incorporating in Saskatchewan
- Should you register a business bank account for your Saskatchewan business?
- Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- American Express® Business EdgeTM Card
- American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card
- Desjardins Visa Business Card®
- Frequently asked questions about registering a business in Saskatchewan
Forms of business available in Saskatchewan
One of the most important steps in registering your business in Saskatchewan is deciding which legal business form to choose. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. It is essential to ensure that your business model perfectly aligns with your legal business structure to avoid any potential issues in the future.
This is the most common business structure in Saskatchewan. So what makes a sole proprietorship so attractive?
For starters, sole proprietorships are easy to register and have low start-up costs. As the owner of a sole proprietorship, you will be in complete control of your business. You get to keep all the profits generated by your business.
However, there is a downside. Sole proprietorships offer little to no legal protection for the owner. This means that if your business fails, you are liable for all debts and losses incurred by your business.
This form of business is perfect for entrepreneurs who are planning to start a small business with low risks. If you are confident in your ability to run and grow your business, then a sole proprietorship might be the right choice for you.
A partnership is a business structure where two or more individuals share ownership of the business. Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships in that they are easy to register and have low start-up costs.
Partnerships also offer the same level of control and flexibility as sole proprietorships. However, partnerships offer some advantages over sole proprietorships.
For example, partnerships can help you pool resources and talents with other individuals to grow your business. Partnerships also provide some level of legal protection for business owners.
This form of business is perfect for entrepreneurs who are looking to team up with other individuals to start and grow their businesses. If you have a partner or partners that you trust, then a partnership might be a good option.
While corporations are more complex to register than sole proprietorships and partnerships, they offer a number of advantages. Corporations offer limited liability protection for business owners, which means that business owners are not personally liable for the debts and losses of the corporation. Score one point for registering as a corporation!
This type of legal protection is not available for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Corporations also help businesses raise capital by selling shares of the corporation to investors.
The incorporation process is more time-consuming and expensive than registering a sole proprietorship or partnership, but the legal protections and potential for raising capital make it worth the effort for many businesses.
If you are looking to start a large business that might require significant investment, then incorporating your business is what you need. You may require an assistance of a lawyer to help you navigate the incorporation process.
Choosing a business name in Saskatchewan
Once you have decided on the legal structure of your business, it is time to choose a business name. The process for choosing a business name in Saskatchewan is similar to the process in other Canadian provinces. If you are planning to register a sole proprietorship or partnership, you can use your own name or a fictitious business name.
However, if you are planning to use a business name that is different from your full name, you will need to register the name with the Saskatchewan Registry Services. If you are incorporating your business, you will need to choose a corporate name.
You need to follow some basic rules when choosing a corporate name. For instance, you can use letters of the Roman alphabet, numbers, and even special characters. However, remember that your business name should not contain more than 50% of special characters.
Furthermore, you can use French or English words in your business name. Just note that all corporations must have a name that ends with “Limited”, “Limitée”, “Ltd.”, “Ltée”, “Incorporated”, “Incorporée”, “Inc.”, “Corporation” or “Corp”.
You are also not allowed to use financial terms such as “finance”, “loan”, “credit”, “warranty”, and others unless you have a permit from the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority. Furthermore, using words that may suggest that your corporation is connected to the Saskatchewan government, such as “Saskatchewan”, “provincial”, or “government”, is not allowed.
Any words that can be considered offensive or vulgar are not allowed in business names. Finally, you cannot register a business name that is the same or similar to an existing registered trademark. Make sure to follow all these rules when choosing a business name.
Registering business name in Saskatchewan
When you have chosen a business name, the next step is to register it with the Saskatchewan Registry Services. Registering your business name will give you exclusive rights to use the name for your business. It is important to register your business name to protect it from being used by another business.
You can register your business name through The Corporate Registry (ISC) website. Create your account by providing your personal information, such as first and last name, province, address, and postal code. Enter your username, password, and email. After you fill out the form, you will receive a confirmation email. Confirm your account and sign in to the ISC website to register your business name.
Signing in to your ISC account
The next thing to do is sign in to your account and click the “File” menu. Next, click the “Business Names” menu and the “Reserve Name” button.
You should reserve your name before you register your business. Select your form of business and proceed to the name reservation form.
The next step requires you to enter the business name. Once you enter the name, you can check its availability by clicking the “Check Name” button.
At this point you need to declare the nature of your business. You do this by entering your business activity into the “Search” field. You can check more information regarding different activities and NAICS codes in the NAICS codes database.
After that, you must to pay the name reservation fee. The standard fee is $50; however, you can also request a priority registration service for an additional $500. Finally, submit your business name registration application and pay the fee.
You receive a reservation number once your business name is reserved. You need to provide this number while registering your business in Saskatchewan.
The name reservation process for corporations is identical. You just have to click the “Business Corporations” menu and select the “Reserve Name” sub-menu. The reservation fees are: $60 for standard name search and reservation and an additional $500 for priority name reservation service.
Incorporating in Saskatchewan
You can start the online incorporation process at the Corporate Registry website. As with the business name registration process, you will need to sign in to your account or create a new one. Once you are logged in, click on the “File” menu and select “Business Corporations”, then “Incorporate”.
To register a business in Saskatchewan as a corporation, you have to provide your name reservation number. If you want to use a numbered name, you don’t need to reserve a business name. The first form requires you to enter the incorporation date as well as the NAICS code of your business activity.
Setting up incorporation details
The next step is to provide information about your share classes, number of directors, and articles of incorporation details. Share classes refer to the type of shares that will be offered by the corporation. You can register a business in Saskatchewan with one or more share classes.
Different share classes have different rights and privileges. For example, Class A shares allow to vote at shareholder meetings, receive dividends, and receive remaining property when the corporation dissolves. Class B shares don’t have voting rights but may have privileges, such as the right to receive a dividend.
Directors are responsible for the management of the corporation. Finally, you are required to upload the articles of incorporation. This is a document that contains information about the business, such as its name, address, contact information, directors, share class details, and restrictions on business.
In the next form, you provide information about the physical and mailing address. The physical address of your office must be in Saskatchewan. Your mailing address can be different from the physical address. Make sure to provide accurate information as this will be used for correspondence from the government.
Next, you give detailed information on your directors or officers. Fill out their credentials, contact information, and physical address. You should provide information about all the directors. Remember that 25% of directors must be Canadian citizens.
The Corporate Registry of Saskatchewan also provides a possibility to register your business with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance. This is important as businesses operating in Saskatchewan must obtain a provincial sales tax (PST) number.
What is the PST? PST is a Canadian tax that applies to most goods and services sold. Provide your business address, tax return address, and business information. The registration is free of charge.
You may also be required to register an account with Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). WCB is an independent organization that provides workplace injury and illness insurance to Saskatchewan workers and employers. Check the Workers Compensation Act 2013 to see if your business is required to register with WCB.
Finally, pay a $270 registration fee to complete the online incorporation process. You can pay by credit card.
As soon as your incorporation is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Incorporation. This document is proof that your business exists and is registered with the province. You can register a business in Saskatchewan either online or by mail. Registering online is a faster and more convenient option.
Should you register a business bank account for your Saskatchewan business?
Yes. When you register a business in Saskatchewan, you will need to open a business bank account. This is because a corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. Hence, the corporation has to maintain separate financial records.
A business bank account helps you track the income and expenses of your business. It will also make it easier for you to prepare financial statements and file taxes. You will also enjoy additional benefits with your business credit card.
Business Platinum Card® from American Express
- Annual fee: $499
- Interest rate on purchases: n/a
- Interest rate on cash advances: n/a
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express is probably the most popular choice for businesses looking for a corporate credit card. Cardholders are able to take advantage of a range of benefits, including 1.25 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases, and access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide.
A dedicated concierge service is also available to help cardholders with flights, dining, and other travel-related arrangements. For businesses that spend a lot on travel, the Amex Corporate Platinum Card® can help you save money and earn rewards.
American Express® Business EdgeTM Card
- Annual fee: $99
- Interest rate on purchases: 19.99%
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99%
The American Express® Business EdgeTM Card is a good choice for businesses that are looking for a simple and straightforward corporate credit card. It offers the 19.99% preferred rate on purchases and 21.99% on funds advances.
The card comes with 45.000 welcome bonus points, which you can earn by spending $5,000 in the first three months. You can earn up to 3x points on eligible travel and office supply purchases.
Bonus points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, or merchandise. The card also comes with employee misuse protection and 24/7 customer support.
American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card
- Annual fee: $199
- Interest rate on purchases: n/a
- Interest rate on cash advances: n/a
If your business spends a lot on gas, advertising, or shipping, the American Express® Business Gold Rewards Card could be a good option. This card offers up to 110.000 welcome points, 70.000 of which you can earn by spending $5000 in the first three months and 10.000 quarterly for spending $20.000 in net purchases. You also earn 3 points per dollar spent on one category of your choice. There is also no pre-set spending limit and various business solutions available, such as expense business reports and business servicing.
Desjardins Visa Business Card®
Annual fee: $60 (1-4 cards) and $40 each after 5+ cards
Desjardins Visa Business Card® gives you the purchasing power and flexibility your business needs. With a small annual fee, it’s a smart choice for business owners.
Get 1% cash back on all your purchases (up to $4,880). Get additional cards for your employees and keep track of all your business expenses in one place. Corporate legal assistance services coming with your card can help you with a variety of business legal problems.
Frequently asked questions about registering a business in Saskatchewan
Incorporating in Saskatchewan is a process that begins with the business name registration and the filing of Articles of Incorporation. You can incorporate your business online through the Saskatchewan Corporate Registry website.
If you need to make changes to your articles of incorporation, you can do so by filing an amendment with Saskatchewan Corporate Registry. Before changing your articles of incorporation, you should hold a shareholders’ meeting.
If you are planning on doing business only in Saskatchewan, then a Saskatchewan business incorporation would likely suffice. However, if you are planning on doing business in multiple provinces or territories, then you may want to consider federal incorporation.
You should pay a $50 business name registration fee or $60 for registering a business name for your corporation. The business registration fee in Saskatchewan is $270, which includes a gazette publication fee of $15 and a business registration fee of $255. You can check current fees at the Corporate Registry website.