Registering a Business in Saskatchewan
By Adam Bello | September 1, 2001
This article was updated Janaury 15, 2016.
Registering a business in Saskatchewan is straightforward: the registration process is required of any person, whether living or as a corporate entity, who conducts business under a business name in the province.
The Saskatchewan Corporate Registry within the Information Services Corporation (ISC) (formerly known as the Corporations Branch within the Ministry of Justice) coordinates all aspects of the registration and regulation of business corporations, non-profit corporations, co-operatives and other businesses in the province.
There website can be accessed using this link:
Before you begin, if you meet ALL of the following criteria, you do NOT need to register your business, according to the ICS website:
- You are operating a sole proprietorship under your personal name (e.g. “John Smith”) OR practicing a profession regulated by a governing body (e.g. doctor or lawyer) and your firm is operating under the name of a current or former associate.
- You do not have any employees and do not wish to receive optional personal coverage from WCB.
- You are operating a business in one of these specific industries that is not eligible for or does not require a PST number to be filed with the Ministry of Finance (either as a vendor or consumer)
So once you ahve figured that out, you can begin the process of registering your business!
Step 1: Determine your business type
There are 4 options for the legal structure of a company registered in the province:
1) a sole proprietorship,
2) a partnership,
3) a corporation, or
4) a non-profit corporation.
The size and tax implications of each option will determine the type of business structure.
Once you determine your business's legal structure and proposed name, you may proceed with the appropriate registration process. In Saskatchewan, different forms, fees, and procedures exist for sole proprietorships and partnerships, business corporations, and non-profit corporations.
Step 2: Reserve a Name
In Saskatchewan, your business’ name must be unique. That is, no other business can have an identical or very similar name to the one you want to use. If you are registering a sole proprietorship or partnership, the name of your business must contain a distinctive element and a descriptive element. The purpose of this requirement is to: distinguish your business from another, as well as explain the type of business you will be doing. So for example, “Sam’s Hardware” would fit this requirement, with “Sam” being the distinctive element, and “Hardware” being the descriptive element.
Here is a good link to find out more information on choosing a business name:
Also, checkout this link for more information on reserving your business name, including costs of length of time you can expect to wait:
Step 3: Registering your Business
You can now register your business online in Saskatchewan, which is preferred by the ICS. Doing this online will be cheaper and take less time. You will need to create a log-in account with the Corproate Registry.
To start this, click here!
Your registration will be reviewed by the Corporate Registry and Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance. It will typically take about 5 days for you to be notified of the results.
You can also register your business name by mail, fax, or in person. Here is the ICS Corporate Registry Business Name Registration Kit.
Registering a sole proprietorship or partnership falls under The Business Names Registration Act. The process requires that you fill out the following forms:
- Application for Registration (Form A) -can be done online
- Request for Name Search and Reservation (Form G).
Here is a link for all Business Name Registration Act Forms:
Forms must be typed or completed in ink and then forwarded to the Corporations Branch with the appropriate fees. Fees are payable to the Minister of Finance, in cash, cheque, money order, Visa, or MasterCard. Forms may be mailed or faxed. The faxed copy should include an attached client authorization form for payment.
Turning to incorporation, the registration process for corporations falls under The Business Corporations Act, while registration of a non-profit corporation falls under The Non-profit Corporations Act. Both processes in Saskatchewan require that you fill out the following forms:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Notice of Registered Office
- Notice of Directors
- Request for Name Search and Reservation.
While business registration and incorporation fees are standardized (at the time of publication), fees vary for name search and reservation, depending on whether you are performing a Saskatchewan Plus or a Canada-wide search of your proposed operating name, and the number of times a search is performed. Non-profit corporations also have the option for a Saskatchewan-only name search.
Requests for a name search of your desired business name may also be made to the Corporate Registry of the Corporations Branch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (306) 787-2962, using a valid Visa or MasterCard number and expiration date. In correspondence, you should provide the branch with all information outlined in the search form, as well as a return mailing address to receive the search results.
In each search scenario, all available names are reserved for a 90-day period to allow applicants time to prepare and submit the registration documents, if they do not accompany the name search request.
Following name approval and review of all received documents (both for completeness and accordance with The Business Names Registration Act), a Certificate of Registration containing a registration number is issued. The business name will then be registered on the date that all correctly completed forms and fees are received, although the applicant may request a later commencement date for registration, if desired.
Once registered, a business name is valid for use by its holder for a three-year period. Keep in mind that your registration will NOT automatically renew, so you must ensure that it gets renewed every three years BEFORE it expires.
Any changes in contact information for the operating business during that time should be provided to the Corporations Branch within 15 days of taking effect, free of charge.
For business corporations, a Certificate of Incorporation is issued, attached to the duplicate set of Articles, and returned following satisfactory approval of delivered documentation and compliance with The Business Corporations Act. Non-profits also receive a Certificate of Incorporation in the same manner with respect to The Non-profit Corporations Act.
The usual turnaround time for processing registration documents is two weeks. If needed, priority processing can be provided for additional fees.
In Saskatchewan, each business also requires a municipal or city business license for each municipality in which it operates. Depending on the nature of your business, additional license and registration requirements may be applicable, such as GST registration or a provincial Education and Health Tax license, through various federal and provincial departments. For more information, contact the Department of Economic and Co-operative Development at 1-800-265-2001, or visit its website at www.ir.gov.sk.ca . Contact the Canada-Saskatchewan Business Service Centre at 1-800-667-4374, website www.cbsc.org/sask.
Registering your business comes with certain fees. You can find information about all possible fees on the ICS website, but here are a few of the fees you can expect:
Business Name Search & Reservation:
|Online search and reservation for a new sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation||$51.49 per name|
|Online search and reservation for a new non-profit corporation||$20.77 per name|
|Register a sole proprietorship||$56.55|
|Register a corporation||$222.75|
|Register a non-profit||$66.94|
For more information on registering a business in Saskatchewan:
Information Services Corporation
1301 First Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 8H2
Phone: (306) 787-2962
Fax: (306) 787-8999
Office hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday.
The Corporations Branch website has information kits available for business registration and incorporation applicants, as well as links to sources for related legislation, The Business Names Registration Act, The Business Corporations Act, and The Non-profit Corporations Act 1995:
Web site: www.isc.ca/corporateregistry