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Business (Saskatchewan) Start-up Info-Guide

State/Province Resources


Your business plan is your statement in words and numbers of what you want to do and what you need to get there. It is your overall strategic plan. It is also a summary of your mission, mandate, and method. It is your basic reference document in telling your customers, suppliers, bankers, and partners, about your track record, your tactics, and your targets.

Why Do I Need One?
The business plan is an essential planning and tracking tool. You need it in order to make your start-up decisions and your day-to-day operating decisions, to get the financing you need, and to keep yourself and your business on track. Without it, you will waste time, energy and money. You may also lose sight of your objective.

The Interactive Business Planner is the first small business planning software designed specifically to operate on the World Wide Web. This interactive online tool will help you prepare a comprehensive business plan for your new or existing business.

The Interactive Business Planner (IBP) will:

- help you write your business plan;
- provide a format for writing your business plan;
- take the information you enter and prepare financial projections for you.

For further information regarding Business Plans see the documents listed below:
Business Plan Guide
Business Plan For Retailers
Business Plan For Small Service Firms
Business Plan For Small Construction Firms
Business Plan For Small Manufacturers

You will need to find some statistics when developing your business plan. The following are some areas recommended to assist you in locating statistics: see Recommended Information - Demographics/Statistics or visit (Look under Links, Economic Forecasts and Statistics)

Provincial Registration
To operate a business in Saskatchewan you are required to register your business name with Saskatchewan Justice, Corporations Branch (the exception being operating a sole proprietorship under your own personal name). There are three basic structures any business can take:

sole proprietorship;
partnership; and

There are many legal differences between sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations. Each form of ownership has different implications for liability, taxation and succession. It is recommended that you seek professional advice (lawyer, accountant, etc.) on which form is best suited to your needs when deciding how to structure your business.

A sole proprietorship is a business consisting of one owner. That owner may be either an individual or a corporation. If the owner is an individual (who is also personally liable for all the debts of the business) and carries on business under a name other than his or her personal name, that name must be registered under The Business Names Registration Act.

A sole proprietorship is not required to be registered if the business is carried on under the owner\'s legal name. If the business uses a name other than the owner\'s, or if any other words are added to the owner\'s name (e.g. John Doe Sporting Goods), the Business Names Act requires that you register the business name before you start using it.

A partnership is a business owned by one or more individuals or corporations (in any combination). Within a partnership, each partner is potentially liable for all debts of the partnership. If the partnership carries on business under a name, that name must be registered under The Business Names Registration Act.

A corporation is a legal entity that has a separate legal existence apart from its shareholders and directors. It is sometimes also referred to as a \'limited company\'. Since it has a separate legal existence from its shareholders and directors, they are generally not personally liable for the debts of the corporation beyond the amount contributed. Although it is the shareholders which \'own\' a corporation, it is the directors who manage the day-to-day operations.

Register online or download the forms at Saskatchewan Justice for Forming a sole proprietorship or Forming a corporation .

You can also contact Saskatchewan Justice, Corporations Branch in Regina at 306-787-2962. The CSBSC also distributes these forms, contact us at 1-800-667-4374 or 956-2323 in Saskatoon.

For further information regarding choosing a type of business ownership, see the document Forms of Business Organization.

Federal Incorporation
The enhanced name protection provided to a federal corporation, the right to carry on business anywhere in Canada, the increased recognition abroad of a \"federal charter\" and the high level of service provided by Corporations Canada staff are reasons frequently cited by corporations and their professional representatives for choosing federal incorporation under the Canada Business Corporations Act. And now, federal incorporation can be done online directly at the Corporations Canada Web site.

If you require additional information on e-commerce initiatives, technological issues pertaining to the Internet, or any of the products and services offered by Corporations Canada, please visit the Web site or contact them by phone or e-mail:

toll-free at 1-866-333-5556
Corporations Canada - Where to start?

For more information on federal business incorporation or any other products and services offered by Corporations Canada see the document Federal Business Incorporation - Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA)

Another way to protect your business name across Canada -

Your business name can be registered under the Trade-marks Act only if it is also used as a trade-mark, that is, used to identify wares or services. Registration of your trade-mark gives you the exclusive right to use the mark across Canada for 15 years, renewable every 15 years thereafter. Preparing a trade-mark application and following through on it can be a complex task, particularly if a third party challenges your right to the mark. You may file on your own, but it is highly recommended that you hire a trade-mark agent to do so on your behalf. The Trade-marks Office can provide you with a list of agents or view the web site.

To download forms and for more information visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office Web site or contact the Client Service Centre of Canadian Intellectual Property Office toll-free at 1-866-997-1936.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Business Service Centre (CSBSC) also distributes these forms. Contact us at 1-800-667-4374 or 306-956-2323 in Saskatoon.

Municipal License

Each municipal government has the authority to issue its own business licenses within its jurisdiction. Since there is no uniformity throughout the province regarding municipal licenses for businesses, you should consult with the appropriate local officials (city hall, town or village office, or rural municipal office) to determine if you require a municipal business license.

For contact information regarding a Municipal license, see the appropriate Sources of Information and Required Licenses for your region:

Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Saskatoon and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Yorkton and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - LaRonge and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Estevan and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Moose Jaw and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - North Battleford and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Prince Albert and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Regina and Region
Sources of Information and Required Licenses - Swift Current and Region

Other licenses - Consumer Protection Branch, Saskatchewan Justice

Licenses are required for the following businesses: Auctioneers; Collection Agents; Credit Reporting Agents; Direct Sellers (direct solicitors); Film and Video Classification; Motor Dealers; Cemeteries; and Sale of Training Courses. The application forms and the acts are available on the Internet on the Saskatchewan Justice Consumer Protection Branch Web site, or by contacting your local CSBSC office or Consumer Protection Branch in Regina at 1-888-374-4636 or 306-787-5550.

An Agricultural Implements Dealers License is required from Saskatchewan Agriculture. Visit their Web site for answers to FAQS - Agricultural Implements Act or contact 306-787-4693 in Regina for forms and more information.

Gas License -Licensing programs apply to contractors, employers, and individuals who provide gas installation services, and perform such work on behalf of the public and within premises they may own. These programs provide public protection from potential hazards associated with the use of gas installations. The licensing programs, in conjunction with permit and inspection programs established under The Gas Inspection Act administered by SaskPower, provide public protection and recourse to bonding action to ensure that gas installations comply with safety standards.

Visit the Gas and Electrical Licensing Web site or contact Corrections and Public Safety by phone at 306-787-4508 (Regina).

Electrical License -Licensing programs apply to contractors, employers, and individuals who provide electrical installation services, and perform such work on behalf of the public and within premises they may own. These programs provide public protection from potential hazards associated with the use of electrical installations. The licensing programs, in conjunction with permit and inspection programs established under The Electrical Inspection Act administered by SaskPower, provide public protection and recourse to bonding action to ensure that electrical installations comply with safety standards.

Visit the Gas and Electrical Licensing Web site or contact Corrections and Public Safety by phone at 306-787-4508 (Regina).

Saskatchewan Regulatory Requirements for Starting a Business
Saskatchewan Industry and Resources, in co-operation with various business associations and government departments, agencies and Crown Corporations, has developed a series of Regulatory Requirements for Starting a Business . Each bulletin provides a brief description of the provincial regulatory requirements for a specific business during the start-up phase and a point of contact for each of the regulatory authorities. Visit the Saskatchewan Enterprise and Innovation Web site for other business related information.

Each municipality in Saskatchewan will have its own bylaws with respect to sewer or waste management, zoning, building standards, noise, odour and dust control, fire prevention and licensing. Contact your Rural Municipality or City Hall.

If you are looking at a new plant or renovating an older plant, a building permit is required. This allows the municipal body an opportunity to approve your plans, to see if they meet the requirements of such regulations as fire, health, building code, etc. To proceed without a permit can result in a project being shut down part way through renovations or construction.

Fire Regulations -Should you be buying a building, it might be a good strategy to meet with fire officials prior to making a purchase offer, to see if they will have some requirements for the space that will influence the price you are prepared to pay or even to the extent that it could not be brought up to the required standards.

You must obtain approval of plans and blueprints for new construction or additions to buildings and inspection of existing buildings are subject to Provincial Fire Regulations.

Operating a business from home
Operating a business from home requires meeting the zoning by-laws controlling property uses in your municipality. There can be restrictions on the use of the land in your home area.

Signage - many businesses are located outside an urban or commercially built-up area. To erect a private identification sign along a rural highway, a signing corridor must be established and a permit application obtained from a Highways and Transportation District office.

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Includes the Physical Accessibility Standards Guidelines for Business Facilities. Visit the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Web site or call either the Saskatoon or Regina office for more information:

Saskatoon Office

Regina Office

Phone: 306-933-5952

Phone: 306-787-2530

Toll free: 1-800-667-9249

Toll free: 1-800-667-8577

Telewriter: 306-373-2119

Telewriter: 306-787-8550


Bonding and other types of business insurance can protect your enterprise from unpredictable damage and problems. Most businesses that have assets should have insurance protection. It is advisable that you think seriously about the type and amount of insurance that the business requires and to deal with a knowledgeable insurance company or broker.

See the document Bonding for more information and contacts.

The Provincial Sales Tax is a tax based on the retail price of most goods. Businesses that sell goods and taxable services are required to become licensed as a retailer, and are responsible for collecting and remitting tax on a regular basis. Businesses that do not sell goods or taxable services are required to become registered as a Registered Consumer. Businesses are required to pay tax on the purchase of equipment, materials and supplies used to operate a business.

There is no charge for obtaining a Vendor\'s License or a Registered Consumer permit number.

The PST applies to the purchase or rental of new and used tangible personal property. The following services are also subject to PST: telecommunication services, cable television, telephone answering services, accommodation, repair or installation labour, legal services, laundry and dry-cleaning services, security and investigation services, credit reporting and account collection services, real estate commissions, commercial building cleaning services, accounting services, engineering and architectural services, veterinary services, computer services, employment placement services and advertising services.

A series of tax bulletins on specific types of businesses is available on the Tax Bulletins, Forms and Information Web site.

For further information regarding Vendor\'s Licenses or Registration Numbers, contact the Saskatchewan Department of Finance, Revenue Division toll-free at 1-800-667-6102 or visit their Provincial Sales Tax Web site.

The Business Number is a 9-digit federal client identification number to which businesses can register program accounts with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Business Number can encompass one or more of the following accounts: GST, Payroll Deductions; Import/Export; and Corporate Income Tax. All new businesses registering for any one of these accounts receive a BN.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) is a tax that applies at a rate of (5%) to the supply of most goods and services in Canada. All businesses, exceeding a gross yearly revenue of more than $30,000 must register for the GST at Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If yearly revenue is less than $30,000 registration is optional; however, it may be beneficial to register anyway, depending on the nature of the business. If you do not register, you will not charge GST to your customers but neither will you be able to apply for a refund on the GST you pay on your business purchases.Mandatory registration required for persons who operate a taxi or limousine service. CRA frequently offers a free workshop that provides general information to help you apply GST. Topics include handling the administrative aspects of GST and completing a GST return. For more information see Events and seminars section on the Canada Revenue Agency Web site or the Events area on the CBSC Web site.

Ways to Register:

Business Registration On-line is a one stop, online, self serve application that allows you to register for a new Business Number, as well as for four major CRA programs (Corporation Income Tax, Goods and Services / Harmonized Sales Tax, Payroll Deductions, and Import / Export accounts).

To register for a business number or a CRA program account, call the toll-free business enquiries line at 1-800-959-5525. (For service in French - 1-800 959-7775). Hours of service: weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. (local time)

Order the Business Registration forms by telephone at 1-800-959-2221 (Forms and Publications). Once you complete the form, submit it by fax 306-975-4418 (Saskatoon) or mail it to your nearest Tax Services Office (340 - 3rd Avenue North, Saskatoon S7K 0A8 or 1955 Smith Street, Regina S4P 2N9).

Publications on the BN are available online at Business Number - How it works .

For more information on taxation for businesses see the document Taxation Info-Guide.

As an employer, you have the responsibility of making a number of deductions on behalf of your employees.

Federal Deductions - Payroll
Under federal law, it is required that all employers collect Employment Insurance Premiums, Canada Pension Plan Contributions and Personal Income Tax on behalf of the federal government.

Remittances for Employment Insurance and the Canada Pension Plan are shared by the employer and employee. Canada Revenue Agency provides workshops to assist in source deductions and guidebooks which give easy-to-follow instructions on the amounts to be deducted.

For further information regarding Federal Deductions, contact Canada Revenue Agency toll-free at 1-800-959-5525 (Business Enquiries and Registrations); 1-800-959-2221 (Forms and Publications) or visit their Web site T4032 Payroll Deductions Tables .

Workers\' Compensation
Saskatchewan Workers\' Compensation Board (WCB) is an independent body created by provincial legislation to administer a workplace injury and illness compensation system on behalf of workers and employers. The Workers\' Compensation Act applies to all employers and workers in Saskatchewan from the time they begin employment.

Workers\' compensation is a no-fault system that protects employers and workers against the result of work injuries. The system has brought stability by providing coverage at a competitive cost and protecting workers and employers against the risks and uncertainties of litigation.

A Guide to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board for Business (PDF) has been developed to help employers better understand WCB.

For more information contact the Saskatchewan Workers\' Compensation Board toll-free at 1-800-667-7590, visit the Saskatchewan Workers\' Compensation Board Web site or see the document Saskatchewan Workers Compensation Board (WCB) .

The Saskatchewan Department of Labour is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Labour Standards Act. This act provides for minimum terms and conditions of employment.

For further information regarding labour standards, visit the Labour Standards Web site or call toll-free 1-800-667-1783.

Occupational Health and Safety
Employers are required to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers when they are on the job. The Occupational Health and Safety Division at Saskatchewan Labour administers this Act and regulations.

To learn your responsibilities regarding occupational health and safety, contact the Division in Regina at 306-787-4496 or toll-free 1-800-567-7233; in Saskatoon 306-933-5052 or toll-free 1-800-667-5023 or visit the Saskatchewan Labour Web site.

Visit the Canada-Saskatchewan Business Service Centre Web site. Look under the Heading \"What\'s New\" for a current listing of upcoming seminars and events.

Women Entrepreneurs offer Business Development Workshops, a Rural Entrepreneurship Correspondence Course, Lunch and Learn, and InTouch Training. For a current listing of seminars offered refer to their Programs and Services Web site. You can also contact them at 1-800-879-6331 or 306-477-7173 (Saskatoon) or 306-359-9732 (Regina).

Business Start-Up Assistant
Thinking of starting a business? Let the Business Start-Up Assistant help you become a successful entrepreneur. This Web site, organized by topic and province, provides reliable information on market research, business name and structure, preparing a business plan, financing, taxation, hiring employees, doing business on the Internet and much more!

Online Small Business Workshop
The Online Small Business Workshop (OSBW) is a Web-based workshop designed to provide you with techniques for developing your business idea, starting a new venture and improving your existing small business. It is organized in five sessions, each focusing on a different area of business.

These five sessions and their sub-topics are as follows:
Session 1 - Starting with a Good Idea
Session 2 - Marketing Basics
Session 3 - Financing Your Business
Session 4 - Planning Fundamentals
Session 5 - Basic Regulations for Getting Started

Protection of Personal Information : Your Responsibilities
The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents (PIPED) Act sets out ground rules for how private sector organizations may collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activities.

The Act in Brief
Organizations covered by the Act must:

obtain an individual\'s consent when they collect, use or disclose the individual\'s personal information;
allow the individual to access their personal information;
allow the individual to challenge the accuracy of their personal information;
only use the personal information for the purposes for which it was collected;
obtain additional consent if the personal information is going to be used for another purpose;
assure the individuals that their information will be protected by specific safeguards e.g., locked cabinets, computer passwords or encryption.

The PIPEDA E-kit for Businesses is now available from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

For further information contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada toll-free at 1-800-282-1376 or see the document Protection of Personal Information - Your Responsibilities.

Privacy Training for Retailers
This on-line privacy training for retailers offers interactive privacy training specifically for the small retailer. Its step-by-step approach will give you the information you need to comply with privacy laws and to provide your customers with the privacy protection they expect.

Further information is available on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada \'s Web site, call toll-free 1-800-282-1376 or see the document Privacy Training for Retailers.

Privacy Breach Guidelines
The Guidelines purpose are to guide private sector organizations, both small and large, when a privacy breach occurs.

For more information visit the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Web site page on Privacy Breach Guidelines , call toll-free 1-800-282-1376 or see the document Privacy Breach Guidelines.

Community Futures Program
With core funding assistance provided by Western Economic Diversification (WD), the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) in western Canada are actively engaged in a wide array of community economic development activities in their respective regions. Given the importance of small business to Canada\'s changing economy, one of the primary focuses of the CFDCs is to foster entrepreneurial development by providing both financial and technical support to new and existing small businesses in non-metropolitan communities.

The mandate of the Community Futures Development Corporations is community and business development. Each CFDC delivers a variety of services ranging from:

local strategic economic planning;
technical and advisory services to businesses;
loans to small and medium enterprises;
self-employment assistance programs; and
services targeted to youth and entrepreneurs with disabilities.

To find the CFDC that services your community, please visit the Business Service Network Web site or see the document Community Futures Development Corporations - Saskatchewan.

For more information, you may also visit the Pan Canadian Community Futures Group Web site, the Western Economic Diversification Canada Web site or contact the nearest Community Futures Development Corporation office in your area or see the document Community Futures Program - CFP.

Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDO)
FEDOs are independent entities that have their own boards of directors with broad representation from their respective provinces. Board members are knowledgeable about business as well as the challenges facing francophone entrepreneurs.

For more information on FEDOs, please visit WD\'s Francophone Economic Development Organizations Web site or the Web site of your provincial FEDO - Conseil de la Coopération de la Saskatchewan (CCS) (available in French only).

For further information contact Conseil de la Coopération de la Saskatchewan (CCS) at 306-566-6000 (Regina) or toll-free 1-800-670-0879 or see the document Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDO).

Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Incorporated
The program is designed to help women in rural and urban areas access business advisory services, training, financial assistance through a loan fund and networking opportunities. Programs and services are open to all women in Saskatchewan. Membership in WE is not required to access services, but is required to access a loan.

Services offered through Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan include:

Loans: WE will provide loans to help women start or expand a business. Loans will be offered at 3% above commercial prime rates. To be eligible for a loan, a company must be majority owned and controlled by women and demonstrate viability.
Advisory Services: Advisory services will be provided to business women who are considering a business, starting a business, or working within their existing business. The focus will be on business planning, assessing markets, preparing financial projections and addressing the wide array of issues that face women entrepreneurs.
Networking: WE will work with existing organizations to hold networking events that will allow women to make contacts, support each other\'s efforts and learn from each other\'s experiences. As well, WE is a membership organization.

For further information visit the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc. Web site, contact them toll-free at 1-800-879-6331 or 306-477-7173 (Saskatoon) or 306-359-9732 (Regina) or see the document Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Incorporated - WE.

When seeking information on starting a small business you should also check with your local library, the major chartered banks and your local Chamber of Commerce.
Links to other Info-Guides:

Aboriginal Info-Guide

Employment and Training Info-Guide

Exporting Info-Guide

Importing Info-Guide

Taxation Info-Guide

E-Business Info-Guide

For further information regarding starting a business, contact the

Canada-Saskatchewan Business Service Centre
#2 - 345 3rd Avenue South
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7K 1M6
Phone: 306-956-2323
Toll-Free: 1-800-667-4374
Web site:

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Business (Saskatchewan) Start-up Info-Guide