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The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business in Saskatchewan

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Business in Saskatchewan

Launching a business in Saskatchewan is a great idea because it is one of the provinces in Canada with the highest population growth. It is also offers a start-up friendly environment, providing many benefits and subsidies to business owners.

According to statistics from Statistics Canada’s Business Register, this province is also one of the country’s top regions for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Currently, more than 38,000 small enterprises currently benefit from numerous small company subsidies, reduced infrastructure costs, tax advantages, business incentives, and support for small business owners.

If you’re interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial journey, read on as we discuss how to start a business in Saskatchewan!

How do I start a business in Saskatchewan?

There are many steps to follow if you want to launch a business in Saskatchewan, including:

  • Create a profitable business concept.
  • Write a business plan.
  • Pick a catchy name for your company.
  • Select your business ownership structure.
  • Seek for a small business lender.
  • Obtain a business license.
  • Register in the provincial sales tax.
  • Purchase several types of business insurance.

In Saskatchewan, there has never been a better moment to launch a business. Its  healthy economy and record population increase are creating interesting long-term possibilities and success.

Although it may first seem intimidating to launch a business in Saskatchewan because of the number of steps involved, proceeding slowly is helpful. So, you can use this guide as your blueprint in accomplishing your entrepreneurial dreams.

Establishing your own business can be very rewarding, especially when you deliver the right products and services to your target customers.

So aside from your products and services, here are the things you need to consider when putting up a small business in Saskatchewan:

1. Create a profitable business concept.

Create a profitable business concept

No professional business owner establishes a company without first deciding on a viable business concept or industry niche. It is essential to develop a realistic company idea first — one that can get government assistance and, of course, draw in customers.

No matter where you are, whether in Saskatchewan or elsewhere, a great business begins with a solid idea. It’s not necessary to be an expert in planning a business concept or become a financing researcher, a website developer, an accountant, or a multitasker. 

Experts are there to assist because of this so make sure to use their assistance when it is available.

You are required to do one crucial action, which is to carry out accurate and complete feasibility studies and market surveys that can help you project the success rate of your endeavor.

Here are the following actions you can initially undertake:

  1. Consider potential locations for your business. The venue depends on the nature of your industry. Some businesses can be run from the comfort of your home, while others require a commercial space.
  1. Start estimating the startup costs for the business. Consult with property management companies and real estate agents regarding lease costs. To find out how much the required equipment will cost, speak with equipment suppliers.
  1. Make a list of the permits and licenses required to launch the business. Identify the permits and licences you need to accumulate and you should also know how long it takes to get them and how much they cost.
  1. Look over your competitors’ websites.
    Websites are very popular nowadays and they are an effective medium to attract customers. Visit your strongest competitions’ websites and check what services or products they offer. Then try to think of strategies or unique deals that can separate you from the competitions.
  1. Study your target market. Determine whether there are sufficient customers willing to pay a price that will yield a decent return on your investment by analyzing the demand for your goods or service.

2. Write a business plan.

Write a business plan

It’s very important to create a business plan before opening your doors for business. This is an essential action that is required for the planning and future success of your company. 

Many business owners only create a business plan when they are in need of startup funding. Your plan, however, is a priceless road map for starting and expanding your business, not just a paper for investors and lenders to read.

You must consider and conduct research on the numerous aspects necessary to ensure the achievement of your company’s objectives before you can put your business plan on paper. 

A business plan is an outline that elaborates on how your company will accomplish its objectives. Your business strategy should address the following:

  • Total budget
  • Both the present and future financing
  • Market research
  • Marketing approach

Creating a business plan will also:

  • Create a timely and reasonable goals
  • Secure external funding
  • Analyze your progress
  • Clearly identify potential operational needs
  • Make accurate financial projections

Finally, having a well-crafted business plan will also help you concentrate on how to run your new company and give it the best chance to succeed.

3. Pick a catchy name for your company.

Pick a catchy name for your company.

A name search is the first step in the business registration in Saskatchewan. The name search aims to ensure the company name adheres to a set of criteria and isn’t too identical to those of already existing businesses. 

The inappropriate name can create insurmountable financial and legal obstacles in addition to failing to establish relationships with clients. In contrast, a strong, memorable name can be quite beneficial to your marketing and branding initiatives.

Although selecting a business name may appear easy at first, there are numerous elements that go into making a great one.

Whether the name employs a clear explanation or images to call an emotion, it must eventually provide the customer with an answer to their inquiry: “What can I expect?

By making it easier for clients to comprehend what your firm does and what it offers, a catchy business name may be a powerful marketing tool. When creating your company name, keep in mind that it must contain both descriptive and distinctive aspects.

  • Descriptive elements describe your company’s structure and the services you offer to clients.
  • Distinctive element sets you apart from rivals who might offer comparable goods or services.

Last but not the least, a fee will be applied when you register your new business name to guarantee that you are the sole user or owner of that name in marketing and legal matters. Furthermore, you must specify your business structure.

4. Select your business ownership structure.

Select your business ownership structure

What kind of structure perfectly fits your needs and goals should be addressed when deciding to launch your own business. Will you opt for partnership, corporation or cooperative, or will you operate as a sole proprietor?

There are three popular business structure types in Canada, each with their own advantages.

  1. Sole proprietorship. The most popular business structure because it is simple to set up and is extremely informal. Inside this structure, the operator and the company are treated equally by the law and financial regulators.
  1. Partnership. Similar to a single proprietorship, a partnership has no official legal structure. However, the division of profits, costs, and responsibilities is typically governed by a written contract between the partners.
  1. Corporation. In this structure, ownership shares are created, creating a tax and legal barrier between the company and its investors. This provides benefits both for the owner and company as this can guarantee liability coverage from the corporation’s debts.
 The Pros and Cons of the Business StructuresSole proprietorshipPartnershipCorporation
Legal statusDoes not exist as a separate legal entity.

Proprietorship = ownership
Does not exist as a separate legal entity.

Partnership = partners as owners
Corporation is treated as a separate legal entity from its owners.

Corporation = shareholder ownership
ControlOwner has total control.Partners’ agreement determines control between partners.Directors and shareholders.
ProfitsProfits are paid to the owner.To partners according to a partnership agreement.Earned by the corporation. Dividends may be paid to shareholders and/or retained in the corporation.
DebtsThe owner is responsible (unlimited liability).Partners are individually and collectively responsible.Paid by corporation.
TaxationThe owner is taxed as an individual on the income of the business as if he or she was employed.Partners are taxed individually according to their share of the income.The corporation pays corporate taxes separately from taxes paid by directors and shareholders.
AssetsBusiness assets are wholly owned by the proprietor.Partners jointly own business assets and/or ownership is governed by partnership agreement.Business assets are owned by the corporation. There is no specific claim on the corporate assets by shareholders.

5. Seek for a small business lender.

Although some business entrepreneurs can finance their startup ventures out of their own resources, many others require outside funding to get off the ground. There are other choices to think about, from debt financing to sharing equity to government grants. 

Nearly every business owner presently has the opportunity to qualify for a loan because of the variety of options available; nevertheless, this demands a more discerning approach to weighing your choices and selecting the loan that best meets your needs and those of your company.

The key to success is preparation, and by having all the required information and documentation at your disposal, you can remain one step ahead of your competitors. Not all financial institutions demand the same kinds of information, but there are key details that most of them will ask for. 

Each institution will have its own filing criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for a loan. So, you have to recognize the variations in each type of funding, and make sure you’re ready to handle the duties of the one you select.

  • Debt financing is essentially borrowing money. This is where you  borrow money from family members, close friends, or a financial organization like a bank. 
  • Equity funding is the cash you invest in starting a new company. You can also obtain equity finance from third parties by finding investors, whether they be public or private like members of your family or an angel investor.
  • Government Grant – Saskatchewan provides five small business grants and five other sources of support to assist start-up companies. Seeking for these Saskatchewan small business grants is a good place to start.

Government Grants for Small Businesses in Saskatchewan

NOTE: Grants, as opposed to loans, don’t have to be paid back. If your company is not accepted for one of the Saskatchewan small business grants, you still have other options. 
There’s still a number of loans and financial institutions that are intended to support small enterprises, such as: Square One Saskatchewan, Futurpreneur Canada, and Community Futures Saskatchewan.

6. Obtain a business license.

Obtain a business license

While it is not compulsory for all firms to obtain business licenses, some new businesses must do so in order to function lawfully within their municipality. The Saskatchewan Corporate Registry offers a variety of services, such as:

  • Incorporation of legal entities
  • Registration of partnerships or sole proprietorships
  • Upkeep of a name registry,
  • Enforcement of licensing and compliance requirements
BizPal (Business Permits and Licenses)

Keep in mind that the Saskatchewan government has a comprehensive website called BizPal (Business Permits and Licenses). It is an online resource that can assist you in locating the certificates and authorizations you might require to launch or run your business. 

BizPaL will automatically create a list of permits and licenses from all different levels of government using the details supplied by the client (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal). BizPaL is made for optimum ease and can drastically cut down the amount of time you might have otherwise spent researching.

There are also other programs and services available for enterprises owned by Métis, First Nations, and Northerners.

7. Register in the provincial sales tax.

Register in the provincial sales tax

Another good reason why you need to establish a small business in rural Saskatchewan is that you’ll be eligible for tax breaks or credits that will aid in the establishment of your enterprise. 

Companies having tax obligations frequently have to deal with several different compliance categories. In addition to the federal goods and services tax, businesses must also take into account provincial tax laws. 

It’s crucial to ensure you keep up with your tax compliance duties as your company expands. In order to effectively collect taxes, you must first register to do so in each area where you are required to file taxes.

A company’s license number or a verified consumer number will be given, depending on the type of business.

Businesses can be filed under a PST License in any of the following approaches below:

  1. Sign up online with SETS, a program that provides a quick, easy, and secure method for registering your business to gather and submit provincial taxes.
  • To apply for a PST, LCT, VPT, BCP, and/or IFTA License, new businesses must fill out the online “New Business Registration” form.
  • Businesses who are currently enrolled with another tax program may ask for a request to add an account by going into their SETS profile and apply for a PST License.
  1. Businesses, whether new or established, can fill up and send a registration form via Saskatchewan email to ([email protected]).

8. Purchase several business insurance policies.

Purchase several business insurance policies

In Saskatchewan, it is against the law to participate in business without at least some of the fundamental insurance coverages demanded by the sector you wish to work in. 

For handling business threats like bankruptcy, you must have business insurance. However, because nobody can anticipate the future, buying insurance soon turns into a tense game of “Do I need this or not? ”

It’s reasonable to be anxious. Owners of enterprises run the risk of under- or over-insuring them. The former exposes you, while the latter strains your already limited finances.

Therefore, it is crucial to set aside money for insurance and potentially speak with an insurance broker who can help you select the best and most suitable insurance coverage for your company.

You might want to think about purchasing any or all of the following insurance policy coverages:

  • General Insurance
  • Medical/Health Insurance
  • Liability Protection
  • Employee Compensation
  • Insurance for Administrative Costs
  • Business Owner’s Policy Group Insurance
  • Payment Protection Insurance

NOTE: If you plan to run your business at your residence, you may need to research more about home-based business insurance and ways to reduce the cost of business insurance.

A Glimpse of the Canadian Tax Landscape

A Glimpse of the Canadian Tax Landscape

Sales tax, corporation tax, and various provincial and territorial laws, as well as the federal Income Tax Act and its regulations, make up the majority of the legislation that governs Canada’s tax system. Canadian residents  are primarily taxed on their income derived from Canadian sources, while non-residents are required to pay taxes on their entire income.

Main Types of Taxes in Canada

  1. Goods and Services Tax (GST). Canada switched from a federal sales tax to a federal value-added tax, known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), on January 1, 1991.

    As a sales tax, provincial levies are still calculated. The European value added taxes serve as a model for the Canadian GST (VAT). 
  1. Provincial Sales Tax (PST). PST can be determined in one of two ways by each province. Even though the PST is always determined after the GST, it is sometimes determined using the pre-GST value and other times using the amount after the GST has been included (in effect, a tax on a tax).

    Additionally, PST rates may vary per province.

Tax Calculation Examples

Examples of the two PST calculations are shown as follows. In both examples, GST is 7% and PST is 5%. The value of the product is 1000 and the value added is 1000.

Example 1 – PST is calculated on the pre-GST value

PST is calculated on the pre-GST value

Example 2 – PST is calculated after GST is added (tax on tax)

PST is calculated after GST is added (tax on tax)

Tools and Resources For a Small Business in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, there are many tools and services available to aid in the development of small businesses. The future of your small business depends on your ability to use these resources and tools effectively.

ResourceProsCons
Business Plan Builder Tool • Has step-by-step instructions for the writing process.
• Automatically creates categories and business names.
• You aren’t required to make an outline before drafting the plan because the software will do it for you.
• Software lacks the business knowledge and industry expertise that a business plan writer or advisor has. 
• It will cost you more when you can create on your own without charge.
• It’s too conventional, and you are not given a great deal of flexibility to deviate from the software’s layouts.
Personalized Investor Pitch Deck • Simple and effective updating over time for various applications.
• More quicker to produce.
• Allows you to get down to business quicker.
• Gaps that are dangerous because they were not carefully thought through.
• Pitch decks don’t include business plans so you need to present it separately.
• Fluff and hype are prioritized instead of the main business content.
Funding Program Database • Cut down on the time you spend looking for trusted grants.
• Analyze business data thoroughly to show accessible grants.
• Enhance the accuracy and reliability of the information.
• Costs you a significant amount of money.
• Can affect your business operation once the database fails to meet your specific requirements.

Business Plan Builder Tool

Business Plan Builder Tool

Business Plan Builder streamlines the procedure by incorporating all the information and graphs into a single, user-friendly, interactive application that addresses the three key components of the business plan.

In addition to being able to create your own business plan, you will receive professional advice along the process and a professional business plan consultant who will examine your finished plan and offer comments and ideas.

Personalized Investor PitchDeck

Personalized Investor PitchDeck

You have the chance to create the ideal presentation using this tool to showcase your small business to possible investors.

Every slide presentation clarifies who you are, what you do, how you’ll accomplish it, and what issue it addresses while engrossing the audience and generating interest in you and your company.

Funding Program Database

Funding Program Database

Any proposed business, regardless of how good, has no chance of success if it lacks the financing required to launch and advance to the development stage.

Nevertheless, don’t abandon your goals of starting your own business because you lack the money to do so.

This software will list every funding option available and direct you toward the one that will be most advantageous to you.

Additionally, the Startup Portal has all the information and insights you’ll need, along with a Business Plan Builder and Investor PitchDeck, to help you make a strong first impression when applying for business finance.

Marketing Your Business: The First Step to Business Success

Marketing Your Business The First Step to Business Success

You may rest easy knowing that if you decide to open a business in Saskatchewan, there will be rivals ready to fight it out with you for the accessible market share. Every successful entrepreneur is familiar with their markets, rivals, clientele, and “what it takes to be competitive.”

Any company, no matter how big or little, must first prove that it stands out from the competition. So, if you want your firm to succeed, you must devise strategies for marketing and advertising your goods and services effectively.

The truth is that people will be inclined to purchase from you if they see your company or brand constantly. But you must become keenly aware of who yourA target clients really are if you want to properly analyze whether your business idea is appealing to them.

You can advertise your business using both print and digital versions. However, you must verify with your government to learn the rules and regulations controlling the advertising of the kind of business you are running.

FAQs about Starting a Business in Saskatchewan

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