We understand that starting a business can be stressful and overwhelming, which is why we’ve created a collection of handy guides to help you get started.
Conduct market research
Starting your own business is an exciting and rewarding career choice. Prepare yourself for what’s to come by analyzing market research, familiarizing yourself with the process of starting a business, and attending educational seminars or networking events.
Choose a business name
When naming your business, think about how you want your business to be perceived. You want to be descriptive, while also choosing something that distinguishes you from competitors. Learn more about naming your business.
Choose a business structure
When you decide to start your own business, one of the first decisions you need to make is what type of structure best suits your needs and objectives. Will you be the sole proprietor, or will you have a partnership, corporation or co-operative? Learn more about choosing a business structure.
Write your business plan
A business plan describes your business’ objectives, strategies, target market and financial forecast. It’s an action plan and management tool that is subject to change. A business plan helps determine if your idea is profitable and sustainable. A plan also identifies potential opportunities and risks, and will most likely be needed to secure external financing. Get tips on drafting your business plan. If you want to seek financing, you will be expected to have an up-to-date business plan with comprehensive and accurate financial statements.
Pick your business location
Choosing a business location is a crucial step in starting a business. The location you choose will depend entirely on the type of business you operate. Your business location strategy should consider location type, budget, supply and demand, your brand, parking, and more. Planning and research, along with a willingness to look at all of your options, will help you find the perfect place to open your business.
Register your business
Before you can operate a business, you must register it. Once you’ve completed the steps above, you can register your business, both provincially and potentially federally, online. Reserve and register (or incorporate) the name with Information Services Corporation’s (ISC) Saskatchewan Corporate Registry. SK Startup Institute can provide you with step-by-step support during your business registration. You may also want to understand how to acquire Intellectual Property rights.
Apply for licenses and permits
In addition to registering your business, starting up a new business in Saskatchewan requires business licensing and permits. Start with BizPal, an online source for permits and licenses across Canada. Talk to your city or town about municipal business license programs. Reach out to industry associations to learn about standards.
Get Tax IDs
Shortly after your registration with ISC (step 6), you will receive an email confirming your automatic registration for a Business Number (BN) which you need in order to open any federal tax accounts including GST, Payroll, Corporation and Import/Export. If you need to collect and remit federal tax, you need to open the tax account by contacting CRA and referring to your BN. For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s page on business taxes.
Open a business bank account
At this stage, you may want to consider opening a business bank account and purchasing business insurance. A business bank account keeps your personal finances separate from your business funds, making it easier to track expenses and keep your financial bookkeeping organized.
Understand Employment Standards
You may need to hire employees or use the services of a subcontractor. If you bring others into your business who work on behalf of your company, you must ensure you protect your team’s safety, consider employee tax obligations and follow best labour practices.
Launch and market your small business
Once your small business is up and running, you will need to roll out your marketing plan and begin attracting customers. How well you market your business and interact with your customers is entirely up to you, and it can impact how successful your business is.
The hard work has just begun and you’re off to the right start!