Starting a Business From Scratch: Part 1 – Finding a Name

What You Need

4 mins read

This article introduces how to name your business, research national and provincial registries and register the name so you can apply for a business license.

Many people who want to start a business will wonder where they should begin. Perhaps you are a Sole Proprietorship or are just starting a partnership with a friend and want to open a business or brick and mortar shop. You have a great idea, service or product and just want to sell it.

Many normal businesses will go through the process of creating a business plan to build their business (see our article on Business Planning 101). This may not be necessary in every situation. So where do you begin?

Name Your Business

The first step is to find a name for your business and then conduct a name search before trying to register your business in the Corporate Registry. For information on some of the best naming practices for your business, read our article on Choosing a Name for Your Business and then learn about Registering Your Business Name.

Registering Your Name

The government requires that most businesses need to register their business name. There are several different types of names your business could have and how to register them. This is why it is important to decide what structure you will use for your business before registering your business name. This is where you seriously need to understand the basic structures of a sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation, each having different implications for liability, taxation and succession.

A Sole Proprietorship is a business with one owner who is personally liable for all the debts of the business and pays the net taxable income generated by the business on their personal income tax.

A Partnership is a business owned by one or more individuals. Each partner is potentially liable for all debts of the partnership that includes their share of income or losses on personal tax returns.

A Corporation is a separate legal entity existing apart from its shareholders and directors. Shareholders and directors are not personally liable for the debts of the corporation beyond the amount contributed since it has a separate legal existence. Directors manage the day-to-day operations although it is the shareholders who own a corporation. A corporation must create income and financial statements to provide to shareholders and pay tax on the net taxable income on a separate income tax return.

There are many differences between sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations. For further explanation of each structure, as well as advantages and disadvantages, see our article The 3 Structures of Business or consult further with a lawyer on the legal differences of each business structure and what would work best for you.

Knowing the above information and having decided which will work best for you, you may now Register your Business.

Corporate Registry, Information Services Corporation

Federal business number and tax accounts
Your business may need a federal business number and related tax accounts.

You will automatically receive your federal business number and tax account as part of your Saskatchewan registration.

Using this information, you now have everything needed to have a confirmed legal name and register your business. Join us for Part 2 as we discuss what are the requirements and licenses necessary for your business and how to get a business license.

Sources: City of Saskatoon, Government of Saskatchewan, Government of Canada

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