Starting a Business From Scratch: Part 2 – Business License

What You Need

3 mins read

This article discusses the rules and application process to apply for a business license including several provincial license links.

In Part 1 we discussed how to find a name and register it as the first step to starting a business. Now taking that information you must apply for a business license, which is required in every city in Saskatchewan.

Business Licenses

The Business License Bylaw requires every business in Saskatoon to hold a business license. There are similar bylaws in every city in Saskatchewan.

The purpose of this is to:

    • Regulate business
    • Ensure compliance with building and land use regulations
    • Gather land-use information
    • Facilitate planning decisions

Commercial Business Licenses and Home-Based Business Licenses are the two main forms of business licenses. Applications can be made online, in person at a City Hall or by mail. A complete list of business license categories and application forms are available on each City Website, including non-resident businesses located outside of each city, available here:

Business License Applications are reviewed for compliance with the following requirements:

  1. Provincial License. Does the business have the appropriate provincial license for the industry? (e.g., journeyperson plumber)
  2. Land Use. Is the proposed land use the same as the existing approved land use? (e.g., office, retail, restaurant)
  3. Building Occupancy. Is the proposed National Building Code building occupancy the same as the existing occupancy? (e.g., group A2, D, E)

The business license application is put on hold if one or more of these requirements are not met.

The business will need to apply for a building and land development permit to change the use and occupancy (e.g., converting an existing office into a restaurant) if the proposed land use or building occupancy is different than what the building and site were approved for.

Until the building and development permit have been completed, and the business license has been approved, the business cannot operate.

It takes 10 business days or more for complete business license applications to be reviewed. If you are moving into an existing building, plan additional time for further building and development permits which may be required to address the change in land use and building occupancy.

Using this information, you now have the information to apply for a business license. Join us for Part 3 as we discuss what are the Provincial, Federal and Municipal requirements necessary for your business.

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