Starting a Business from Scratch: Part 3 – Business Requirements

7 mins read

This article discusses the Federal, Provincial and Municipal requirements necessary for starting your business in Saskatchewan.

Following this series, you may now have a name and the necessary business license but there are several requirements you must also be aware of when starting your new business.

Federal Requirements

Business Number (BN)

The business number (BN) is a nine-digit number designated by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and is used as a common client identifier for businesses to streamline their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments. You will receive this in Saskatchewan when you register your business. You will require a BN if you need one of the following program accounts:

  • GST Program Account

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a tax on the sale of most goods and services sold in Canada. Every person or business engaged in a commercial activity with total gross revenue greater than $30,000 in any four consecutive calendar quarters (a 12-month period) is required to register for a GST Account, collect and remit GST.

  • Payroll Program Account

You will need a Payroll Account with Canada Revenue Agency if you have employees on payroll, this allows you to submit Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and Income Tax deductions.

  • Corporation Income Tax Program Account

Your business will automatically be registered for a business number (BN) and a Corporation Income Tax Account when you incorporate. For an overview of the federal incorporation processes and fees involved, visit the Corporations Canada website to view the Guide to Federal Incorporation.

  • Import-Export Program Account

An Import-Export Account will be used to process customs documents if you import goods into Canada or export goods to other countries. For guides to importing and exporting goods, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website.

Provincial Requirements

Vendors License

It is required that all businesses operating in Saskatchewan be registered with the Ministry of Finance for Provincial Sales Tax (PST) purposes. PST applies to the purchase, importation, or rental of certain goods and services.

Workers Compensation

Registration and the creation of an account with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is required of most businesses in Saskatchewan that employ workers on a regular, casual or contractual basis. WCB registration provides workplace insurance coverage and protects both employers and workers from the results of workplace injuries. You are not automatically covered under the WCB insurance plan if you are a sole proprietor, partner or executive officer. Optional insurance can be applied for by calling the WCB.

Employment Standards

It is important to understand workplace rights and responsibilities for employers and employees legislated in The Saskatchewan Employment Act. For a basic overview of Saskatchewan’s employment standards, visit the Government of Saskatchewan website.

Municipal Requirements

These will be listed on your city of choice website. Quick links will follow the explanations.

Zoning Approval

Contact Planning & Development if you are building a new structure or moving into an existing one to determine if the proposed location is zoned for the type of business you want to establish.

Building Permits

A building permit is required for an existing building if structural alterations are planned, or a change of use or occupancy to the building will occur. For new buildings, a building permit is also required prior to the start of construction.

Plumbing Permits

You will require a plumbing permit to construct, alter, renew, extend, or repair a plumbing system. A permit will not be required to clear a stoppage in a drainage system, repair a leak in a water distribution system, replace a fixture without any change to the drainage system or to replace existing faucets, or valves. Please contact a licensed plumber to ensure any alterations are legal.

To obtain a plumbing permit, a licensed plumber acting on your behalf must apply for a plumbing permit at the Building Standards office. Inspections of the plumbing system are then carried out, with a final inspection being required before a new system can be put into service.

Sign Permit

Permanent and portable signs require a sign permit. Home based businesses are not permitted to erect signs on or within the vicinity of the site.

All forms of signs in Saskatoon are regulated for safety and aesthetic reasons. The goal is to ensure that the use and placement of signs does not create a hazard for pedestrians or motorists, that signs are well maintained and that the number of signs does not affect the attractiveness of the city.

Fire Systems

Meet with fire officials if you are buying or leasing a building prior to making an offer to purchase or lease to ensure the fire systems are up to code. To arrange an inspection or for more information, contact the local Fire Marshal.

Municipal Resource Links for These Requirements

Using this information, you should now have access to everything you need in regards to requirements and permits to have a business in your location. Join us for Part 4 as we discuss how a wonderful online project has been created to save time and help you with all your business requirement information.

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