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Aug 31, 2011 - 3 minute read - Comments - legal

A Step By Step Guide To Registering A Business Name In Saskatchewan

This post is about registering a business name in Saskatchewan. This is different from incorporating a company or applying for a business license.

As a sole proprietor, if you are going to do business under a name other than your own, you must register that business name. A partnership must also register its business name. This helps to clarify that you are the owner of a business with a particular name. This is important when opening a bank account because without proof of a registered business name, the bank will not let you deposit cheques made to your business name. This restriction is necessary to prevent people from fraudulently depositing cheques.

In Saskatchewan, the government owned Information Services Corporation (ISC) handles the registration process.

Step 1: Pick A Business Name

There are many considerations when picking a name for a business (for more detail see our blog post about picking a name for your business), but for the purposes of business name registration, the business name must contain two components.

  1. A distinctive term - This is the part of the name that distinguishes your business from others. In the name “Sally’s Flower Shop”, “Sally” would be the distinctive term.
  2. A descriptive term - This explains the type of business you will be running. Continuing our example from above, “Flower Shop” would be the descriptive term.

The first step is to conduct a name search to see if the name you have chosen for your business is being used by another business. I would recommend first searching registered entities. The system will search the name you enter and bring up a list of similar names with limited information - entity number, status, and type. This online search is only $2 and it can give you an indication of whether the name you want is taken. This search can be done online at ISC’s website

Step 3: Conduct A Name Availability Search And Apply For Registration

A Name Availability Search is different from a search of registered entities. The Name Availability Search costs $50 (for the necessary Saskatchewan Plus option) and is payable whether the name comes back as available or not. This is why I’ve recommended doing the registered entity search as a cheaper way of getting an idea if your chosen business name is available. It may save you some money by eliminating unavailable names before submitting the official Name Availability Search with your Application For Registration.

The registration itself costs $65 or $55 if completed online. The business name can be registered online here. Those of you preferring a paper based process, can download a Business Name Registration Kit here.

The following is the information required for the Name Availability Search and the Application For Registration.

  • Name of your business
  • Business location - either the street address or the Rural Municipality and legal land location for rural residents.
  • Mailing address
  • Owner/Partner Information - If you are registering a sole proprietorship and you are not a resident of Saskatchewan or if you are registering a partnership and none of the partners are resident in Saskatchewan, you will have to appoint a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney can’t be filed online, so you will have to go through the manual, paper-based process.

Information Services Corporation has done a good job of making the registration of a business name rather painless. Registering a business name can be done quite quickly, especially if you choose the online option. That’s good news for business owners who would rather spend less time dealing with red tape and more time doing business.