Why is starting a new business so hard? I honestly think it’s because you have to find all the information, all over the internet. So here, collected in one place, are some useful links.
Apply for a new business name, register as a sole proprietor, or go all the way and get incorporated.
Apply for a new GST number and, if you’re new, you’ll get a business registration number too.
If you’re eligible, apply for a PST number with Saskatchewan Finance.
Compared to the above, the CoS site is … almost fun. You’ll need to do some calculating about square footage if you’ve got a commercial space, but otherwise, it can be done in about 15 minutes, no joke.
Getting some advice
The city publishes statistics on growth, employment, leasing, and all manner of business-related numbers. The latest reports are available here, and they’re free, if a little bit dated.
An organization backed by the government of SK, Square One assists entrepreneurs with getting your business registered, finding market data, and offering business mingling events. Ask them anything – they’re very helpful and knowledgeable, and most times, for free.
Once Women Entepreneurs of SK, WESK has rebranded to showcase the fact they support entrepreneurs of both sexes with business advice, training, and financing opportunities. The membership fees are nominal, and the value, especially for new entrepreneurs, staggering.
Getting an office
Saskatoon is humming with entrepreneurs of all stripes and types. In this section, I’ll be profiling the best idea for entrepreneurs: co-working spaces. Share the fixed costs of the office mailroom and reception while sharing ideas in the common coffee room!
Getting out and about
There are a LOT of networking events going on around Saskatoon. Here’s a sampling:
Business and Professional Women of Saskatoon offer a year-long slate of events from monthly lunch meetings to events like Accessory to a Change and the ATHENA leadership symposium. It’s a great way to establish a presence in the community if you’re a new businesswoman. Membership fees are here, and yes, I’m a member.
co.labs is a tech incubator and hub, strongly supported by industry and government heavyweights. They run a great monthly meet up with FREE BEER.
Vendasta hosts a monthly gathering of mostly tech folk at their building on 3 Avenue downtown. Welcome to the “Silicon Prairie”!
One of the biggest charitable events in the year, the Princess Shop raises money to assist female students in need with mentoring, support, and yes, a gorgeous grad gown. It’s a great night, a lot of fun, for an excellent cause, and the networking is fantastic.
A joint venture, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, WESK, and Square One, Shaken with a Twist is a co-ed mixer (but mostly attended by female entrepreneurs. There’s a talk, there’s nibbles, there’s free drinks – this is a great event to add to your calendar if you’re new (or your business is) and you’re looking to make contacts.
Chamber on Tap is another free monthly business gathering, geared towards anyone in business.