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Making it easier to do business in the West

May 16, 2012

The New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWP) between Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C eliminates the need for multiple business registrations from one province to the next and streamlines regulatory requirements required to start and operate a business. These changes are intended to make it easier to do business in the West. 

Changing business registration and reporting requirements is another example of ISC being customer-focused. The business community in our province and across Western Canada will experience a number of benefits from the streamlining of processes, including reduced efforts and costs.

Working together has allowed the three provinces to harness our strengths and use our tax dollars more efficiently to make the region more attractive to businesses and workers.

First phase: Extra-provincial registrations and procurement
Extra-provincial registrations for business corporations will be possible starting on July 1 pursuant to NWP. ISC is working closely with our counterparts in Alberta and BC to ensure compatible policies, regulations and data exchange processes are in place to enable this change. 

All three provinces are to have equal access to Saskatchewan public sector tenders and to access these tenders online. ISC has already met this requirement; we are currently directing suppliers to the SaskTenders website.

How will extra-provincial registrations work?
As of July 1, businesses registering as a corporation will no longer need to register separately in each of the three jurisdictions. By choosing “extra-provincial” as an option when they register in their home province, business corporations will be registered in the other provinces that they choose. Business corporations will be asked to provide additional information by the home province.

Business corporations should only choose “extra-provincial” if they intend to carry on business in the other jurisdiction(s).

A new business corporation will be able to register extra-provincially at the time of incorporation using the Corporate Registry system (COBRA online) or Business Registrations Saskatchewan. An existing business corporation will only be able to register extra-provincially through the Corporate Registry at this time. Fees for first-time business incorporations, as well as name search and reservation will be paid to the home jurisdiction. No corporation, whether existing or new, will have to pay a fee for registering extra-provincially and a business corporation will only need to file annual returns in its home province.

Besides extra-provincial business registrations, two other types of maintenance transactions (attorney changes and head office changes) will be available online in all three provinces after July 1. Business corporations can maintain their registrations across all three jurisdictions. To change attorney or head office information, a business corporation may do so through the Corporate Registry system (COBRA online). Any other maintenance activities can be done by providing the Saskatchewan Corporate Registry with the applicable forms from the other jurisdictions.  

What happens after July 1, 2012?
After July 1, the three provinces will begin working towards streamlining registration and regulatory requirements for limited partnerships, co-operatives and limited liability partnerships. This work will be completed by July 1, 2013. 

For more information, visit the New West Partnership website.

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