• Starting a Business


    Getting Started

    Refer to the below tools to find out if you should own and operate your own business:

    Is Entrepreneurship For You?

    Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can offer numerous advantages such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule and making a living doing something you enjoy. But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity and hard work.

    Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:

    • Comfortable with taking risks: Being your own boss also means you’re the one making tough decisions. Entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Do you avoid uncertainty in life at all costs? If yes, then entrepreneurship may not be the best fit for you. Do you enjoy the thrill of taking calculated risks? Then read on.

    • Independent: Entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions on their own. If you find you can trust your instincts — and you’re not afraid of rejection every now and then — you could be on your way to being an entrepreneur.

    • Persuasive: You may have the greatest idea in the world, but if you cannot persuade customers, employees and potential lenders or partners, you may find entrepreneurship to be challenging. If you enjoy public speaking, engage new people with ease and find you make compelling arguments grounded in facts, it’s likely you’re poised to make your idea succeed.

    • Able to negotiate: As a small business owner, you will need to negotiate everything from leases to contract terms to rates. Polished negotiation skills will help you save money and keep your business running smoothly.

    • Creative: Are you able to think of new ideas? Can you imagine new ways to solve problems? Entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively. If you have insights on how to take advantage of new opportunities, entrepreneurship may be a good fit. 

    • Supported by others: Before you start a business, it’s important to have a strong support system in place. You’ll be forced to make many important decisions, especially in the first months of opening your business. If you do not have a support network of people to help you, consider finding a business mentor. A business mentor is someone who is experienced, successful and willing to provide advice and guidance. 

    Still think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start a new business? Great! Now ask yourself these 20 questions to help ensure you’ve thought about the right financial and business details.

    1. Why am I starting a business?

    2. What kind of business do I want?

    3. Who is my ideal customer?

    4. What products or services will my business provide?

    5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?

    6. What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?

    7. Where will my business be located?

    8. How many employees will I need?

    9. What types of suppliers do I need?

    10. How much money do I need to get started?

    11. Will I need to get a loan?

    12. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?

    13. How long do I have until I start making a profit?

    14. Who is my competition?

    15. How will I price my product compared to my competition?

    16. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?

    17. What taxes do I need to pay?

    18. What kind of insurance do I need?

    19. How will I manage my business?

    20. How will I advertise my business?

  • Licensing & Permitting

    Every business operating in Swift Current & area, regardless of the industry-type and location, should do the following:

    Research & Register Business Name

    Before you spend time & money on your business license, you should make sure that the business name you propose to operate under is not already in use in the province or country that you propose to conduct business. This is particularly true if you will be operating under an assumed business name (or fictitious name, trade name, or DBA name, short for “doing business as”). In Saskatchewan you can research your business name at the Information Services Corporation Office. 

    Apply for Business License 

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: In addition to a business license, all businesses must also comply with any and all other laws and regulations, including but not limited to zoning, fire, building standards, environmental health and more. BEFORE you start your business, sign a lease, buy property or purchase a sign for your business, make sure you do your research!

    City of Swift Current Business License
    Anyone doing business in the City of Swift Current, whether home-based or at another location; whether located inside the City of Swift Current or outside the City but conducting business within the City; whether it is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation; full-time or part-time; regardless of size, unless the business is exempted by law, is required to have a business license to lawfully operate their business.

    Contact Zoning

    Zoning approval is required to operate a business in Swift Current and to obtain a Swift Current business license. Businesses that are exempt from local business license requirements by provincial or federal law must still contact Zoning to receive approval to operate their business.  For access to current zoning information, see the City of Swift Current's website.  The Swift Current Zoning Department can be reached at 306-778-2740 or in person at the City of Swift Current located at 177 1st Ave NE, Swift Current, SK.


    Request Fire Prevention Inspection

    All businesses operating from commercial property in the Swift Current city limits must receive and pass a fire prevention inspection. Contact the Swift Current Fire Department at 306-778-2760 to schedule an inspection.

    Register Your Alarm System

    Ensure you have an electronic burglar alarm system installed and that you or your insurance agent has registered the system with the proper authorities.

    Obtain Sign Permit

    Save your business time and money! Contact the City of Swift Current BEFORE you purchase, install or make modifications to your business sign to make sure that you are in compliance with the sign bylaws. 

    A permit is required for all signs in Swift Current. Sign permits are issued by the Zoning Code Enforcement office located at the City of Swift Current, 177 1st Ave NE. Before applying for a sign permit you should confirm that your business location meets all zoning and land use requirements.