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Registry of Joint Stock Companies

Business Name, Sole Proprietorship or Partnership: Registration

Who Needs This Registration?
  Anyone who wants to carry on business in Nova Scotia, either on their own or with partners, and who wants:

1) to operate without legally incorporating the business; and

2) to use a business name that is different from their personal name(s). (For example, Alice Doe wants to operate a business and call it "Alice's Catering Service" or " Hantsport Caterers".)

Note : A "sole proprietor" is anyone who is carrying on a business which is not incorporated and who is doing so without any legal partners, that is, carrying on business by oneself. In Nova Scotia, a sole proprietorship is actually registered as a "partnership" -- but with only one partner listed, in other words, it is a partnership of one.

Note: It is legal to carry on business in Nova Scotia without getting this Registration provided that you use only your own personal name in your business dealings. (For example, Alice does catering but uses only her own personal name -- Alice Doe -- on all business cards, documents, forms, cheques, ads, etc. and does not use a name like "Alice's Catering Service" or "Hantsport Caterers".)

New Brunswick: Individuals and firms whose primary business registration is in the Province of New Brunswick do not have to register their business name in Nova Scotia in order to legally operate in this province.
Issuing Department / Agency:
  Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies
Service Nova Scotia
Where can you get this Registration and / or further information?
  Contact: Registry of Joint Stock Companies
Service Nova Scotia

902-424-7770 or the Access Nova Scotia toll free number: 1-800-225-8227 (All office locations)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (except holidays)


Any Access Nova Scotia Centres
Head office location:
Maritime Centre, 9 North
1505 Barrington Street (at Spring Garden Road)
Halifax, N.S. B3J 3K5
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (except holidays)

  Write: Registry of Joint Stock Companies
Service Nova Scotia
P.O. Box 1529
Halifax, NS B3J 2Y4
  Fax: 902-424-4633
Application Forms & Process
  With this Registration, there are two different ways to submit your application form: 

A) You can get a form by: 
       (1) downloading a form from our website; 
       (2) visiting any Access Nova Scotia Centre; or 
       (3) calling, writing or visiting the Registry of Joint Stocks office listed above. 

B) You can apply online. To do this, you must be able to pay by Visa, MasterCard or American Express Credit Card. We cannot accept any form of Debit cards online at this time. 

If you wish to apply online, click here.

The applicant begins by reserving a business name. (See Business Name: Search and Reservation.)

Once a business name has been reserved, the applicant must then file an application for registration of the business name.

Heads up! The application forms use the term "partnership" -- but they CAN be used for registering sole proprietorships (and business names) because, legally, a sole proprietorship is actually a "partnership of one."

Once completed, the forms can be submitted by mail, or in person at the Registry office or any Access Nova Scotia centre, along with the applicable fee (see Price below). Fax is not accepted.

If all requirements are met and the application is approved, the Certificate of Registration will be sent to the applicant by mail.

OR... If you prefer, you may go in person to the Registry or an Access Nova Scotia centre, and the Certificate of Registration can be issued while you wait, provided the name has already been reserved and all conditions (if any) are met.

Waiting Period:

5-10 business days
Provided that all the items that must accompany the application have been received
(Please allow several extra days for mail delivery.)

Expiry & Renewal
  This registration is valid for 1 year. It can be renewed, and the renewal time is 11 months from the date it was first issued. The Registry will send a renewal form to the firm before the registration expires. Renewals cannot be submitted by fax.
Price:  (No tax is charged)

Initial Application: $68.55

Annual Renewal:   $68.55

Note: Fee must accompany initial application.

Related Requirements:
  Some or all of the following may be required:
  1. If the business will be retailing taxable goods or services, they will need an HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) Registration with Canada Revenue Agency.

  2. If the business hires any employees, it is responsible for deducting and remitting personal income tax, unemployment insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan deductions to Canada Revenue Agency - Taxation.
Additional Information:
  It is legal to carry on business in Nova Scotia without a Registered Business Name provided that you use only your own personal name. (For example, Alice operates a catering service but uses only her own personal name -- Alice Doe -- on all business ads, documents, forms, cheques, letters, etc.) In Nova Scotia, you do not need a Registered Business Name to get an HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) registration . It can be issued in an individual name.
Legislative Authority:
  Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1989, Chapter 335

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