Sole proprietorship: Registry of Joint Stock Companies requirements

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by only 1 person. It’s not incorporated. Sole proprietorships need to follow Registry of Joint Stock Companies requirements for registering, renewing, changing and ending a sole proprietorship.

Sole proprietorship is a legal structure you can choose for your business.

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by only 1 person. It’s not incorporated. As the owner, all decisions and profits are yours, and you alone are responsible for any losses, liability and taxes. Profits are taxed as personal income.

All sole proprietorships need to register with Registry of Joint Stock Companies, except if you use your personal name as your business name. For example, you don’t need to register Jane Doe, but you do need to register Jane Doe Consulting.

Sole proprietorships also need to follow requirements for registering, renewing, changing and ending a sole proprietorship with Registry of Joint Stock Companies.

Administrative requirements

Sole proprietorships have certain administrative requirements. For example, they need to:

  • have a business location in Nova Scotia
  • have a recognized agent that lives in Nova Scotia (not needed for sole proprietors who live in Nova Scotia)
  • notify Registry of Joint Stock Companies of changes to the recognized agent, business address, sole proprietor or their address
  • maintain the company’s registration under the Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act by ensuring the owner or recognized agent files an annual return and pays the annual registration fee

It’s your responsibility to update Registry of Joint Stock Companies if any of your information changes.

Help choosing a legal structure

Registry of Joint Stock Companies can’t give you legal advice. The registry can help by describing the registration process and telling you what documents you need for registration, but it can’t help you prepare them. If you have questions about preparing documents, you should discuss this with your legal and accounting advisors.

It’s your responsibility to follow the registration process under the legislation. In addition to forms provided by Registry of Joint Stock Companies, you may need to complete and file additional forms and documents.

Register your sole proprietorship

Reserve a name for your business or non-profit

Businesses and non-profits need to apply to reserve a name before they register, incorporate or change an existing name.

Register a sole proprietorship

Most sole proprietorships need to register with Registry of Joint Stock Companies to operate in Nova Scotia.

Renew your sole proprietorship

Renew your business or non-profit registration with Registry of Joint Stock Companies

Businesses and non-profits need to renew their registration and pay a renewal fee each year they continue to operate.

Changes to your sole proprietorship

Appoint or change a recognized agent for a business or non-profit

Appoint or change the recognized agent for your business or non-profit. Or change the recognized agent’s address.

Change the sole proprietor or partner in a business or non-profit

Sole proprietorships and partnerships need to notify Registry of Joint Stock Companies when the sole proprietor or partner changes. Businesses and non-profits that have a registered business name (operating name) need to notify the registry of changes to their incorporated partners.

Change the address for a sole proprietorship, partnership or business name (operating name)

Sole proprietorships and partnerships need to notify Registry of Joint Stock Companies of changes to the business location, mailing address and residential address of the sole proprietor or partners. Businesses and non-profits that have a registered business name (operating name) need to notify the registry of changes to the business location or mailing address.

Change the name of your sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship can change its name by filing the Change of Business Name Form with Registry of Joint Stock Companies.

End your sole proprietorship

Dissolve a sole proprietorship

Sole proprietorships need to notify Registry of Joint Stock Companies when they dissolve.

End a sole proprietorship: request for revocation

Sole proprietorships need to notify Registry of Joint Stock Companies if their business is no longer operating.