Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said that in 12 months people will make a choice that "will affect our nation's future forever".
"This is an absolutely defining moment and a once-in-a-lifetime choice. That's why I hope people will think carefully as they prepare for the vote.
"I firmly believe that Scotland will be stronger, more secure and more prosperous if we remain as part of the UK.
"Between now and next September I will continue to argue this case as well as providing what I believe will be robust and persuasive evidence.
"I'm sure the year ahead will be both challenging and exciting as the arguments crystallise and people prepare to cast their vote. It will also be memorable and, above all, historic.
"We are all privileged to be able to play a part in it."
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Border region.
Two young chefs from Carlisle are pitting their cooking skills agains one another. The prize? A job at a successful restaurant.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has confirmed compulsory microchipping for dogs will come into force April 2016 in Scotland.