How to Incorporate a Business in Canada

How to Incorporate a Business in Canada


Understanding the Basics of Incorporation

Incorporate a Business in Canada - What is Incorporation?
Incorporate a Business in Canada - Business Plan
Incorporate a Business in Canada - Structure

For a more complete guide on why you should hire a lawyer when you incorporate, check out our article, “Do I need a lawyer to incorporate in Canada?”

Incorporate a Business in Canada - Steps
Incorporate a Business in Canada - Certificate of Incorporation
Incorporate a Business in Canada - Compliance

Frequently Asked Questions

Incorporate a Business in Canada

Do I need a lawyer to incorporate in Canada?

It’s not legally required but highly advisable. Online services only handle initial government filing and certificate of incorporation. Your corporation won’t be complete, risking personal assets and legal penalties.

For more details, see our article: “Do I need a lawyer to incorporate in Canada?”

How long does the incorporation process typically take in Canada?

The incorporation process can be completed within a few hours to a few weeks, depending on jurisdiction and complexity.

Check out our article, “How long does it take to incorporate in Canada” for more details.

How much does it cost to incorporate?

Depending on the jurisdiction and complexity of the incorporation, expect to spend between  $1000-2000 CAD +HST. This amount includes government filing fees and legal fees. If you fail to hire a lawyer in the beginning, the cost will likely end up being higher later to fix errors.

For a more detailed discussion, check out our article “How much does it cost to incorporate in Canada?”

What is required to incorporate in Canada?

To incorporate in Canada, you need a unique corporate name, at least one director who is a Canadian resident, an address for the registered office, articles of incorporation, and a minute book complete with bylaws, organizational resolutions and issued shares. A NUANS report is also required for name registration.

What is difference between corporation and incorporation in Canada?

A corporation is a legal entity that is created after the process of incorporation. Incorporation is the legal act of establishing the corporation in Canada, either federally or provincially.

What is difference between registering a business and incorporating?

Registering a business name grants your business the right to operate under a name in a province, whether your business is a sole proprietorship, corporation or partnership. Incorporating creates a legal entity, separate from its owners, with enhanced liability protection and potential tax benefits.

Can the incorporation process in Canada be completed online?

Yes. To incorporate online in Canada, select a federal or provincial registry, reserve your corporate name, prepare articles of incorporation, and file them with the required fee on the government’s online portal. Have your lawyer prepare an “Electronic Minute Book” and uncertificated shares for you to sign.

Is a physical office required to incorporate a business in Canada?

A registered office address in Canada is required, but it doesn’t need to be a physical office space; it can be a legal representative’s address.

Can a non-Canadian resident incorporate a business in Canada?

Yes, non-residents can incorporate in Canada but must meet specific requirements, such as having a Canadian address and appointing a certain percentage of local directors.

Can one person incorporate a business in Canada?

If the incorporator is a resident Canadian and over 18, they can be the sole officer, shareholder, and director. The incorporator handles initial tasks like naming the first directors and filing the Articles of Incorporation, allowing one person to manage and control the entire incorporation process.

Antonio DiMinno

About the Author

Antonio DiMinno is a business & real estate lawyer, entrepreneur, and founder of the law firm, DiMinno Rizzi Lawyers. Antonio takes pride in working differently than most law firms. He doesn’t see himself as just a lawyer, but rather a trusted business and legal advisor in your corner. His focus is helping entrepreneurs and real estate investors through practical, business-savvy, and cost-effective solutions delivered in plain English.

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