How to Incorporate a Business in Canada

Before you seriously consider incorporating your own business in Canada, you must note that there are a few specifics of each step in order to incorporate the business. Furthermore, these steps vary from province to province.


  • 1

    First of all, you have to decide whether you are going to incorporate your business federally or provincially. If you choose to do in at a federal level, you will be able to conduct your business in all provinces and territories provided you register your corporation in the provinces in which you want to conduct your business in. You will also be able to use the same name where ever you go even if there’s another company doing a business under a similar name.

  • 2

    However, there are a few disadvantages if you aspire to incorporate a business federally. It will cost you a lot, a lot of paperwork needs to be done.

  • 3

    However, if you want to incorporate at provincial level, your company will conduct its business only in that area which means that you will not be able to expand your business.

  • 4

    The decision to either incorporate provincially or federally depends on the scope of your company. If you are setting up a small business for starters, it’s better to keep it at a provincial level and if your company takes the right steps during a certain period, you can expand it on a federal level.

  • 5

    Choosing a corporate name is a bit difficult that you will have to fulfil a whole set of stringent requirements. Usually, your corporate name will be composed of three elements; a portion that identifies the corporation, a porting that identifies its activities and a legal outlook like Limited, Incorporated or Corporation.

  • 6

    In Canada, corporate names can be in English or French or a combination of both. However, keep it in mind that the Registrar will ask you to have a corporate name which is not similar to any other existing company’s name.

  • 7

    Reserving your corporate name is another important aspect and for that, you need to conduct a name search. If you aspire on incorporating a business federally, you will be required to do a NUANS search.

  • 8

    In provinces such as British Colombia and Nova Scotia, you must do a name search after you have submitted your Name Approval Request by filling out the Name Reservation Request Form. If the results are positive, your name will be reserved for a few days during which you must complete the incorporation.

  • 9

    Then, you have to prepare your incorporation documents that could be memorandums, articles of incorporation and the notice of offices.

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