How to Incorporate Yourself in Canada

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Incorporating yourself in Canada requires that you submit the appropriate application forms.
Incorporating yourself in Canada requires that you submit the appropriate application forms. (Image: id form image by Alexey Klementiev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Incorporating yourself in Canada requires that you provide some basic information and pay the required fee to Industry Canada. After deciding on a name and where your corporation will operate, there are a few different application forms that you must complete and submit before being approved as a new corporation.

Things You'll Need

  • NUANS name report
  • Application fee

Choose a name for your corporation. It is possible to incorporate a company in Canada using your own name. However, if you are choosing a different name for your company, it is important to choose this first in order to conduct the appropriate name searches before submitting your application.

Decide if you are going to incorporate federally or provincially. Incorporating provincially allows you to run your business unrestricted in your province of operation. You are free to relocate your offices and conduct business anywhere within that province. By incorporating federally, you are free to operate in all provinces and territories in Canada unrestricted. You must decide this prior to completing the application process.

Conduct a name search. If you are incorporating federally, you must obtain a NUANS name report from the NUANS Canada website. NUANS is a computerized search system that compares a proposed corporate name or trade-mark with databases of existing corporate bodies and trade-marks. If you are seeking to incorporate provincially, you must obtain a NUANS provincial/regional name report. These can be obtained by visiting your provincial NUANS website. Both the provincial and federal name reports will contain information about your desired corporate name as well as a list of corporations with similar names.

Obtain the application forms. There are three main forms you must complete and submit either online or in person before you can be granted approval for your corporation. All forms can be completed or downloaded from the Industry Canada website. The forms must be submitted with your NUANS name report. NUANS name reports cannot be dated more than 90 days prior to filing your application.

Gather required information and documents. Incorporation applications require that you submit important information about your corporation’s board of directors (should you decide to have one) and the number of shares you wish to issue (should you decide to issue any). Prepare this information before beginning the application process.

Complete the application forms with the required information. Application forms can be completed and submitted online or it is possible to download the forms to be faxed, mailed or dropped off to the Industry Canada offices. All forms can be found on the Industry Canada — Corporations Canada website.

Submit the application forms and pay the required fee. Once your application form has been completed with the required information you must either submit it online by clicking “submit” on the application form or by faxing or mailing your forms. You must also pay the required application fees at this time.

Review your application response. After you have submitted your application, you will receive a response to your request. In some cases, a corporation is not approved on the first attempt. In such cases, you will be mailed a package with information on what changes are necessary and how to re-submit your application for approval.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is possible for two companies in two separate provinces incorporated provincially to have the same name. Federally incorporated businesses must have completely unique names.
  • Consult the Canada Incorporation Kit for terms that you don’t understand and additional application information.
  • Filing your application form online is cheaper than sending it or dropping it off at the Industry Canada offices.

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