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  • Writer's pictureDayna Dumont

Register your Ontario Corporation Even if You’re Not a Lawyer.

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

You’ve decided to create an Ontario Corporation. Great! So, now what? Do you do it yourself? Do you hire a lawyer? Do you hire someone else? First things first, do your research. There’s a wealth of resources available online to help you get started. This is one of them!

We’ll go over the basics of what you should consider before you create your Ontario corporation. We’ll go over the types of corporations, the cost of incorporation, and what you should decide before going further with the registration.

Of course, the more complicated your business model, the trickier it will get. A variety of professionals offer incorporation services. If you’re not comfortable, consult with a professional so that you can feel confident you’re making the right choices.

Ontario Corporation v. Federal Corporation

Are you going to register your Ontario corporation or a federal corporation? It’s more of a logistics question, so it can be an easy one to make.

If you’re looking to run your business across Canada, outside of the province of Ontario, you’ll want to incorporate federally under the Canada Business Corporations Act. If you intend on doing business locally in Ontario, then registering an Ontario corporation under the Ontario Business Corporations Act will do just fine.

The initial filing cost of a Federal Corporation is lower than that of an Ontario corporation; however, the long-term cost can be more significant when running a federal corporation as it has more yearly filing requirements.

How Much Does It Cost to Register Your Ontario Corporation?

The cost of registering your Ontario corporation depends mainly on whether you choose to take a DIY approach or whether you decide to hire a professional. The fee to create your Ontario corporation is $360.00 and is made payable to the Minister of Finance.

In addition to the filing fee, you must perform a NUANS name search (if you’re choosing your own name). The cost of one name search report is $13.80.

Why You Don’t Need a Lawyer To Register Your Ontario Corporation

As previously mentioned, there’s a variety of reputable guides and resources available online. They’ll walk you through the incorporation process. If you’re willing to dig deep, you can complete this process on your own. Alternatively, you can choose to hire someone who is not a lawyer in order to avoid the costly business lawyer fees.

Just know, there are steps that follow the registration of your Ontario corporation. You must ensure to meet all your filing deadlines to keep your corporation in good standing. For example, you must file an Initial Return/Notice of Change (Form 1 under the Corporations Information Act) within 60 days of the date of your official incorporation.

To find out about the filing of other forms based on your specific business circumstances, visit the Government of Ontario website.

What Do You Need To Know Before You Register Your Ontario Corporation?

Before considering registering your Ontario corporation and creating your Articles of Incorporation, you’ll want to give the following things some thought:

What’s Your Ontario Corporation Name?

It’s your responsibility to come up with a corporation name. It must be unique, identifiable, not identical, and comply with the Business Corporations Act. It must be identifiable as a corporation, meaning it must have the word “Limited”, “Corporation”, “Corp.”, “Inc.”, etc.

If you’ve elected to go with a name other than a numbered corporation, you’ll need to ensure that your name does not match someone else’s. You’ll need to perform a NUANS search (as stated above). You can do your search on a few different websites, both privately and on the government website.

Who are Your Directors?

The directors of your company will be responsible for managing all your business affairs.You must have at least one person named as a Director or at least three people if you’re registering an offering corporation.

Who are Your Shareholders?

Every shareholder who holds shares within your company essentially owns the corporation. You must have at least one shareholder, but there may be several.

You’ll need to decide how many shares each shareholder will hold. The number of shares is not as crucial as the equal proportion of shares. You’ll want to give some thought to the division of ownership of your Ontario corporation before making this decision.

The Beginning of Corporate Opportunities

Do you know exactly how you want your Ontario Corporation set up? Perfect! Now it’s time to do the leg work of getting it started on paper. This is an exciting start and can open more doors regarding status, tax benefits, and funds available (through investors) to upgrade and develop your corporation.

It’s essential that you research the steps of incorporation and what filing and rule requirements you have on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Lori Pelletier at Eagle Eye Bookkeeping can assist with your incorporation and help with your filing requirements. Schedule an initial consultation with Lori to learn more!


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