Federal incorporation is generally a bit more expensive than provincial incorporation, but it allows you to do business under the same name in all provinces and territories (you may still need to register your business in individual provinces though). If you do plan to do business in more than one province now or in the future, you should strongly consider incorporating federally. Before doing so, you need to complete a NUANS name search.

Provincial Incorporation

Private and public corporations may be incorporated provincially under the Ministry of Government Services (MGS) Business Corporations Act (BCA).

If you plan to incorporate a business in Ontario, you must submit the following to the Companies and Personal Property Security Branch using either paper forms (downloadable at www.serviceontario.ca) or electronically via the Internet:

  • Articles of Incorporation (Form 1). This form should be completed in duplicate, bearing original signatures on both copies. Please note that all business corporations must have shares; therefore, Article 6 of the form must be completed (e.g. "unlimited common shares").

  • Ontario-Biased NUANS Search. Please note that this report is not required if you are incorporating as a numbered company only. If you are incorporating under a name instead of a number, you are required to obtain an Ontario-biased Newly Updated Automated Name Search (NUANS) report (www.nuans.com). Additional costs may apply. This comparison determines the similarity, if any, that exists between your proposed corporate name and those already in existence. The Ministry will not usually grant a name that is identical to the current name or former name of an existing corporation (active or not) unless it has been more than 10 years since the other corporation dissolved or changed its name. 

  • Cover Letter.This must identify the name, return address and telephone number of a contact for the corporation.

  • Filing Fee: A Filing Fee includes a fee for paper filing (made payable to the Minister of Finance) or a fee of for electronic filing. Electronic filing of Articles of Incorporation, BCA Form 1, is available through two primary service providers under contract with the MGS: Cyberbahn Inc. or ONCorp Direct (www.oncorp.com). Please check with the service provider for additional administration fees.

  • Other Supporting Documents: If required (e.g. Legal opinion). 

Need more information? Call the Companies & Personal Property Security Branch at 1.800.361.3223

Federal Incorporation

Businesses may be incorporated as private and public corporations federally under the Canada Business Corporations Act. A federally incorporated corporation can carry out business throughout Canada, although it may be required to register in the province in which it does business.

Anyone wishing to form a corporation under federal law must make an initial filing. The following documents and fees are required:

  • Form 1 - Articles of Incorporation: Completed in duplicate and bearing original signatures.

  • Form 2 - Initial Registered Office Address and First Board of Directors:

  • Federal NUANS report (original): Please note that this report is not required if you are incorporating as a numbered company only. This cannot be more than 90 days old. The NUANS search can be conducted online, or by a searcher of record. Please contact the provider of your choice for information on the fees for a NUANS. 

  • Filing Fee: The Filing Fee is payable to the Receiver General for Canada. For transactions completed online, the fee may be less.

Need more information? Contact Corporations Canada at 1.866.333.5556 or at their website http://corporationscanada.ic.gc.ca