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Incorporate Your Business in Ontario

If you are planning to incorporate your business, then you are on the right track.

Limited liability, great planning opportunities and tax advantages are just a few reasons why a lot of people incorporate a business. Below you will find more details about corporations.

Please select one of the options to continue:


Learn about incorporating in Ontario

  • Advantages of Incorporating your business
  • How to choose the right corporate name
  • Check availability of the corporate name
  • Information required to register a corporation
  • Registered Corporate Address
  • Filing Articles and Initial Return
  • Corporate Minute Book, Seal and Shares
  • How to get registered for HST, Payroll, WSIB
  • Corporate Trade Names
  • Cost of Registration
  • What to expect after registration

I am ready to incorporate my business

I want to go directly to the application form.

Please remember to select and request the following on your application form:

  • Incorporation of your business - Professional Package. It includes the Corporate Minute Book, Seal and Share Certificates
  • Initial Return Filing
  • HST and Payroll Accounts
  • Website domain name for your business
Learn More Incorporate Now

Free Step-by-Step Guide!

Learn About Incorporating a Business in Ontario

Bookmark this page so you can easily come back to it at any time!


Step 1 - Advantages of Incorporating your business.

A corporation is a unique legal entity and it is separate from the people who own its shares.


1. Limited personal risk. The greatest advantage of incorporation is the limited liability that it confers on shareholders with respect to debts, obligations and liabilities of the corporation.

2. Number of Owners. Incorporated companies can potentially have an unlimited number of different owners. If the business has or is planning on having a number of owners, incorporation is preferable. First, it is easier to transfer ownership in the business, as all the owners have to do is acquire or sell their shares in the company. In addition, owners/shareholders are only liable to the extent of their shareholdings. They are not liable for any other owner’s personal debt or to their creditors as may be the case in a partnership.

3. Government Grants. Some government grants and programs are only offered to incorporated businesses.

4. Ability to raise capital. The ability to issue various classes of shares with preferences as to dividends, redemption or convertibility and to utilize bonds or debentures greatly enhances a corporations ability to obtain funds for expansion or development.

5. Employees. Corporations can offer shares to their employees as a form of profit sharing incentive thereby sharing in the profits and performance of that corporation without affecting control. The performance of the company therefore affects all and is an incentive for employees to improve performance and thus improve the value of their shares and the profits the company produces.

6 . Possible tax advantages. Small Canadian controlled private corporations are taxed at approximately half the regular rate on the first $500.000 of active business income in each year. A corporation also has additional tax planning and income splitting arrangements available.

7 . Continuous existence & ownership is transferable. The death or withdrawal of a shareholder does not affect the existence of the corporation, which enjoys perpetual succession.

8. Ability to hold title to real estate and enter into contracts. A corporation can own real estate and sign contracts under corporate name.


Step 2 - Choosing the right corporate name.

Choosing the right name for your new business is an important decision. You want a name that will draw potential customers, help clients identify your company and build your business image. A name that is easy to remember and provides information about the products or services you offer is always a good choice. Choose a distinctive name to stand out from your competitors. Make sure the name is not misleading or confusing in its description of the goods or services you will provide.

Numbered Corporation
The first step is to decide if you will have a name for the corporation or use a "numbered company". There is no requirement for the corporation to have a name. You can incorporate a company using a number; for example "22563331 Ontario Inc.". Upon successful registration the Registrar will assign the next sequential number to the corporation as part of its name. A corporation incorporated in this way is a "numbered company".

Named Corporation
Most people prefer to have a name for their corporation: to give it a unique identity, to avoid confusion with other corporations, and to give a general idea of the nature of the business to be carried on by the corporation.

Step 3 - Check availability of the proposed corporate name


Name search
Before making a final decision on your corporate name and ordering forms or stationery, you may want to know if someone else is already using the name. You can do a Preliminary name search that will allow you to check up to 3 names for $15 plus tax. A more accurate NUANS search would be advisable if you want to be absolutely sure that your name is not used by someone else. You can order a NUANS here. The cost is $39.95 plus tax per each name you search. Please note that a NUANS search is mandatory for incorporating a business in Ontario.

Once you have selected a particular name you can perform a name search in advance, or to simplify the process, you can do the name search as part of your application form.

  Order Preliminary Search   Order NUANS Name Search


Step 4 - Information required to register your corporation.

To register your corporation in Ontario, you will need to provide:

  • Name and address of the business.
  • Fresh NUANS report - less than 90 days old
  • Description of the business activity.
  • Name and address of each Director.
  • Name and address of each Shareholder.

Please note that you need a minimum of 1 Director and Shareholder. One person can hold both positions.


Step 5 - Registered Corporate Address

Any Corporation located in Ontario must have an Ontario registered address. Many Corporations often use a separate corporate registered address to keep important government correspondence separate from other corporate correspondence. This is even more important if you have a home-based business, because this allows you to maintain an increased level of privacy. Corporate records are a matter of public record. Would you want strangers coming to your home? That is why we have a solution to keep your address private.

Business Development Centre provides all services related to a corporate registered address, including receiving mail and packages, notification and mail forwarding. We also provide a registered address for the receipt of government filings, legal papers and act as a local contact for government agencies.

We also forward such documents and correspondence to the corporation. The cost for Corporate Registered Address service is $249.00 for one year, plus applicable taxes and an account activation fee of $35.

You can order a Corporate Registered Address here or select this option on the Incorporation order form.

Order Corporate Registered Address


Step 6 - Filing Articles of Incorporation and Initial Return

Incorporation of the business is done by completing a document called Articles of Incorporation that is then delivered directly to the appropriate government department.

Once your application for Incorporation is approved, you will receive the official Articles of Incorporation.

Articles of Incorporation consists of a legal document that confirms registration of your corporation with the Ontario government. Articles of Incorporation are valid in perpetuity.

You can view a sample of the Articles below.
Articles of Incorporation - PDF or Image

Filing Initial Return
Initial Return is a mandatory document that must be filed within 60 days after incorporation. You can request the filing as a separate service or as part of the incorporation process. However, if you request filing of your Initial Return together with the Incorporation, you stand to save as much as 50% of the service fees for filing the return, because we would do everything at the same time.


Step 7 - Corporate Minute Book, Seal and Share Certificates

A corporate minute book and registers are very useful organizational tools that project a professional image of any new corporation. Revenue Canada, a lawyer or any other authority would request to view your minute book in case they have any issues with your corporation. For that reason alone, you should have your minute book ready and updated at all times.

View this quick video to learn more about the Corporate Minute Book.

We offer two standard packages:
  • The Legacy Kit package    
    Price: $199.00 (plus shipping and taxes)

  • The Attaché Kit package   
    Price: $199.00 (plus shipping and taxes)

You can order your kit separately On-line or as part of your incorporation form.



Legacy Minute Book The Legacy Kit features a high quality leatherette cover with gold detailing and is provided with an accompanying brass minute book plate that permanently adheres to the spine for easy identification. The functional 3-ring binder and slipcase format fits standard 12" shelving units. This quality register comes in a burgundy colour.

Attache Minute BookThe Attaché Kit is a stylish, modern approach to organizing a corporation’s papers that appeals to image conscious legal firms and their clients. A high quality black vinyl cover, brass name plate and sturdy well-designed construction provide the lawyer or entrepreneur with a presentation package that reflects the professionalism of his or her firm and client. The Attaché kit comes with the award-winning Mark Maker Embosser in its own section of the case and a built-in handle for convenience.

Both kits come with the award-winning mark-maker embosser, Standard 10 tab set, Corporate Information Summary, a Directors Register, List of Officers, Shareholders Register, Securities Registers and Transfer Registers for Shares, Warrants and Debts, five sheets of blank paper and one set of ten Share Certificates.

The contents of these packages are predetermined so as to simplify the ordering process.

Attache Minute BookThe mark-maker seal is an award-winning embosser which seals your most important deals and records at the office or at home. It is ideal for identifying legal documents, notary seals publications and books. Features include: Lifetime Warranty, Brass Index Plate, and an Easy-to use Wide-Grip handle that makes a perfect impression each and every time. This corporate seal fits perfectly inside our Attaché Kit package.

Step 8 - Apply for HST, Payroll, Import/Export and WSIB Accounts

  • HST - Any business that generates more than $30,000 in annual taxable sales has to register for HST
  • Payroll - Any business that has employees must register for a Payroll account
  • Import/Export - If you are planning to trade with other countries, this account would be very helpful
  • WSIB - This account is mandatory if you are going to have employees. This account is also mandatory if you operate a business in the construction industry, even if you have no employees.

You can request all or any of the above tax accounts during the registration process. Simply check the appropriate check-box on the application form.


Bookmark this page so you can easily come back to it at another time!


Step 9 - Corporate Trade Names

What is a Trade Name?
A trade name is any name under which you do business other than the current legal name on your corporate registration record. If you would like to use any name other than your corporate name you must register a trade name.

These are some important basic principles:

  • There is no limit to the number of trade names that may be registered by one corporation.
  • Trade names are not "protected" from use by other companies through trade name registration. To protect your name you need to register a trademark.
  • You must use your corporate name together with the trade name on all contracts and legal documents. (ABC Limited O/A Flowers for You)
  • Trade names have to be ordered separately from the Incorporation process.

Order Trade Name


Step 10 - Incorporation Packages and fees

Business Development Centre provides complete incorporation services for Ontario Corporations. The process requires approximately 3-4 business days. However, we do have a rush service available. For an additional fee we can have your corporation registered the same day we receive your order. There are some conditions, so ask us for complete details. Your documents can be delivered anywhere in Canada.

  • Professional Package - Ontario Incorporation (All Inclusive and Most Popular)


    This is a full incorporation package for Ontario Corporation. This package includes Corporate Minute Book, Corporate Seal and Share Certificates. You should use this package if you are planning to start and run a solid business for a long time.

    Our Fee 
    Preparation of the Articles of Incorporation
    Review of the Articles 
    Filing of the Articles 
    Nuans Name Search  $59.95
    Analysis of the Nuans Search Report 
    Articles of Incorporation  $14.95
    Corporate By-laws  $14.95
    Corporate Minute Book  $85.00
    Corporate Seal  $54.00
    Share Certificates  $20.00
    Government Filing Fee $300.00
    Electronic Access Fee:*  $60.00
    Shipping & Handling  $15.00
    Taxes  $61.47
    Total - including government fees and taxes $834.32
    * We have listed Electronic Access Fee separately in these packages in order to save you $39.00 in HST tax. We hope that you will appreciate saving this money. The total filing fee is still $360.
  • Standard Package - Ontario Incorporation


    This is a standard incorporation package for Ontario Corporation. Please note that this package does not include corporate minute book and accessories. You should use this package if you are planning to use the corporation for a specific purpose and know how to manage corporate records.

    Our Fee 
    Preparation of the Articles of Incorporation
    Review of the Articles 
    Filing of the Articles 
    Nuans Name Search 
    Analysis of the Nuans Search Report 
    Articles of Incorporation 
    Corporate By-laws 
    Government Filing Fee: 
    Electronic Access Fee:* 
    Shipping & Handling 
    Total - including government fees and taxes
    * We have listed Electronic Access Fee separately in these packages in order to save you $39.00 in HST tax. We hope that you will appreciate saving this money. The total filing fee is still $360.
  • Basic Package - Ontario Incorporation


    This is an absolutely minimum package required to register an Ontario Corporation. You should use this package only if you are fully aware of the corporate rules and regulations.

    Our Fee 
    Preparation of the Articles of Incorporation
    Filing of the Articles 
    Articles of Incorporation  $14.95
    Nuans Name Search  $39.95
    Government Filing Fee:  $300.00
    Electronic Access Fee:*  $60.00
    Shipping & Handling  $15.00
    Taxes  $29.76
    Total - including government fees and taxes $558.66
    This package is available online only.   
    * We have listed Electronic Access Fee separately in these packages in order to save you $39.00 in HST tax. We hope that you will appreciate saving this money. The total filing fee is still $360.  



Step 11 - What to expect after registration

Here is what you will get once your application is approved:

  • You will receive an Official Registration Certificate issued by the Ontario government.
  • You can view a sample of the Certificate here - PDF or Image
  • This certificate will entitle you to operate your Corporation in Ontario.
  • If you apply for tax accounts (and you should), you will receive documentation directly from appropriate government departments that administer those accounts. We will also provide you with account numbers where applicable.
  • When you select a Professional Package, we will provide a Corporate Minute Book with a Corporate Seal and Share Certificates.

Incorporate Your Business Now

Congratulations! You are now ready to incorporate your business. Simply select the appropriate link below to be redirected to the application form.

You will be directed to our secure server for submitting your application.



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