Starting a business in Canada offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. To establish your business successfully and operate legally, it is essential to register it with the appropriate authorities. 

Before you register your business, you will need to know:

  • where your main office will be located
  • which other provinces and territories you plan to operate in
  • your proposed business name 
  • the type of business that best suits your needs (see below for sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or co-operative for help determining which structure is right for you).

Choosing a Business Structure

In Canada, you have several options for structuring your business sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or cooperative. 

Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business structure where an individual owns and operates the business, assuming all liabilities and enjoying all profits generated by the venture.

Partnership: A partnership is a business structure where two or more individuals share ownership, responsibilities, liabilities, and profits of the business, pooling their resources and expertise to achieve common goals.

Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners (shareholders), offering limited liability protection. It has the ability to enter contracts, acquire assets, and enjoy perpetual existence, with profits distributed to shareholders through dividends.

Each structure has its benefits and legal implications. Consult with us to determine the most suitable structure for your business, considering factors such as liability, taxation, and ownership.

Choosing a Unique Business Name

By the Canadian law, you business name can’t be the same or very similar to an existing corporation. You can find out if your selected name is taken here.

Ask yourself the following questions, before selecting the name for your business: 

  • Does the name reflect my business and what I sell?
  • Can it be easily remembered?
  • Is it unique?

Registering your Business

To operate legally in Canada, you must register your business with the appropriate government authorities. 

You can incorporate your business through federal incorporation or provincial/territorial incorporation. This process will involve getting a federal business number and corporation income tax account from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The process may vary by province or territory, you can contact us to know more about your local business registration requirements.

Register for Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)

If your business is projected to earn over $30,000 in annual revenue, you must register for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). The GST/HST is a federal tax applied to most goods and services sold in Canada. Registration can be done online through the CRA website or by completing the appropriate forms.

Registering your business in Canada is a vital step in establishing a legal and compliant enterprise.

You can consult with us, if you want to have professional guidance in every step of your business registration process.

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