Canada Company Formation

Are you interested in Canada’s company formation options? Here are your choices for establishing a presence in the country.

Company formation in Canada is available through two different options:

  • To form under provincial law which only allows the entity to conduct business in the province where it establishes.

  • To form under federal formation, which permits a company to operate across Canada. The process takes around 14 working days to complete.

Step one: You must first submit the corporate name for approval in English, French or a combination of the two. Upon approval, you must submit a Memorandum for the company along with the addresses of the registered office and records office. The firm must also provide rules and regulations that apply to the directors of the corporation and its shareholders.

Canada requires that businesses keep a register of directors, shareholders and securities at the registered office. They are also required to keep all of the bylaws that apply to the corporation, the minutes from any company meetings and copies of any filings they make with the government.


Step two: Corporations are also required to have a bank account and receive a Business Number for taxation, imports and exports, and payroll purposes. Companies also use the Business Number for permits and licences. You can also use the Business Number as the name of the entity.

Canada requires a registered office for a business, which should be the same place where the company conducts most of its operations. You must maintain records of shareholders, the number of shares that they own and their address information.


Step three: Companies must register with the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) to file corporate business taxes. The CRA also handles payroll deductions, GST and harmonised sales tax as per the fiscal year (any 12-month period you choose).

Officers within the company are allowed to hold more than one position, and non-resident shareholders and directors may serve as corporate officers, but a President and Secretary must be appointed.

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