Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Canada. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Canada to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    File for federal incorporation and provincial registration via Industry Canada’s online Electronic Filing Centre

    Agency: Industry Canada

    To file for incorporation electronically (via Online Filing Centre), the cost is CAD 200. There is no fee for the provincial registration in Ontario. Electronic filing for incorporating a business is 1 day and the Business Number is sent to the company within 5 days.

    The following documents are required to file for federal incorporation and provincial registration:
    1. Form 1: Articles of Incorporation
    2. Form 2: Initial Registered Office Address and First Board of Directors
    3. Provincial registration form.
    While extra-provincial registration in Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan can be done at the same time when the documents for federal incorporation are filed (via Joint Online Registration System), generally, a federal company that intends to conduct business in other Canadian province would need to register in that province individually. See, for example, Part 11 of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia).

    Four incorporation options available:
    1. Incorporation of a numbered name corporation, e.g. 1234567 Canada Inc.
    If the company is incorporating under a name, rather than a number, a name search report must be obtained at a cost of CAD 21.47. The search report and articles must be filed within 90 days of the production of the name search report.
    2. Incorporation of a corporation with a name pre-approved by Corporations Canada (a NUANS® search in electronic format is required to accompany the submission) or
    3. Incorporation of a corporation where name approval is to be sought (a NUANS® search in electronic format is required to accompany the submission);
    4. Incorporation of a numbered name corporation that has been pre-reserved.
    It is a same day service, if you submit the forms online prior to 1PM, the incorporation certificate should be provided on the same day by 5PM.

    Once a corporation is created, the corporation's information is transmitted to the Canada Revenue Agency which then transmits back the Business Number with the corporate income tax account number. This number can be accessed within a day from the online database of federal corporations on Industry Canada's website.

    1 day CAD 200

    Register for VAT

    Agency: Canada Revenue Agency

    All private corporations with turnover of over 30,000 CAD per quarter must register for the VAT –referred to as Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) – with Canada Revenue Authority (CRA). In order to register with CRA, corporations must provide the Name, phone number, and the Social Insurance Number (SIN) of at least one owner/director of the business and the Business Address and Major Business Activity (MBA) when registering. Registration can be done online at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html - at no cost.

    less than one day (online procedure) no charge