Federally incorporate your business in Canada for free

I recently federally incorporated one of my company names with Corporations Canada myself. Before I started, I was quite apprehensive of the entire process, fearing a potential arduous pile of paper work and legal mumbo jumbo.

After it was all said and done, I was quite plesantly suprised with how little time and effort federally incorporating my business took. Doing this myself, I was able to avoid having to pay any online filing companies their $100-$300 fees to submit forms I’ve already had to fill out.

I will not go into why you should incorporate your business as you probably already know the benefits of incorporating. I will only detail the simple process of incorporating your Canadian business for free. This is not legal advice, and legal advice should be sought if your corporate structure is complicated (ie, more than 1 director).

The Fees

  • $200 Corporations Canada filing fee
  • $20 NUANS name search.
    Depending on the availability of the business name you are looking to incorporate, you may have to perfom additional NUANS searches for alternate names.

The Process

  1. Name of Company
    The first step in incorporating your business name is obvious. You need to come up with a company name you’re looking to incorporate. You can also incorporate a Numbered Company (with a numbered company, you do not need a company name). Your company will be known as “1234567 Canada Inc” — Where the 123456 will be replaced by your corporation number.
  2. Company Structure
    Determine the incorporation structure (Number of directors, Number of shares to issue, any specific details on how your corporation will be structured and operate.) If you’re like me (just an individual incorporating your business — this is fairly straight forward and not too difficult).
  3. NUANS search
    You will need to perform a NUANS search to determine if the name you chose in step 1 hasn’t already been incorporated or register by someone else.
  4. Submit articles of incorporation
    If the company name is available after the NUANS search. During the submission, you will need to specify:              

    • Number of directors (I selected 5 — even though I’m the only director at this point). If you want to change the number of directors, you will have re-file an article of ammendment ($200 filing fee). You can change the directors at any point at no charge.
    • the address of the registered office (I listed my home as the address)
    • mailing address (I assigned a PO Box)
  5. You’re incorporated!

Once the paper work has been submitted, a Corporations Canada agent will review the articles of incorporation and approve or deny the filing. If denied, they will email you or call you to know reason for the denial and you have the option to re-submit with ammendments within 90 days.

Once approved, you will receive your certificate of incorporation via e-mail as a PDF file. This can be used to open your bank accounts and all accounts with various vendors you will deal with.

If you have any questions about how to federally incorporate your business for free, please feel free to contact me via the contact form.

One Comment on “Federally incorporate your business in Canada for free”

  1. Hi
    Thank you so much for this article it is soooo helpful. I am located in Ontario and I don’t mind incorporating federally but most articles I read discouraged going federal unless I operate across Canada.

    My business does have the potential to have agents across Canada LATER what would you suggest? Is the paperwork and ongoing maintenance more for federally incorporated companies.

    Thank you

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