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Can you incorporate a business yourself?

Region: Ontario Answer # 220

The incorporation of a business in Canada can be done very quickly and a routine incorporation can easily be completed within a week by anyone familiar with the various forms required by either federal or provincial governments.

With a careful review of the government forms to be filed, reliable name search results and a clear understanding of the best structure for your business, it is possible to do it yourself. Having said that, however, if you have never incorporated a business before, it is advisable to hire someone with experience. Although it is not a requirement, most people feel more comfortable hiring a lawyer, not only to do the paperwork, but also to ensure that a corporation is the right business structure for your purposes. Usually, for a straightforward Ontario incorporation, lawyers will charge a flat fee of approximately $1,500, plus the government filing fees, to incorporate your business for you. Furthermore, a lawyer can also conduct the corporate name search and prepare your minute books for an additional flat fee.

Other reasons to consult with someone who has experience is to decide on important issues, such as what types of shares and how many shall be issued, who the directors will be, licensing and government registrations that your business requires, and so on. A corporate and commercial lawyer will be able to easily answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your situation.

The cost of establishing a Canadian corporation is relatively modest and depends on whether you are incorporating provincially or federally. Also, some law firms have so-called “shelf” corporations that are already incorporated and can be activated immediately, if required.

More help

More information about incorporating a business in Ontario can be found from ServiceOntario. For information about federal incorporation, visit Government of Canada, Federal Corporations.

For legal advice or assistance, contact a lawyer.




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