Dec 6 2011
If you’re looking to incorporate a business in Ontario, you’ll be in for quite a struggle depending on how you do it. The ideal method is to go to a professional accountant or lawyer and have them take care of it for you. In Ontario, this can cost between $1000-$2000.
Personally, I like to know how things work and prefer to take care of things myself (at least for the first time through a process). With this in mind, I decided to research incorporation on my own. I had been through the process once before and found it extremely cumbersome so this time I figured I would share the experience so others could learn from it and hopefully save some time and headaches.
The first thing I noticed is that the government of Canada has the most cumbersome, un-user friendly websites I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some rough websites). The first trick is to even FIND the government of Canada websites.
There are tons of companies out there selling services such as NUANS searches, Incorporation supplies (like seals and minute books) and so on and these companies have outranked the Canadian Government on every possible keyword phrase relating to incorporation.
The first website you need to be aware of is here http://lnx2.co/1B9 I’ve shortened the link because it was long and ugly. This site will explain all of the ins and outs of incorporation in Ontario. NOTE: It makes a difference if you incorporate in Ontario or federally in all of Canada so consult the pros to find out the difference.
You’ll need to no a NUANS name search and every website you land on will charge you a different fee. This is all done electronically so there should either be no fee for it or it should be regulated by the government (in my opinion). Either way, I did my search here www.corporationcentre.ca
Next you’ll need to file your articles of incorporation. The nearly impossible to find government site for that is at this link http://lnx2.co/1Ba
Please note that if you file your articles of incorporation and there are errors, you’ll have to call and any Canadian that has ever called the governement of Canada will tell you the same thing….NEVER call any government office. Yes, they are very nice people and when you do actually get through, they will do their best to help you BUT….they are severely “understaffed and over worked” so you could wind up spending a lot of time waiting for someone to answer your call.
Save yourself the grief, skip a step and go to a Private Sector service provider. I used a company called Cyberbahn and had the incorporation process over in 10 minutes. www.cyberbahngroup.com
I hope this post is helpful. If you’ve incorporated and learned some tricks along the way or have questions, just leave your comment in the box below and we’ll discuss it.