Registering Your Business In Canada

Before Registering Your Business in Canada, you must inform potential customers about your business and let the government know about your plans too. You may need to register with several different levels of government for so many different reasons. This document will help you understand the key registration requirements that may apply to your business.

Before you register

Before registering your business, you must think about the kind of business you want to start and the name you want to call your business

  • Sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or co-operative?
    Find out the type of business structure that will be right for your business: incorporation, a partnership, a sole proprietorship or a co-operative.
  • Naming your business
    Pick or choose the right name for your business. Your business name should be unique, simple and easy to remember, and should describe the products and services you intend to provide.

Business Number

This is an account number that identifies your business to federal, provincial, and municipal government.

Provincial and territorial business registration

Most provincial and territorial governments will need you to register your business with them.


You can incorporate your business federally or provincially if you decide to incorporate your business at all.

Federal incorporation allows you to do business under the same name in all provinces and territories, although you may still need to register your business in individual provinces and territories. If your plan is to do business in more than one province or territory now or in the future, you should consider incorporating federally. Before you do, you will be requires to complete a Nuans name search.

  • NUANS Corporate name search

    Compare your proposed business name to the names of existing businesses to see if it is unique and to avoid plagiarism

Federal incorporation

  • Federal business incorporation – This is to access convenient online and paper methods of incorporating your business federally.
  • Federal cooperatives – you should find out how to incorporate and maintain a federal cooperative in Canada.
  • Steps to incorporating – follow the guidelines to help you incorporate your business federally and set up an appropriate structure.
  • Reviving a business corporation – research on how you can revive a dissolved federal corporation and restore it to its pre-dissolution legal status.
  • Keeping your corporation in good standing: Reporting obligations
    Search on how to keep your federally incorporated company in good standing.

Permits and licences

Depending on your location, you may also require specific permits and licences from the federal, provincial or municipal governments, industry sector, and the business activities you plan to conduct.

You can also see the five tips to start a restaurant business in Canada