Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Incorporating in a single province and federally - What is the difference?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 1st, 2018 1:03 am
[OP]
Member
Feb 23, 2015
376 posts
20 upvotes
Mississauga, ON

Incorporating in a single province and federally - What is the difference?

I am in Ontario. If I incorporate for Ontario alone what is the advantage compared to incorporating federally? assuming there is such a thing.
Incorporating in one province limits what you can do? Do people incorporate in two or more provinces instead of doing it federally?
Once incorporated in one province can you add other provinces? What book keeping or tax implications will this entail?
8 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 15, 2015
1568 posts
199 upvotes
Markham, ON
The Ontario registrar is technologically dated. Last I checked, aside from incorporation, everytime you want to change your documents, you have to hand in your paper in person or by mail.

The federal one, everything is electronic. Very traceable!

Don't incorporate too many corporations. Each corporation is a person. It's not some stupid computer games.
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
3860 posts
2787 upvotes
It's a good question. I can tell you that our small company has been incorporated in BC for 23 years, doing business in Canada, the U.S., and other countries throughout the world, and not once has anyone ever asked a question about it or suggested that it made any difference at all (aside from routine maintenance things like where you file annual filings, where you pay your annual fee, and when you have to review and update your corporate terms to match a change in provincial law).

Does it matter in some way?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
5603 posts
4823 upvotes
Edmonton
The main advantage to being federally incorporated is that your corporation name cannot be used or registered anywhere else in Canada. So if you register the name "Joe's Autobody" as a BC corporation, then someone else could register "Joe's Autobody" in another province as a corporation too.
[OP]
Member
Feb 23, 2015
376 posts
20 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
adamtheman wrote: The main advantage to being federally incorporated is that your corporation name cannot be used or registered anywhere else in Canada. So if you register the name "Joe's Autobody" as a BC corporation, then someone else could register "Joe's Autobody" in another province as a corporation too.
Any other difference? I will try to do all online and on my own.
What is the cost of incorporating federally? I think Ontario incorporation is $300
Any difference in yearly costs?
I know I can find these on line but maybe someone knows so I won't have to or the costs are not so straightforward as advertised.
Deal Addict
May 12, 2014
2942 posts
2707 upvotes
Montreal
Your company will be subject to the corporate laws of the jurisdiction it's incorporated in (BC, QC, Fed,...).

Every jurisdiction has slight differences.

There can be subtle advantages/inconveniences. These are usually not very important unless you have particular requirements.

Fun fact: Quebec has the highest share of federal incorporations.
Deal Addict
Aug 28, 2007
1912 posts
299 upvotes
Calgary
If you incorporate federally, you will still have to purchase an extra-provincial registration in the province in which you plan to operate your new business (i.e. your office of record). A full registration in any province costs more than it's corresponding extra-provincial registration but adding the federal registration on top of it makes a single provincial registration the overall lower cost option in terms of both money and ongoing admin filings.

Keep in mind, the vast majority of corporations (i.e. businesses) fail and are dissolved before they reach the point where they need to worry about national brand name protection or opening a branch in another province. So the federal registration is superfluous for most start-ups.

The Internet has facilitated doing business globally from a single provincial office.
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2015
1762 posts
293 upvotes
^
This and s/he is not confused at all...
Look at my other thread.
I incorporated federally andy registered office was in Ontario.
Now I am.moved from.Ontario to Manitoba.
I thought it will a piece of cake to change address to Manitoba and continue business in Manitoba as I am incorporated federally but not so easy.
To change the address from one province to another requies amendment of articles. Fee 200 dollars.
Then you need to register your federal incorporation in Manitoba.
Name reservation ( yes this is crazy but they force you to.do it) 45 dollars
Certificate of compliance 10 dollars
Application for registration 350 dollars
If you.want it urgent in.2 days extra 200 dollars
Then you need to.file annual return in.manitoba 50 dollars each year.
You have to file federal return already 20 dollars...

Now if my i corporation would have been.a provincial incorporation of Ontario , all above would have been same. I don't think you need to.file annual.return in ontario like federal.

Bottom line- when you move your business out of province or expend to other provinces, federal incorporation does not provide any benefit over provincial incorporation.
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2017
785 posts
100 upvotes
if you incorporate federally, your name as the director shows online with a simple free search. This is not available online for free if you regiter prvencially. This is another difference to things noted in this thread.

Top