So you’ve decided to incorporate your business — congratulations!

While you’re eager to move ahead as a corporation, there are a few things you will want to take care of before you incorporate. Doing so can help you make the best decisions for your business.

1. Choose a name

If you thought naming your first pet was tricky, there’s even more to consider when choosing a name for your corporation. Your corporate name is your business’ legal name and can be used on documents such as contracts, invoices, and purchase and service orders.

After settling on a name, you will need to do a business-name search to make sure the name you have chosen is unique enough. A service that can help you incorporate your business is Ownr, which includes 30 simple name searches and a NUANS report to check name availability to help you choose the perfect name for your business. If your proposed name isn’t unique, you’ll have to change your business’s name. 

TIP: Before making your final decision on your business’s name, you should consider checking out the name’s availability online to see if you’ll be able to get the URL and social media account names to match your business’s name.

NOTE: Before falling in love with the perfect name for your incorporated business, check out the words or phrases the Canadian government prohibits in company names.

2. Learn the rules

Before incorporating, it’s important to understand exactly how becoming a corporation will change your business. Once a business incorporates, it is required to maintain certain legal documentation. Take note of the requirements for filing articles of incorporation and bylaws, and amendments to the articles or bylaws. Corporations must also file annual financial reports and tax returns. Any changes to the officers or directors of a corporation must also be documented and filed with Corporations Canada.

This list might sound daunting but don’t worry, you can get help from companies like Ownr to help you every step of the way!

3. Prepare a budget

Before incorporating, set aside money to cover the costs. You may choose to incorporate on your own online (with a company like Ownr) to save the legal fees a lawyer may charge. You’ll still always have to pay the government fees required in your jurisdiction, as well as the cost of a business name search and registration.

Ownr is also offering a special offer through RBC to get a $100 refund on your incorporation. Learn more about it here.

Register your business and get 30 free name searches!
Use the code SPACELIST40 for $40 off any Ownr service.

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Time for Paperwork…or is it?

Now comes the part everyone loves – the forms. You just need to know a few details — like what type of business you’re opening, your name and home address, as well as an address for your business. You can register your business name in person, by mail,— or you can simply use a service like Ownr that does it all for you.

Finished? Almost…

Finished registering your business? Don’t pat yourself on the back for a job well done just yet — there are a few more things to do! You’ll likely need to register for a tax ID via the Canadian Revenue Services since you’ll need it if you have to register for GST or HST (if you make more than $30, 000), payroll deductions, corporate income taxes, or import/export licenses.