How To Incorporate A Business In Ontario

Sep 12, 2016

Registering a corporation can often seem confusing and complicated but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this post we’re going to cover how to incorporate a business in Ontario.

While some people register their corporations through a lawyer or accountant, this article will focus on the steps needed to register the corporation on your own, which can save over 50% on your registration fees.


Registering a corporation can be done in 3 simple steps:

If you are planning on registering a Numbered Company (ex: 1234567 Ontario Inc.) you can skip steps 1 & 2, as they are only for those choosing a name for their corporation.


1. NUANS Preliminary Search

Once you’ve determined that you’re going to be registering your business as a corporation you want to make sure that the name is available for registration. To do so, I always recommend completing a Free NUANS Preliminary Search to determine if the name is available or currently registered in Canada.

The preliminary search is not the official report you will need to incorporate, but it will show you if someone else has already registered the business name you want to use.

While a preliminary search is not required when registering an Ontario Corporation, I highly recommend it simply because it can save you money down the road, and can be done for free.

Search your business name ideas with our FREE NUANS Preliminary Search


 2. NUANS Name Reservation Report

Once you’ve completed a preliminary search and determined the name is available for use you will need to get an official NUANS Name Reservation Report.

A NUANS Name Reservation Report is the official name search document required to register a corporation in Ontario. It is a 7-page report which provides a comprehensive list of potentially conflicting business names. It also reserves the business name for you to incorporate for 90 days.

NUANS Name Reservation Reports are specific to the jurisdiction you are registering the corporation in so make sure to get the right report for you corporation. For example, when you are registering an Ontario Corporation you need the Ontario NUANS Name Reservation Report. If you were to order a different report, such as the Federal NUANS Name Reservation Report, it would not be accepted for the registration of your Ontario Corporation.

Make sure you are getting an Ontario Report for your Ontario Corporation.

One other thing to mention about the NUANS Name Reservation Report is that they don’t guarantee the name for your corporation. The report is used by the Ministry to review the name you are submitting when you file your Articles of Incorporation.


3. File Articles of Incorporation

Now that you have your business name ready, and have obtained your NUANS Name Reservation Report you can go ahead and register the corporation.

To register the corporation you will need to file Articles of Incorporation.

Filing Articles of Incorporation simply means submitting the required form or information necessary to register the corporation with the Ministry.

Filing Articles of Incorporation can be done one of three ways:

1. In Person

Registrations can be done in person at 375 University Avenue, Toronto. For those outside of Toronto, some Service Ontario locations are able to process corporate registrations, but it’s recommended to call first to make sure they can do it at that location.

2. By Mail

Documents can be mailed to 393 University Avenue, Toronto. This saves you having to go in person, but also has longer processing times.

3. Online

You can also complete the registration process online through a service provider, such as Opstart, since the Ministry does not directly offer an online filing service in Ontario. Once information is submitted online, registrations can be completed in as little as a few minutes.

Once you have comleted the filing of your Articles of Incorporation your corporation will be officially registered and a recognized legal entity. You should have received a Certificate of Incorporation, and if filing online, your completed Articles of Incorporation.



That’s it! That’s all it takes to register a corporation in Ontario, simple and straightforward.

To quickly recap, here are the 3 steps to remember:

1. Complete a Free NUANS Preliminary Search

2. Get a NUANS Name Reservation Report

3. File your Articles of Incorporation

Registration doesn’t have to be complicated, just make sure you follow the right steps.


Free NUANS Preliminary Search
Free NUANS Preliminary Search
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