Thinking of starting a business in Canada? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to walk you through how to set up a company in Canada.

From navigating legal requirements to choosing the best business structure for your company, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting, this guide will help you establish your business and thrive in the Canadian market.

So, let’s get started on making your entrepreneurial dreams a reality!


Types of Canadian Corporate Structures

A crucial step in a small business setup is selecting the right corporate structure. This decision impacts factors like taxes, legal liability, and ownership. 

So, before you make a final decision, research the laws and regulations impacting the corporate structures you’re considering. It’s also advised to ask for advice or speak to a professional.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common options.


Sole Proprietorship

This is Canada’s simplest and most common type of business structure. 

A sole proprietorship is a business owned and managed by one person. This means you alone are responsible for the profits, losses, decisions, and liabilities. 

As a sole proprietor, you won’t have to file separate tax returns, but you’re personally liable for any debts or legal issues related to your business.


This agreement between 2 or more people is relatively easy to set up.

Partners will share the business’s profits, responsibilities, losses, and liabilities. Generally, it’s an equal split, but it can vary depending on the agreement. 



A corporation is considered a separate legal entity from its owners or shareholders. It has its own rights, duties, and liabilities. This means the owners and shareholders aren’t personally liable for the company’s debts or legal issues. 

To set up a corporation, you must adhere to a range of requirements, like registering with the government, filing annual reports, and holding shareholder meetings. 


Co-operative (Co-op)

A co-op is an organization owned by members who use its services, products or facilities while sharing the responsibilities and benefits equally. 

Unlike corporations, where shareholders expect profit dividends, co-ops distribute earnings among their members based on their use of the co-op’s services rather than the amount of capital they have invested. 

Co-ops are often used by small businesses, farmers, and non-profit organizations.


Your Guide to Setting Up Your Company in Canada 

Now that you understand the different Canadian corporate structures, let’s explore the business registration process. It’s crucial to register your business as it will then enjoy legal status, provide credibility, and protect your brand. 

1. Choose a Unique Business Name. Select a unique and appropriate name that reflects your business and distinguishes you from competitors. Remember to check that it’s not already used by someone else.      

2.Determine Your Business Structure. Carefully consider your options. Research the specific laws and regulations that apply to your chosen structure in Canada.

3.Complete Necessary Paperwork.

  • Prepare articles of incorporation or partnership agreement (depending on structure).
  • Complete federal or provincial forms (if applicable).
  • Get relevant licenses or permits.

4. Register with the Appropriate Government Agencies.

  • Federally: Register with Corporations Canada.
  • Provincially/Territorially (except Quebec): Register with the relevant provincial/territorial corporate registry office.
  • RegiCorp streamlines the Canadian business registration process. Let us help you register your business online efficiently.

5. Get the Necessary Licenses and Permits. Depending on your business type and location, specific permits or licenses might be required. Research all necessary permits beforehand to avoid complications, as operating without them can result in penalties.

6. Register for Taxes. All businesses operating in Canada must register for federal taxes with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Depending on your structure and revenue, you might also need to register for provincial sales tax (PST) or harmonized sales tax (HST).

7. Open a Business Bank Account. Separate your personal and business finances to better manage your finances and record-keeping. This will also project professionalism to clients and possible investors. 


Canadian Business Laws and Compliance

Understanding and adhering to Canadian business laws is essential. 

Besides applying to initial business registration processes, it’s also important to be familiar with intellectual property rights employment laws, and more.  

Consider consulting a legal expert specializing in Canadian business law to ensure you meet all legal requirements.

Additional Tips for Canadian Business Setup Success

  • Build a Strong Network. Connect with other entrepreneurs and industry professionals for support and resources.
  • Protect Your Intellectual Property. Register trademarks, patents, and copyrights to safeguard your ideas and branding.
  • Develop a Solid Business Plan. Create a roadmap for your company’s success, outlining goals, target market, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Stay Flexible and Adapt. Be open to feedback, monitor market trends, and adapt your business strategy.
  • Focus on Customer Service. Prioritize customer satisfaction to build loyalty and set yourself apart from competitors.
  • Rely on Technology. Use technology to improve efficiency, manage tasks, and make data-driven decisions.

Partner with RegiCorp for a Successful Start

The business registration process can get complicated. 

At RegiCorp, we offer various Canadian business setup services to help simplify this process for entrepreneurs and ensure a smooth launch. Our experts are here to guide you through setting up your company in Canada.


Ready to Turn Your Dream into a Thriving Canadian Business? 


Let’s talk about how RegiCorp can help!