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Company Formation in Canada


Company Formation in Canada

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Canada Company Formation

Canada British Columbia Company Registration Services

Here are your typical options when starting a business in Canada.


Choosing to register your business in Canada as a corporation creates a separate legal entity under the laws of the federal government or one of the provinces or territories. Each jurisdiction has its own laws, but many corporations that operate in more than one province are incorporated federally. Lawyers are normally retained to incorporate a company. The documents necessary to create a corporation may be obtained from the Industry Canada office in Ottawa.

Alberta and Nova Scotia corporation statutes have a special type of corporation called an Unlimited Liability Corporation (ULC). ULCs essentially provide no liability protection to shareholders and are treated as a corporation for Canadian tax purposes credits are not available to corporations or non-resident individuals.

Branches of foreign corporations

A branch is a part of a foreign enterprise and is not a separate legal entity in Canada. A foreign corporation starting a business in Canada may establish a branch in the country and commence business at any time. Advice should be sought from legal counsel regarding the requirements of registering to do business in provinces in which the branch intends to operate and the possibility of obtaining limited legal liability. As a general rule, the Canadian branch of a foreign corporation is subject to regular Canadian income tax on its taxable income attributable to a permanent establishment in Canada.


For legal purposes, a partnership is defined as the relationship that exists between persons carrying on business in common with a view to profit. The two broad types of partnerships in Canada are general partnerships and limited partnerships. Certain provinces also offer limited liability partnerships, which are generally used by professional services partnerships. Incorporating a business in Canada in form of limited partnership has become increasingly popular as they combine the tax advantages of a partnership with the limited liability protection offered by corporate status. Each province and territory has its own laws governing the formation and operation of partnerships.

Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are enterprises where two or more entities enter into a specific project with an achievable objective or a set time frame. Joint venture parties typically agree to share investments and resources as well as income and expenses in a specific manner. Unlike partnerships, joint ventures are not recognized as an entity under Canadian income tax legislation. Rather, each joint venture party treats its share of investment, income and expenses as being directly earned or incurred by the co-venturer.

Sole Proprietorships

A business may be conducted directly by an individual and the results of operations reflected on financial statements reported on the owners individual income tax return. This approach in expanding a business in Canada has the advantages of informality and direct control over the enterprise, but it is accompanied by the potentially significant disadvantage of unlimited personal liability.


Licensing is the permission for someone else to use your intellectual property rights in Canada: either a patent, trademark, trade secret, or copyright. Different types of license include:

Non-Exclusive License - A non-exclusive license implies that your intellectual property rights can be awarded to more than one licensee.

Exclusive License - A little more complex because, although the license may not be exclusive to one licensee, it may be exclusive to a geographic location, a certain product, or limited area of use. For instance, you may grant a licensee exclusive use of the rights in France, yet grant another licensee its use in Germany.

Patent License - The allowance of another party to use your patented product, design or process.

Trademark License - Trademark licensing means permission is awarded to a licensee to sell a product or service. However, the licensor retains more control in order to ensure that quality is maintained. Quality control is in place to uphold the image of the brand / product / service / licensor, and therefore sustain customer confidence and satisfaction.

Franchising In Canada

Franchising is the licensing out of a business name, product, technique, philosophy, trademark, etc, for a percentage of the income. Instead of setting up new outlets as part of your expansion, you license your existing business blueprint out to franchisees who then set up and manage it for you.

The benefits of franchising your business in Canada include: more freedom, as the franchisee takes on major responsibilities; minimal expense; lower cost and higher profits; potential for fast growth; brand building.

Disadvantages of franchising a business in Canada: although few, rely predominantly on your franchisees. They include: poor quality franchisees; franchisees not declaring all income; poor performance.

Canada has nearly 80,000 franchises nationwide, operating under more than 1,000 brand names and contributing US $85.4 billion to Canadas GDP. Canada is home to the second largest franchise market worldwide, second to the United States and one of the largest per capita franchise markets. Within its vast regional franchise landscape, 85% of franchises operating in Canada are located in the three most populous provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia. Franchising is undergoing an exceptional growth period, confirming to be a profitable way to expand a business in Canada.

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