How Do You Register A New Nonprofit?

Registering a New Nonprofit

Originally Published: Dec 11, 2015

You have decided to set up a non-profit organization. Great! Not only are non-profits good for helping people and making the world a better place, the nonprofit sector is also one of the fastest growing sectors in North America.

Now that you have an idea for your nonprofit and a model in place, you must register your business with the government.

It’s essential that you do register, otherwise your organization will not be legally recognized as a nonprofit, and your group’s name will not be protected against use by other legal entities. If you want to learn more about setting up a non-profit, click the button below, otherwise, continue reading to find out how to successfully register your nonprofit.

not for profit / charitable incorporation

What qualifies?

The first thing to sort out is to understand what types of businesses can incorporate as nonprofit organizations.

  • Such businesses are:
  • business/trade associations
  • residents associations
  • community organizations
  • professional associations
  • sports and athletics clubs
  • social clubs
  • service clubs (such as Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs)

It is also important to remember that a nonprofit/not-for-profit corporation is different from a charitable organization. The main difference is a charitable organization can accept donations and provide tax receipts to those who contribute to the organization financially.


To register your nonprofit organization, you will need to provide the following information:

  • the name of the business
  • the address of the business
  • the directors of the corporation
  • the objective of the corporation (essentially a few paragraphs detailing what you do for the community)

It is important to note that in order to incorporate, a minimum of three directors are legally required, along with their full legal names, identifications, and original signatures.

A nuans report is also mandatory. This is a six page document that lists business names, trademarks, and corporations that are similar to your proposed business name. There is also a fee charged by the Government of Ontario of $155, or $255 for an expedited process.

This information is a guide meant to assist you in your research. This article does not constitute legal or accounting advice. For further information, contact our team today!