registering your church

Last updated on December 18th, 2019 at 05:22 pm

If you are looking at registering a church or religious organization in Ontario, here is an overview of what is required to incorporate and register as a charitable organization.


There are a number of items required to incorporate a church or religious organization within Ontario.

Name of Church

It is important to provide a unique name to your church unless you are affiliated and can gain consent from the governing church organization. The Provincial examiners who review your proposed church search against existing church organizations in Canada through what is called the NUANS report. This report provides a listing of similar named businesses, corporations and trademarks to the name you would like to use. Typically, a pre-search will be completed to see if there are confusing or similar names businesses prior to the six page report being ordered.

Address of Church

If the church has a physical address as a place or worship, this address may be provided, if not, often businesses will use one of the directors home addresses as a contact address for the organization.


The requirement is for a minimum of 3 directors for incorporation purposes. Each individual must provide their original signature on the incorporation documents for filing. Scanned copies are not acceptable. If you have directors in different locations, the documents will be required to be delivered to each person for signature. We often have individuals ask what to do when there is a director who is not in Canada. Whenever possible, if the additional person exceeds the minimum of 3 required directors with signatures, this person can be easily added after the incorporation process has been completed.

Object Clauses

The Province of Ontario has provided two preapproved templates for the object clauses of a religious organization, one template has a place of worship and the other does not. Either of these existing templates is available and usually chosen by individuals.

  1. To advance and teach the religious tenets, doctrines, observances and culture associated with the (specify faith or religion) faith.


  1. a. To preach and advance the teachings of the (specify faith or religion) faith and the religious tenets, doctrines, observances and culture associated with that faith.

b. To establish, maintain and support a house of worship with services conducted in accordance with the tenets and doctrines of the (specify faith or religion) faith.

c. To support and maintain missions and missionaries in order to propagate the (specify faith or religion) faith.

d. To establish and maintain a religious school of instruction for children, youths and adults.

Charitable clauses

There are standard charitable clauses as well submitted within the incorporation document.

Timeframe to incorporate

The Province of Ontario provides 2 tiers of time available for the incorporation process. The standard timeframe is 8 to 12 weeks. To expedite the timeframe, alternatively, you can pay additionally to have the timeframe reduced to 7 business days.


The government fees are $155.00 for the standard submission and $255.00 for the expedited.

Obtaining Charitable Tax number

When the incorporation has been completed, the secondary step is to gain the charitable tax number from Revenue Canada. The completed Charitable articles have to be provided along with an application to Revenue Canada for review and approval. The applications timeframe is typically 6 to 8 months.

We have been assisting those wishing to incorporate a church for over 25 years.

Ontario Business Central offers access to our online application where you provide the details of your set up and we do the paperwork and filing with the Province on your behalf.

Here is the link to begin processing your church organization.

Ontario Church Incorporation

If you would like further information, please contact our office or have a look at our online application.

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Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.