How To Set Up A Not For Profit/Non Profit Corporation In Ontario

not for profit ice hockey team

Originally posted on May 14, 2015

A nonprofit organization in Ontario has a similar formation as a profit corporation, and the benefits of being a separate legal entity from its members but is instead registered under the Ontario Not for Profit Corporations Act. A not for profit organization is established for the public benefit of the community.

What Types of Businesses Incorporate as a Not For Profit Business

  • General – business/trade associations, community organizations, resident’s associations, professional associations, etc.
  • Sports/Athletics – any and all sports and athletic clubs.
  • Social Clubs – any social club that brings people together in a social nature.
  • Service Clubs – Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis.

What is Required?

Non Profit Corporation Name
(it is important to provide a name that reflects the business type). The business name selected should provide descriptive wording about where the business is located and/or what is being provided to the community.

A few examples are as follows:

  • Toronto Men’s Basketball Club
  • Women in Business Association of Ontario
  • Greenville Residents Association
  • Pugs of Ontario Social Club

In order to ensure your proposed name is not already in use by another organization in Ontario, you can conduct a name search before you begin the incorporation process. 

Business Address
This lists the head office address for the organization in Ontario. If there is not a separate physical address for the business, a reliable directors address may be used.

Directors of the Corporation
A minimum of 3 directors are required to incorporate a Not For Profit corporation. It is important to provide each individual’s legal name (drivers licence or passport) and legal address for the incorporation form. The authorizing director is required to sign the document and maintain a copy within the nonprofit corporations documents. If your not for profit organization is opening a bank account, all directors listed most often will be required to appear at the financial institution to set up the corporate bank account.

Objects of the Corporation
This is a listing of the business activity for the corporation. In general 2 to 6 paragraphs detailing what your organization provides to the community. The Ontario government provides a listing of object clauses commonly used by organizations to assist.

Nuans Report
This is a mandatory report when incorporating in Ontario. The report reserves the proposed corporations name and provides a listing of similar business names, corporations and trademarks using the same primary keywords. The report is issued with a reservation number, which is listed on the incorporation form.

Government Costs and Timeframes
Whereas previously, to incorporate your nonprofit in Ontario, the province required original documents to be signed and mailed it for completion, the filing Not for Profit Articles of Incorporation are now able to be filed electronically, making the process of incorporating your nonprofit organization much quicker and more streamlined. There may be instances where additional approvals are required, which can add to the processing time, but for the most part the Articles of Incorporation can be filed and completed within just a few business days. The Ontario NotforProfit government registration fees remain the same at $155.

What Happens Next? 

Once you are officially a legal entity and have your Articles of Incorporation, you are able to begin operating using the name you have registered. Many organizations choose to seek charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency, which allows them to provide tax receipts for donations and possible exemptions under the income tax act. The Canada Revenue Agency will review your documents to ensure you have listed a charitable purpose for your organization. 

Your non profit corporation in Ontario can now start doing the wonderful work you’ve been looking forward to doing in your community! 

Our information is simply a guide to assist you, we are not a law nor accounting firm. You may want to speak to professionals before you decide to pursue a Not for Profit Incorporation.

Order a Non-Profit Incorporation

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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.