What are Articles of Incorporation?

signing articles incorporation

Original Publish Date: Aug 26, 2015

The Articles of Incorporation are a legal document submitted to the Provincial, Territorial or Federal Government within Canada which establishes a business within Canada. This formation of a business structure is a separate entity from the individuals who own the business.

To Order A Copy of Existing Articles of Incorporation

If you would like to order a copy of the Articles of Incorporation from any jurisdiction across Canada, we can assist to order and obtain a copy of the Articles of Incorporation and email them to you including the Certificate of Incorporation.

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In many jurisdictions, you may order certified copies of the Articles of Incorporation if required for court purposes or if your corporation is branching into another jurisdiction by filing an Extra Provincial Licence as an example.  There are many words used to describe this document including incorporation, corporation, limited company, limited liability, LLC (this is an American terminology), Letters Patent and Certificate of Incorporation.

To find out more about ordering Articles of Incorporation, please take a moment to review details in our video.

If You Wish To Incorporate a New Corporation

In most cases, a percentage of ownership is required to be either Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. For example, with a Federal incorporation, 25% of the individuals listed as directors are required to be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Residents.  This is also applicable to provinces including Alberta, Manitoba,  and Saskatchewan.

If this circumstance does not fit your parameters of ownership, you may want to consider incorporating in BC or registering a small business. If within the Province of Ontario, here is the link to complete with us a Master Business License which is the alternative to completed Articles of Incorporation.

Why do individuals file Articles of Incorporation?

Within most jurisdictions, there are 2 options to either Incorporate a business by filing Articles of Incorporation or to register a small business. In general, the most common reasons for individuals to choose filing Articles of Incorporation as the better option for them is weighed by the following circumstances:

  1. There is liability with the business activity where opportunity for either personal or property injury or loss exists. Filing Articles of Incorporation separates you as an individual from the business and its liability.
  2. Protection to the business name. When you file Articles of Incorporation, the corporate name within the jurisdiction you incorporate in is protected against someone using the exact same name. If someone uses a similar business name, you may have the opportunity to seek a legal opinion for the infringing business to cancel or change their similar named business.
  3. When completed Articles of Incorporation, you as a business owner may have the opportunity to save tax dollars. This is dependent on your circumstances and the amount of revenue generated by the business. You may want to speak to your accountant about your specific circumstance.
  4. Your customer base. If you are dealing with business to business customers instead of individuals, it is becoming commonplace for businesses preference that your business is registered as an incorporated business by filing Articles of Incorporation.

What information is required to file Articles of Incorporation?

Name of Business

  • Numbered name (for example: 123456 Ontario Inc.)
  • Named Corporation (for example: ABC Holdings Inc.)

Additional information required

  • Registered head office
  • Names and addresses for directors/incorporators for the Articles of Incorporation
  • Directors citizenship status
  • Share Structure and Provisions
  • Any restrictions for business activity or/and share structure transfer

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in Ontario

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in Canada

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in Alberta 

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in B.C. 

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in Manitoba

Complete Articles of Incorporation for a new business in Saskatchewan

Ontario Business Central has been assisting clients for over 25 years with all their incorporation and registration needs. If you would like our assistance, or have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to our friendly staff.

Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

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.