In the Province of Ontario, those who are wishing to incorporate are required to:
- Be over the age of 18 years of age
- Has not personally filed for bankruptcy
- Does not have a criminal record
- The minimum percentage of Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents must be 25% at all times out of the number of directors
What if I have filed for bankruptcy?
Our suggestion is to contact the Trustee who managed your bankruptcy or consumer proposal and ask if it is available for you to be a director of an Ontario corporation.
What if I have a criminal record?
It is best to consult with the lawyer who handled your case or a corporate lawyer to see if you qualify to be a director.
What if I want to add an individual who is not yet 18 years of age?
If the individual is not yet 18, we can add the person as a director of your corporation once the 18th birthday has passed. The incorporation and all particulars at any time can be amended to suit the changing needs of the individuals who own the corporation.
What if I am not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident?
There are alternatives available to those who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents in Ontario.
You can register a Master Business Licence, which is basically a small business in Ontario. The Master Business Licence does not have the requirements for the business owners to have status in Canada whether the registration involves one person or many individuals.
The Master Business Licence is valid for 5 years and at that end date requires renewal if the business continues. The licence does not provide name protection for the business and the business owner or owners are personally liable and personally taxed.
If you would like to register a Master Business Licence in Ontario, here is the link:
You may complete a British Columbia or B.C. Incorporation, as BC does not have the 25% requirement. A physical address for the corporation is required to be in the Province of B.C. however the directors can live anywhere in the world and are not required to be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents. For more information on Incorporating in BC, click this link.
What if a director lives abroad?
There is no issue regarding incorporating with a director who does not live in Canada. The incorporation processing in Ontario is completed electronically so there is no requirement for original signatures or for individuals to appear to complete the incorporation process. You may want to contact the financial institution you are intending to open the corporate bank account with to find out their policies regarding requirements of setting up a bank account for individuals who cannot be present at the bank in person.
Alternatively, if there is more than one director, you may complete the incorporation with the individual or individuals who are available to go in person to the bank and add the foreign living individual as a director after the incorporation has been completed.
To incorporate a new Ontario incorporated company with Ontario Business Central Inc., here is the link to complete. The processing takes 3 to 5 minutes to complete and we accept all major credit cards including Visa debit and Mastercard debit.
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.