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Frequently Asked Questions

 

1- What is the difference between a Master Business Licence and Incorporation?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both legal entities, depending on your personal risk and liability, client base, investments to the business and the amount of revenue expected to be generated, each has its merits and limitations.

Description Master Business Licence Incorporation
Liability Risk? Personally liable for business damages Limited Personal Liability
Taxation? Personally taxed Possible tax advantages
Name Protection for Business? Not available Provided with Incorporation
Continuous Existence? No. Requires renewal and fees every 5 years Yes
Transferable Ownership? In most cases, no Yes
Access to Capital? Limited access to capital Greater access to capital
Flexibility to Change Name, Address, or Individuals Listed? Address or general partnership to general partnership change Very flexible. Can change any aspect
Requirements for Taxation? Filed under individual tax return Separate filing from Individual
Start up costs? Lower - starting $132 +taxes

Higher - $443 +taxes (Federal)

$558 +taxes (Ontario)

2- What is the difference between Provincial Incorporation and Federal Incorporation?

All jurisdictions for incorporation offer the following:

There are advantages and disadvantages to both legal entities. Depending on the importance of name protection within Canada, name accessibility to register the corporation in other Provinces, the interaction of foreign individuals/corporations, the administration requirements each format of incorporation has its merits and limitations.

The differences between the jurisdictions available for incorporation are as follows:

Federal Incorporation Ontario Incorporation Alberta Incorporation British Columbia Incorporation Saskatchewan Incorporation Manitoba Incorporation
Costs?

Government fee of $200

Government fee of $360

Government fee of $275 Government fee of $350 Government fee of $222.75 Government fee of $350
Mandatory filings?
Yearly mandatory filing to remain active Only one mandatory filing after incorporation Yearly mandatory filing to remain active Yearly mandatory filing to remain active Yearly mandatory filing to remain active Yearly mandatory filing to remain active
Name Protection?
Higher name protection within Canada

Name protection in Ontario only

Name protection in Alberta only Name protection in British Columbia only Name protection in Saskatchewan only

Name protection in Manitoba only

Recognition?
Higher foreign recognition Limited foreign recognition Limited foreign recognition Limited foreign recognition Limited foreign recognition Limited foreign recognition
Name approval process?
Name must be accepted by Federal Examiner Easier name acceptance Name must be accepted by Provincial Examiner Name must be accepted by Provincial Examiner Name must be accepted by Provincial Examiner Name must be accepted by Provincial Examiner
Director residency requirements?
Federal - 25% of directors must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident Ontario - 25% of directors must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident


Alberta - 25% of directors must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident

There is no minimum percent/residency requirement. A Non-Resident may be the sole director.

Saskatchewan - 25% of directors must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident

Manitoba - 25% of directors must be Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
Timeline to Incorporate

Federal - Typically takes 2 business days to complete.

Ontario - If ordered prior to 3pm on a business day, completed same day.

Alberta - Tiered pricing. Depending on how fast you wish to receive it back.


1-5 business days.

British Columbia - Tiered pricing. Depending on how fast you wish to receive it back.


1-7 business days.

Saskatchewan - Tiered pricing. Depending on how fast you wish to receive it back


1-14 business days.

Manitoba - Tiered pricing. Depending on how fast you wish to receive it back.


1-5 business days. (Completed documents are mailed out)

3- What is a Master Business Licence?

A Master Business Licence is a business licence issued by the Provincial Government that allows individuals or a Corporation to operate a business name for 5 years. There are three types of Master Business Licences; a sole proprietorship, a general partnership and tradename under a Corporation.

4- What is the difference between a sole proprietorship, general partnership and tradename?

A sole proprietorship is an individual in business alone.

A general partnership is a minimum of 2 or more individuals in business together.

A tradename is commonly referred to as an 'operating as name' under a Corporation. This allows a Corporation to operate a name that is different than the legal Corporation name.

5- What happens if my Master Business Licence is past expiry?

After a Master Business Licence is past expiry, there is a 60 day grace period to be able to still renew. After this timeframe has passed, we can no longer renew. A new registration can be submitted in its place after the final expiry.

6- Is a small business registration/master business licence the same?

Yes. They are both common terms for the same licence.

7- Can I change my business name?

Master Business Licences do not have the flexibility to change their legal name. A new licence would have to be registered if you wish to make a name change.

Corporations do have the option to make name changes. We can assist with filing Articles of Amendment/Corporate Amendment to make changes to the Corporation legal name.

8- Can I change my business address?

Yes. We can assist with filing either a Master Business Licence address change or Corporation address change.

9- Do I need to register my business?

Any business that is operational must be registered with the Provincial or Federal Government to be able to operate. The only time, it is not required, is if you are using your legal name only.

Ex: JOHN SMITH

10 - Can I update my address when I renew my Master Business Licence?

Yes. When filing in your form, you would simply provide the new address you wish to have listed.

11- What is the difference between a tradename and trademark?

A tradename is an operating as name under a Corporation. We can assist with this type of registration.

A trademark is the highest level of name protection available in Canada. This is usually used for slogans or logos. A trademark is not a business registration. We cannot assist with this type of registration. This would be registered through a trade marking agent.

12- What is a corporation?

A corporation is a legal entity that establishes a business within Canada. This can be a Provincial, a Territorial or a Federal Corporation. It is continual. It is a separate entity from the individuals who own the business, there is limited personal liability and the Corporation has its own taxation.

13- Do I need a Lawyer to Incorporate?

There is no legal requirement that you must use a Lawyer, however if you have specific requirements, or are unsure, Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice.

14- What is a Nuans report?

A Nuans report is a name reservation report required when incorporating or changing the name of an existing Corporation. This report is valid for 90 days. This report must be ordered for the jurisdiction to which the corporation will be in.

Ex: Ontario Corporation requires an Ontario Nuans.

15 - Can a Federal Nuans be used to register an Ontario Corporation?

No. A Federal Nuans can only be used for Federal Corporations.

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.

16 - What legal ending should I use?

There is no difference of which legal ending you use. You would simply use the one you prefer the most. In most Jurisdictions in Canada the standard legal endings are as follows:

17 - What is a director?

A director is typically a person who manages the corporation. Typically they make the business decisions on behalf of the corporation. Any director must be at least 18 years of age.

18 - What is an officer?

An officer is usually an individual holding senior management positions within a Corporation. Common positions are President, Secretary and Treasurer.

19 - What is a shareholder?

A shareholder is a person who holds share(s) within a corporation. They are typically owners, however may be a family member or investor. Typically shareholders have a financial stake in the corporation and the shares reflect at what percentage. A corporation must have a minimum of one shareholder.

20 - Can a person be both an officer and director?

Yes. Commonly an individual is sole director, officer and shareholder for a Corporation.

21 - Is the director an owner of the Corporation?

They can be. It depends on the shares issued by the Corporation.

22 - What is an Initial Notice for an Ontario Corporation?

It is a mandatory filing due 60 days after Incorporating. This list the officer titles to the Province. If it is not filed, the Province may cancel the Corporation.

23 - How do I change my directors?

There is a simple form to file when you wish to add, remove or update director addresses. We can assist with filing the Notice of Change.

24 - What is an Annual Return?

An annual return for a Corporation is a mandatory yearly filing required by most jurisdictions to remain active. Noted below is a table confirming if required for the Jurisdictions for which we offer corporate registration.

Jurisdiction Required?
Ontario No. Only mandatory filing is Initial Notice. Due 60 days after Incorporating.
Federal Yes. Due within 60 days of its anniversary month. After 2 consecutive years, there is a final warning with 120 days to file. If not filed, the Government will dissolve the Corporation.
Alberta

Yes. Due at the end of the anniversary month. After 2 consecutive years, if not filed within 6 months the government changes status to struck.

British Columbia Yes. Due within 60 days of its anniversary month. If not received within 2 months, will be considered not in good standing. After 2 consecutive years, if not filed may be canceled.
Manitoba Yes. Due end of anniversary month. After 2 consecutive years, if not filed will be canceled
Saskatchewan

Yes. Due one month after the anniversary date of the incorporation. If late, subject to additional fee.

If not received within 2 months, will be struck.

25 - What is the difference between BIN & BN numbers?

A BIN number is a business identification number issued by the Provincial Government to a Master Business Licence.

A BN number is a business tax number issued to a Business Registration (Master Business Licence or Corporation) by Revenue Canada.

26- Is my corporate number the same as HST number?

No. A corporate number is issued by the Provincial, Territorial or Federal Government when a corporation is registered. An HST number is issued by Revenue Canada for taxation.

27 - What is a registered agent/agent for service?

A registered agent or agent for service is a person that accepts responsibilities on behalf of the Corporation.

28 - How safe is it to buy online through our website?

It is very safe. We offer the highest level of online payment protection available in Canada. We also adhere to a strict privacy policy. We NEVER share any of your information with any third parties.

29 - What credit cards do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Visa-Debit and MasterCard debit.

If you cannot process in this manner, we also accept e-transfers or direct deposits to our bank (if you wish to use one of these options, please call in for additional details).

30 - How long has Ontario Business Central Inc. been registered?

We have been incorporated for 25 years. We have served 150,000+ customers and have registered over 95,000 new businesses.

 

 

 

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