Government of Canada and provinces implement digital business registration solution
June 29, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario
The Government of Canada recognizes that connecting Canada’s different federal, provincial and territorial business registries will make business registration and reporting easier. In an effort to make it simpler and faster to start a business in Canada, governments across the country have together developed and launched a digital solution to improve business registration, saving businesses time and money.
The digital solution, called the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service (MRAS), reduces red tape and internal trade barriers for companies by connecting business registries across the country. It enables businesses in Canada to register seamlessly in select provinces and territories without having to provide the same information to each jurisdiction.
Today, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have become the first jurisdictions to adopt the MRAS digital solution to connect their business registries and exchange information. This means businesses will find it easier to register in those provinces now and in other jurisdictions in the future. The adoption of MRAS by the western provinces is an extension of the MRAS-enabled Canada’s Business Registries, a free online search platform of Canadian businesses launched in 2018.
MRAS is the result of a pan-Canadian collaboration led by the federal government to make it easier for companies to register and do business with government and to increase corporate transparency. Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, jurisdictions across Canada have endorsed an agreement to reduce internal trade barriers by collaborating in the adoption of MRAS.
“We’re committed to improving corporate transparency and reducing internal trade barriers for Canadian businesses. The adoption of the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service by the four western provinces is the result of a successful collaboration that will bring tangible benefits to businesses. As the economy turns the corner on the pandemic, businesses can rest assured that our government is making it easier for them to invest and create jobs.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Industry, Science and Innovation
“Canadians are innovative and entrepreneurial, and our government is breaking down longstanding regulatory red tape to help more entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses. That’s why we’ve come together to create the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service – making it easier for businesses to register with governments and navigate across the Western provinces. We remain committed to helping Canadian business owners rebuild in the weeks and months ahead.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
The Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service (MRAS) is a digital solution created to connect the 14 business registries in Canada. It is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to reduce the registration burden and provide client-centric digital services for businesses, including small businesses.
Businesses are legally required to register in each province or territory where they conduct business. Business registration is akin to birth registration, as it similarly serves as an authoritative source of identity.
More business registries are expected to use MRAS to expand streamlined business registration across Canada, starting with Corporations Canada (federal) in the fall 2020.
British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba’s adoption of MRAS delivers on commitments made under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement to reconcile business registration and reporting requirements between the jurisdictions, thus simplifying interprovincial business processes.
Office of the Minister of Industry, Science and Innovation
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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