Choosing between federal incorporation and provincial/territorial incorporation

You can incorporate your business at the federal level with Corporations Canada or incorporate in a specific province or territory with the provincial/territorial government.

There are several benefits to incorporating federally:

1. Heightened name protection

Corporations Canada applies very tough tests before granting a company the right to use a particular name. When a company's name is approved, it's protected across the country – a status second only to trade-mark protection.

For more information on choosing and protecting your business name see Choosing a name.

2. Right to carry on business anywhere in Canada

Federally incorporated companies can carry on business anywhere in Canada, and there are no restrictions regarding the province or territory where the head office is located, corporate records are maintained and annual general meetings are held.

3. Recognition

Federal incorporation is often considered a sign of distinction, companies incorporated federally receive global recognition as Canadian companies.

4. Online services

Corporations Canada offers clients an online service that allows you to send documents, pay fees, and receive documents and acknowledgments all via the internet without having to use an intermediary.

Despite these advantages, some businesses may choose to incorporate at the provincial or territorial level.

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