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Reaping the rewards of federal incorporation

Written by : Corporations Canada
2008-03-15
Although some may think it overly ambitious at the outset, many businesses that are just starting up in Canada intend to operate in more than one province or territory, at some point in the future. That's why incorporation under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) makes so much sense to so many companies. Federal incorporation, coupled with registration at the provincial or territorial levels, ensures that a business can carry on its activities under its corporate name anywhere in Canada.

And that's just one of the many benefits that are part of the incorporation package under the CBCA. So, if you're thinking of incorporating, the first place you should probably turn is to Corporations Canada - a branch of the federal government's Industry department. With its resources, tools and information designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and professional advisors alike, Corporations Canada makes it easy for businesses to obtain the federal incorporation status they need to operate effectively.

The Benefits of Federal Incorporation
Among the better known and appreciated benefits and rewards of incorporation are the limitations it imposes on personal liability; the improved access to capital it can offer and the lower tax rates generally applicable to corporations. But these are only a few of the reasons for considering federal incorporation. Here are some others that go hand-in-hand with filing for federal incorporation:

Heightened protection for your corporate name
An approved federal corporate name offers an extra degree of protection of rights to that name. Specifically, federal incorporation allows your business to operate using its corporate name right across Canada, which is important if you decide to expand your business to other provinces or territories.

Seamless service
Corporations Canada is committed to providing businesses with convenient, fast, high-quality services, many of them accessible on the Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the products, policies, guidelines and information kits the organization makes available to help businesses meet their legal obligations are constantly being improved, updated, and reissued to ensure that they are always accurate.

Global recognition and flexibility
Business owners and operators who incorporate their businesses federally not only benefit from being able to do business anywhere in Canada, they also profit from the improved global recognition that comes with federal incorporation. By allowing businesses to set up head offices, keep corporate records and host annual general meetings anywhere in the country, federal incorporation gives companies the flexibility they need to succeed in today's fast-paced markets. Annual meetings may even be held outside Canada if specified in the articles or if all shareholders agree.

Fast filing and other useful services online at www.corporationscanada.ic.gc.ca
The information, the tools and the forms you need to file for incorporation can all be found in one, central online location, at www.corporationscanada.ic.gc.ca. These include: Online filing; resources that help research and choose names; and frequently asked questions (FAQ's).

Filing online is also more affordable. When you file online, incorporation and annual return filing fees are lower than when you use other methods - just $200 to file for incorporation online, and only $20 for annual returns.

When you apply online, you can also expect faster processing times for your application. In fact, the Corporations Canada team will probably process your online documents and send you your certificate the same day or, at the very least, the next day.

Other Valuable Resources
One of Corporations Canada's most practical resources is the GUIDE TO FEDERAL INCORPORATION - A guide to help small businesses to federally incorporate, designed specifically for small- and medium-sized companies. Available both online and in print format, the Guide is the essential publication for businesses seeking information and tools to help them operate under the federal corporate law. It provides a wealth of information on the benefits of incorporation; explains how to submit articles of incorporation; and even describes how to effectively organize a business. It also offers a number of helpful hints on complying with the CBCA.

In addition to the wide range of tools and resources for businesses that are available at the Corporations Canada Online Filing Centre, you can also take advantage of a variety of other resources - such as topic-specific brochures - that have been created to help you and your business, both at start up and beyond.

Among the most popular of these brochures is Choosing a Name, a publication that provides the essential information you need to play the corporate name game, as well as a wealth of hints and tips to help you successfully conclude your search for a corporate name. Also on the “required reading” list for those about to venture into the world of incorporation is another Corporations Canada brochure, Are You Thinking of Incorporating? As its title suggests, this publication provides a variety of reasons - and supporting arguments - for choosing federal incorporation for your new business.

Once you've overcome the hurdles involved in finding a name for your new business, and followed that up by taking the big step of incorporating federally, you should probably take the time to review the information provided in another Corporations Canada brochure, Keeping Your Corporation in Good Standing. The subtitle of this publication says it all: Your Reporting Obligations under the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA). Essential reading, indeed.

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