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A Contractor's Cheatsheet on Incorporation

Answers to the Most Common of Common Questions about Incorporating in Canada

We are often asked by IT professionals who are looking to enter the independent contractor world about what is involved in incorporation and what are the benefits. Due to the nature of a business-to-business relationship, we always recommend the federal and provincial government as your best source for information. We also strongly recommend seeking the counsel of an accountant prior to and immediately following incorporating. One place we often recommend technology professionals start is the website for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Along with countless resources, the Frequently Asked Questions about incorporating will clarify almost any question about becoming an independent contractor. Below is a summary of some of these responses -- what we believe are the most "Frequently Asked of the Frequently Asked Questions". What are the benefits of incorporating at the federal level?

  • You can do business throughout Canada.

  • It's a feather in your cap! Incorporations are a sign of distinction, you will receive global recognition as a Canadian company.

  • High quality service: Fully bilingual staff to answer your questions via phone and online service where you can send documents and pay fees.

What are the advantages of incorporating online?

  • It's convenient! If you have internet access you can file from anywhere. The online filling centre on the Government of Canada website is open 24/7/365.

  • You don't have to pay for shipping or wait around for the mailman, you will receive immediate notice of your filing.

  • It's cheaper! The fee to file for federal business incorporation online is only $200 instead of the regular $250

What kind of businesses can incorporate under the CBCA (Canada Business Corporations Act) and who can form a corporation?

  • Almost any type of business may incorporate under the CBCA. There are no restrictions on the size of the company or which province you choose to set up shop in first. You need to be 18 years of age or older with no past history of bankruptcy.

Is a lawyer needed to incorporate?

  • You don't need a lawyer to incorporate, but they may be a valuable resource throughout the process. If your proposed corporate structure is simple then the Government of Canada incorporation kit will have your answers and examples to follow.

If the answers to your questions about incorporation aren't listed above, feel free to visit the original page for more details. Or, please leave your questions in the comments below and we'll be happy to guide you in the right direction.