This post first appeared on the CA4IT Insights blog on March 20, 2017
In short, there’s no single milestone in a business’s maturity that dictates incorporation. It depends on a lot of variables, so it may require self-evaluations at multiple phases to determine when exactly the timing’s right for incorporating your small business.
When you’re conducting those evaluations, it’s important to create an accurate profile of your company and to give consideration to what it’ll look like as a corporation. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to the title.
In the former column, you’ll have much greater flexibility with your taxes, including how you pay yourself—salary, dividends, bonus—or even if you pay yourself. A 15-percent preferred tax assessment on the first 500,000 of profit may prove to be all the incentive you need to leave your earnings in the company.
In the latter, incorporation isn’t inexpensive. And when you’re starting a business, expenses can already feel too numerous to track, let alone cover. Perhaps the only thing more precious than funding in those early days is time. Incorporation’s going to take a big bite out of that, too, because there’s more paperwork that’ll need to be filed—separate tax returns, notifications of share sales and directors’ actions.
If there is a brief answer to the question at the top, it’s this: Incorporating a business in Canada should not be entered into lightly. The more you understand, the more comfortable you’re likely to feel with your decision.
As one of the most respected accounting networks across Canada over the last quarter-century (and one of the few that’s ISO-registered), CA4IT specializes in business accounting services, including incorporation advising, for independent contractors, consultants and entrepreneurs.