Registering your business

In addition to informing potential customers about your business, you must let the government know about your plans. You may need to register with several different levels of government for many different reasons. This document provides an overview of the key registration requirements that may apply to your business.

Table of Contents

Before registering

Before registering your business, you must think about what form of business you want to start and what you want to call your business.

Business Number

Your Business Number is an account number that identifies your business to federal, provincial, and municipal governments.

Provincial and territorial business registration

Most provincial and territorial governments require that you register your business with them.

Incorporation

If you decide to incorporate your business, you can incorporate federally or provincially.

Federal incorporation allows you to do business under the same name in all provinces and territories, although you may still need to register your business in individual provinces and territories. If you do plan to do business in more than one province or territory now or in the future, you should consider incorporating federally. Before doing so, you need to complete a Nuans name search.

Federal incorporation

Provincial or territorial incorporation

Permits and licences

You may also require specific permits and licences from the federal, provincial or municipal governments, depending on your location, industry sector, and specific activities that you plan to conduct. Use our permits and licences search to find out which permits and licences might apply to your business.

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