Keeping your business in good standing — Part 2

November 7, 2016 - Tags: Managing

In last week's post, we went through the reasons why it's important to keep your company in good standing. This week, we provide 3 easy steps business owners can follow to make the required changes and keep their company in good standing.  

Here's how you can go about updating your company information:

Step 1: Determine where your company is registered or incorporated

If it's been a while since you completed your business registration or incorporation, you might not remember in which jurisdiction you registered or incorporated your business, making it difficult to determine where you're supposed to go to fulfill the requirements to keep your company in good standing.

The following tips may help you:

Your company is either registered with a province or territory or incorporated at the federal or provincial level.

Federal corporations are registered with Corporations Canada and can be found in the Corporations Canada online database. It may also be useful to note that federal corporations with numbered names finish in "Canada Inc.".

Provincial registration or incorporation: Companies registered at the provincial level can usually be found in the company database managed by the province. The various databases can be found on the provincial registrar websites. It may also be useful to note that provincial numbered corporations often finish with the name of the province and Inc. (ex. 1234-5678 Quebec Inc.).

Step 2: Go online to save a dime

Once you've determined which jurisdiction your company is registered or incorporated with, you can go online to make the required updates. Many changes can be made for free, but some jurisdictions may charge you for making changes to information like the company name. Often times, if you're willing to forego the paper forms, changes can be made online at a discounted rate. If your company is a federal corporation, you can use the Online Filing Centre to file most changes. If your company is registered or incorporated at the provincial level, most provinces and territories offer online filing services through their provincial registrar offices.

Step 3:  Confirm that the changes have been made (the follow-up)

Look yourself up using the same online database you used to determine where your company is registered or incorporated and confirm that the changes you requested have been made. It is important to note that some change transactions may take a few business days to process.

Keeping your company in good standing with the jurisdiction in which you registered or incorporated; it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!


Posted by on November 22, 2016
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your small business in Canada.

As mentioned in the article above, you can verify the registration of federal corporations by looking them up in the Corporations Canada online database. If a company you are doing business with is incorporated at the federal level, you can ask to be provided with a "certificate of compliance". A detailed explanation can be found on the "Certificates of compliance and certificates of existence" page of the Corporations Canada website.

Companies registered at the provincial/territorial level can be found on the provincial registrar websites. Our blog "How to verify that a business really exists" offers a number of suggestions for researching a business and verifying information.

The Business Registry Search Pilot is a trial service that you can use to search for information on businesses registered in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec, as well as federally incorporated businesses. It does not include all businesses or corporations registered in Canada.

The Canada Revenue Agency's GST Registry lets you validate the GST/HST number of a business based on a transaction. You need to provide the name of the business, the GST/HST number used, and the date of the transaction.

When it comes to customers, while you may want to verify certain information, you should be aware of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which regulates how you may collect, use, and disclose the personal information you gather as you do business. In addition to PIPEDA, your business may have to comply with provincial and territorial privacy laws. Having effective procedures in place is a good way to prepare for dealing with customers or suppliers who are not compliant. You may want to read our blog "Getting paid by your customers" for information on managing relationships with your customers systematically, efficiently and profitably. Our page "Finding and managing suppliers" has resources that can help you find and choose good suppliers, and help you learn how to establish a solid relationship with them.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us.
Posted by Andrew on November 18, 2016
Do you have a system or program where businesses can check if either customers or suppliers are compliant with tax, company registration, and other regulatory departments.


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