Incorporation Checklist - Federal


If you are thinking of incorporating a new business Federally, the following checklist may help you. Please note that not all steps will be necessary for every corporation, and there may be some steps that are necessary for your corporation that are not included.
Decide to Incorporate

The decision to incorporate is not one that should be taken lightly or made on a whim. There are advantages to incorporating, but there are also drawbacks. If you are unsure whether you should or how to incorporate, you should talk with both legal and tax professionals to determine if incorporating is the right move for you and your business.

File Articles of Incorporation

To register your corporation, you must file a document called the Articles of Incorporation with the Government of Canada.

LawDepot offers a Federal Incorporation Package. Simply fill out the short form, purchase the package, and LawDepot will create and file your Articles of Incorporation with the Government of Canada. Your corporation should be active within 3-6 business days.

Adopt Corporate Bylaws

Corporate Bylaws describe the internal rules governing the management of the corporation. Bylaws describe the duties and obligations of the directors and officers and govern how the corporation will be run. If you order the LawDepot Advantage Federal Incorporation, you will receive Corporate Bylaws customized for your corporation according to your choices.

Create and Maintain a Minute Book

A minute book is a binder, case, or file containing the documents and records that a corporation is required by law to keep. Minute books often include the following documents, amongst others:

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Corporate Bylaws
  • Minutes of Organizational Meetings
  • Minutes of Shareholder and Director meetings
  • Shareholder Agreements
  • Resolutions
  • Copies of any and all forms filed with the government on behalf of the corporation
  • Ledgers of directors, officers, shareholders and share transfers
Properly creating and maintain a Minute Book is vital. Corporations that fail to maintain thorough and accurate minute books can face sometimes severe repercussions – in some cases the corporation may even lose its corporate status and the benefits that come with it, including limited liability for shareholders.

If you order the LawDepot Advantage Minute Book option when you order your Federal Incorporation, a minute book together with completed corporate bylaws, registers and director and shareholder organizational minutes will be sent to you. With a Minute Book created for you, you need only updated it with important documents as you go along.

Obtain a Business License

For businesses located in cities, towns, villages, or districts, you must contact the Municipal Business License Office in order to obtain a business license.

For businesses that are not located in cities, towns, villages, or districts, you should contact the nearest Regional District Office.

While obtaining your business license, you should also ensure that that your business conforms to land use and zoning bylaws.

Get a Business Number

Once your corporation has been filed with the Federal Government, the Federal Government will automatically forward your information to the Federal government that will create and forward to you by mail a business number for your corporation. Once you have received that business number, you can open the following accounts with Revenue Canada:

  • Open a GST account
  • Open a Payroll Deductions account
  • Open a Corporate Income Tax account
  • Open an Import/Export account
Merely call Revenue Canada by phone or complete the following form yourself: Form RC1- Request For a Business Number (PDF)
Register with the WCB

  • If you have already hired or plan to hire employees, you should register with the Workers’ Compensation Board, or WSIB in Ontario.

Prepare a Shareholders’ Agreement (Optional)

A Shareholder Agreement can be used to say how a corporation will be managed, how disputes will be resolved, what will happen on the death of a shareholder, and to prevent shareholders from competing with the corporation. LawDepot offers an automated Shareholder Agreement form.

Hold Directors' Organizational Meeting

If you order the LawDepot Advantage Minute Book option when you order your Federal Incorporation, you will receive the directors' organizational minutes. Alternatively, you can go our site and complete the Directors' Organizational Minutes yourself. A Directors' Organizational Meeting or Minutes is required to:

  • Approve the corporate bylaws
  • Approving a new registered office location
  • Approve the corporate seal
  • Approving the share certificate form
  • Issue shares of stock
  • Appointing or Waiving the Appointment of Accounting Consultants (optional)
  • Appoint the corporate officers
  • Open a corporate bank account

Hold Shareholders' Organizational Meeting

If you order the LawDepot Advantage Minute Book option when you order your Federal Incorporation, you will receive the shareholders' organizational minutes. Alternatively, you can go our site and complete the Shareholders' Organizational Minutes yourself. A Shareholders' Organizational Meeting or Minutes is required to:

  • Approve the corporate bylaws
  • Appointing or Waiving the Appointment of Auditors
  • Appoint or confirm directors
  • Approving the acts of the incorporators or directors

Other Steps

  • Register to pay local and provincial taxes
  • If you wish to carry out business in another province, please consult with that province’s government for additional information

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