Federal Incorporation

Corporate Name

What will your corporation's name be?


In the rare event that there are any issues registering your corporate name, we will contact you to discuss alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions
Articles of Incorporation details
  1. There is no restriction on the business that the Corporation may carry on.
  2. The minimum number of Directors is one (1), with a maximum of ten (10).
  3. The Corporation can issue shares without nominal or par value for two classes of shares.
    • Class A Voting Common shares
    • Class B Non-Voting Common shares
  4. The Corporation is a Private Issuer as deemed by National Instrument 45-106:
    • No share transfers can be made without the consent of the Board of Directors or a Unanimous Shareholders Agreement.
    • Share ownership is restricted to less than 50 individuals, unless specified in law.
    • No shares will be available for sale to the public at the time of the Corporation's formation.
  5. The holders of all shares shall be entitled to receive a dividend, when and as specified by, the Board of Directors of the Corporation.

Last updated April 3, 2024

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What is federal incorporation?

Canadian federal incorporation refers to the process of registering a business with the Government of Canada. 

In Canada, you can register a business at either the federal or provincial/territorial level. Federal incorporation means that the business is registered under the laws and regulations of the federal government, allowing it to operate across all Canadian provinces and territories.

What is included in LawDepot's Federal Incorporation?

We review your submitted answers for grammar, spelling, and completeness. However, we do not offer legal reviews or legal advice. If you need specific advice for your business, please consult an attorney.

We’ll file your incorporation as soon as possible. It’s often a quick process, with the turnaround for some incorporations being less than one business day. If there is incomplete information or a need for clarification, we will contact you directly and await your direction. This may delay filing your application.

After filing your incorporation, we’ll register it for you:

  • Numbered Corporation registration should take 1-3 business days.
  • Named Corporation registration should take 4-7 business days. 

If there’s a problem with the name you selected, your registration might take longer.

Can I make changes to my incorporation once I have ordered?

Once LawDepot reviews your order, we submit it for registration within one business day. If you need to change your order, please immediately contact LawDepot technical support. We’ll do what’s possible to stop your order, but you can presume all orders are final.

How much does federal incorporation cost?

Here’s a breakdown of all that’s included in our incorporation services.

Required for federal incorporation:

Service/Product Amount

LawDepot Service Fee


Federal Government fee


Federal NUANS Corporate Name Search (for a named corporation)


Minute book

Two options: 

  • Digital copy - $59
  • Physical and digital copies - $99

Shipping and Handling


You can also add any of these optional products to your order:

Product Amount

Corporate Seal - Pocket Edition 


Corporate Seal - Mark Maker Edition 


Share Certificates 

Three options:

  • Package of 5 - $10
  • Package of 10 - $15
  • Package of 25 - $30

Extra-provincial Registration (Ontario only)


Finally, select a service level to file your incorporation documents with the government:

Service Amount

Regular Service (4-7 business days)

No additional cost

Rush Service (2 - 3 business days)


Super Rush Service (1 business day)


How do I incorporate federally in Canada?

LawDepot’s template takes the guesswork out of the incorporation process. Our questionnaire walks you through each step and asks you to provide the necessary information. We’ll ensure that you meet all requirements to incorporate your business

The steps to incorporate federally are as follows:

Step 1: Name and describe your corporation

Choose a name to identify your corporation legally. Your corporation’s name should be three things:

  1. Distinctive: it should contain a unique element that differentiates the corporation from others 
  2. Descriptive: it should describe what the corporation does or is
  3. Legal: there must be a legal suffix at the end (e.g., Ltd., Inc. or Corp.)

While it’s not a legal requirement, there are marketing and trademark advantages to a distinctive and descriptive name. At a minimum, the name MUST end with one of the suffixes and not use any words or expressions prohibited by regulation

To be distinctive, it’s common for businesses to make up words. For example, they may take two descriptive words, smash them together, and create something uniquely new. If you use an acronym or a made-up word, our questionnaire asks you to explain the meaning behind the distinctive element.

To confirm that the name you selected isn’t already in use, you need to obtain a Federal NUANS report

Get your report through LawDepot! Once it’s confirmed to be unique, the NUANS report will reserve your proposed name for 90 days. 

If the name you choose is already registered, your proposed name will be rejected. In this case, LawDepot asks you to either choose a new name, select to have a Numbered Corporation, or cancel your incorporation filing.

We won’t charge you for the incorporation filing until it passes the NUANS search and you give your approval. However, the NUANS search fee is non-refundable and there’s a new fee for every NUANS search you request.

Alternatively, you can choose to use a number as a name for your corporation. If you choose this option, the Corporate Registry will assign you a number. The name of a numbered corporation will consist of three parts:

  1. An assigned number, i.e. 1111111.
  2. The word “Canada"
  3. Your choice of suffix (e.g., Ltd., Inc., or Corp.) 

In the above example, the name of the Numbered Corporation is 1111111 Canada Ltd. 

If you choose to name your corporation later, your incorporated name is valid across Canada. 

Our questionnaire also asks you to describe your business purpose, the types of customers you wish to attract, and any similar names or trademarks you’ve registered.

Step 2: Provide a registered office address

The corporation's registered office address should be a property located in Canada that can receive legal notices and documents. The registered office address cannot be a P.O. box. 

Step 3: Select a contact person and directors 

Name a person for LawDepot staff, registry agents, or the Canadian Government to contact if more information is needed to complete the incorporation process.

Then it's time to select your directors. The company’s shareholders should meet to elect at least one director to conduct the company’s affairs. All your directors must be adults, and at least one-quarter of them must be Canadian residents. However, if a corporation has less than four directors, at least one director must be a Canadian resident.

The directors may also appoint officers (such as a president, treasurer, and secretary) to be in charge of specific management functions. 

Step 4: Designate shares and obtain a Corporate Minute Book

Next, consider how your company will issue shares to its shareholders. Most corporations have one type (or class) of share. However, it’s possible to issue different types of shares with different voting rights. This practice allows the owners to attract investment without diluting the voting strength of their shares. As a result, the owners can keep control of the corporation’s management.

You’ll need to decide on an initial price for each share, and the number of different share classes (class A, B, and C) your company will start with. Lastly, you must name the company shareholders and the number of shares that each person owns. This information is part of your company Minute Book.

You need a Minute Book to meet legal requirements and run your corporation effectively.

Add a Minute Book to your LawDepot Incorporation to organize ownership percentages, annual returns, details of directors, and company resolutions.  

Step 5: Register corporate accounts as needed

Depending on your business, you may need to register for:

  • GST or HST if you generate over $ 30,000 in annual sales
  • A payroll account when you have employees
  • An import/export licence when importing or exporting goods to or from Canada
  • Provincial sales tax may be required in a province where you sell most of your products/services in
  • A Workers’ Compensation Account (this is mandatory for construction businesses in Ontario, even if you have no employees)

If you're unsure which accounts you'll need, consider speaking to a corporate accountant or lawyer.

What is the difference between federal and provincial incorporation?

While both options allow your business to become a corporation, federal incorporation typically costs more and requires more paperwork. However, federal incorporation makes things easier if your corporation expands outside of your home province by:

  • Ensuring your business can use the same name across Canada
  • Reducing marketing costs

If a provincially incorporated business uses the same name as your federally incorporated business, you’ll still be able to operate under that same name

For example, if you federally incorporate a business named Fresh Flowers Ltd. and you expand into Ontario, where there’s already a Fresh Flowers Ltd., you won’t need to change your name to enter the new market. This makes marketing campaigns easier to produce and distribute.

As a general rule, if you plan to operate in only one province you should consider incorporating provincially. On the other hand, you may want to incorporate federally if you plan to operate in more than one province.

In addition to our federal incorporation, LawDepot also offers provincial incorporation services in:

Who can incorporate a business in Canada?

LawDepot’s Federal Incorporation service is currently restricted to for-profit businesses seeking to incorporate with the Government of Canada.

Do I need a lawyer to incorporate federally?

You don’t need a lawyer to incorporate your business. However, if you have specific questions about your business or the incorporation process, you can consult a lawyer before forming a corporation.

Related Documents

  • Alberta Incorporation : This service comes with assistance with name reservation and registration with the government of Alberta.
  • British Columbia Incorporation : This service comes with assistance with name reservation and registration with the government of British Columbia.
  • Business Plan: Outline the goals of a new or existing business, including marketing plans, financial requirements, and operational aspects.
  • Corporate Name Search: Ensure a proposed corporate name has not been trademarked by searching databases for similar or identical business names.
  • Corporate Supplies: Include a custom minute book, corporate seals, or share certificates for your company.
  • Corporate Bylaws: Describe the rules that govern the internal management of a corporation.
  • Minute Books Rights of Inspection: Set out which corporate documents are available to directors, shareholders, creditors, and the general public.
  • Ontario Incorporation : This service comes with assistance with name reservation and registration with the government of Ontario.
  • Saskatchewan Incorporation : This service comes with assistance with name reservation and registration with the government of Saskatchewan.
  • SWOT Analysis: Use this strategic planning tool to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Related Articles

Thumbnail of Sample of Certificate of Incorporation for Canada


Federal Incorporation

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