Difference Between a Corporation VS Incorporation in Canada‍


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    As a business owner in Canada, it’s essential to understand the difference between a corporation and an incorporation. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and legal implications.

    In this guide, I will explain what a corporation is and the types of corporations in Canada. I will also discuss the process of registering a corporation in Canada and delve into what it means to incorporate a business. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the benefits of incorporation and why it may be the right choice for your business.

    What is a Corporation in Canada

    A corporation is a legal entity that exists separately from its owners, also known as shareholders. It is created by filing the necessary documents with the government and paying taxes as a separate entity. One of the key advantages of a corporation is limited liability protection.

    This means that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the corporation. In the event of bankruptcy or lawsuits, the personal assets of the shareholders are generally protected.

    In Canada, corporations are regulated by federal and provincial laws. The Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) governs federal corporations, while each province has its own legislation for provincial corporations. Corporations have the ability to enter into contracts, own property, sue or be sued, and continue to exist even if the shareholders change or pass away.

    Types of Corporations in Canada

    In Canada, there are two main types of corporations: federal corporations and provincial corporations. Federal corporations are registered under the CBCA and can operate in any province or territory.

    They are generally preferred by businesses that plan to operate across multiple provinces or internationally. Provincial corporations, on the other hand, are registered under the specific province’s legislation and can only operate within that province.

    Within each type of corporation, there are further distinctions. For example, federal corporations can be either for-profit or non-profit, while provincial corporations can be classified as either business corporations or non-profit corporations.

    Each type and classification has its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s important to understand the specific requirements for your type of corporation.

    How to Register a Corporation in Canada

    Registering a corporation in Canada involves several steps and requires careful consideration. The first step is to choose a unique name for your corporation. This name must comply with certain guidelines and should not infringe on the trademarks or existing business names of other entities. Once you have a name, you can conduct a name search to ensure its availability.

    The next step is to prepare the necessary documents for incorporation, such as the articles of incorporation and the bylaws. These documents outline the structure and governance of the corporation. They must be filed with the appropriate government agency, along with the required fees. After the documents are reviewed and approved, you will receive a certificate of incorporation, which officially establishes your corporation.

    It’s worth noting that the process of registering a corporation can vary depending on whether you choose a federal or provincial corporation. Federal corporations must also obtain a federal business number and register for various taxes, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). Provincial corporations may have additional requirements specific to their province.

    What is an Incorporation in Canada?

    Incorporation is the process of creating a corporation. When you incorporate your business, you are essentially turning it into a separate legal entity. This means that the business becomes distinct from its owners and has its rights, obligations, and liabilities. Incorporation offers several advantages, including limited liability protection, perpetual existence, and enhanced credibility with customers, suppliers, and investors.

    When you incorporate, your business name is protected, and no other entity can use it within your jurisdiction. This helps build brand recognition and prevents confusion in the marketplace. Additionally, incorporation allows for easier transfer of ownership, as shares can be bought and sold without disrupting the operation of the business. This can be particularly beneficial if you plan to sell your business or bring in new investors in the future.

    It’s important to note that incorporation is not the right choice for every business. The decision should be based on your specific goals, circumstances, and long-term plans. Consulting with OnDemand International can provide valuable insights into whether incorporation is the best option for your business.

    Benefits of Incorporating a Business in Canada

    Incorporating a business in Canada offers a range of benefits that can contribute to the growth and success of your company. Limited liability protection is one of the most significant advantages. As a shareholder, your assets are shielded from the debts and liabilities of the corporation. This provides peace of mind and reduces the financial risk associated with running a business.

    Another benefit is tax planning flexibility. Corporations in Canada are subject to a different tax regime than sole proprietorships or partnerships. They have access to various tax deductions, credits, and incentives that can lower the overall tax burden. Additionally, corporations can choose when and how to distribute profits to shareholders, allowing for tax optimization strategies.

    Incorporation also enhances credibility and professionalism. When you operate as a corporation, you send a signal to customers, suppliers, and investors that you are a serious and established entity. This can open doors to new opportunities, attract higher-quality employees, and foster trust with stakeholders.


    Understanding the difference between a corporation and incorporation is crucial for any business owner in Canada. While a corporation is a legal entity separate from its shareholders, incorporation is the process of creating a corporation. Both options offer distinct benefits and considerations, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully. Incorporating your business can provide limited liability protection, tax advantages, and increased credibility. However, it’s essential to consult with professionals and evaluate your specific circumstances before making a decision. By doing so, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your business goals and sets you up for long-term success.

    If you’re considering incorporating your business in Canada, reach out to experts from OnDemand International to explore the benefits and requirements. They can guide you through the process and ensure that you make the right decision for your business.