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Can you incorporate a business yourself?

Incorporating a business in Canada can be a quick, routine process for anyone who is familiar with federal or provincial government forms. 

You can even incorporate your business yourself if you have a clear understanding of the best structure for your business, and you are able to carefully review the government forms to be filed and the name search results. Nonetheless, if you’ve never incorporated a business before, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional. Most people tend to hire a lawyer to complete the paperwork and to ensure that a corporation is the best business structure for their particular circumstances; however this is not a requirement. Lawyers will typically charge a flat fee of approximately $1,500, plus the government filing fees, to complete a simple Ontario incorporation. For an additional fee, a lawyer can also conduct your corporate name search and prepare your minute books.

You may also choose to hire a professional to consider important issues such as what types of shares will be issued, how many shares should be issued, who the directors will be, what licensing and government registrations your business requires, etc. A corporate and/or commercial lawyer is best suited to professionally answer your questions and assist you in making the best decisions for your business incorporation.

The cost of creating a Canadian corporation is relatively affordable and depends on whether you are incorporating your business provincially or federally. Additionally, some law firms have “shelf” corporations that have been incorporated already and that can be activated immediately upon request. You should consult with a lawyer if you require legal assistance or legal advice.

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Incorporate a business

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