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How Long Does It Take to Incorporate in Canada

How Long Does It Take to Incorporate in Canada


Incorporating a business in Canada is an exciting step towards establishing your entrepreneurial venture. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the timeline for incorporation, the key steps involved, and factors that impact the process. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, understanding this process is essential for a successful business journey.

How Long Does It Take to Incorporate in Canada?

1. Initial Planning:

Before the incorporation process begins, you need to plan the structure of your business and gather the necessary information. This stage can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the complexity of your business model.

2. Name Search and Reservation:

Choosing a business name and ensuring its availability is crucial. This step typically takes 1 to 3 business days, as you need to conduct a name search and reserve it with the appropriate authority.

3. Document Preparation:

Prepare the necessary documents, including the articles of incorporation and any required agreements. This can take around 1 to 2 weeks, considering the time needed for thorough documentation.

4. Filing the Application:

Submit the articles of incorporation to the relevant government authority. This step can take approximately 2 to 4 weeks, as processing times vary among different provinces.

5. Review and Approval:

The government authority will review your application for compliance with legal requirements. This review can take up to 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the jurisdiction and any potential backlogs.

6. Business Number and Registration:

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your business number and be registered with the appropriate agencies. This step usually takes around 1 to 2 weeks.

7. Procuring Permits and Licenses:

If your business requires specific permits or licenses, this can add an additional 2 to 4 weeks to the timeline, depending on the nature of your business.

8. Opening Bank Accounts and Setup:

Set up your business bank accounts and complete any other administrative tasks related to the incorporation. This process generally takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Factors Affecting the Timeline:

9. Jurisdiction:

Different provinces in Canada may have varying processing times for incorporation applications.

10. Business Structure:

The type of business structure you choose, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, can impact the timeline.

11. Government Backlogs:

Government agencies’ processing times can be affected by backlogs or increased demand.

12. Permits and Licensing:

If your business requires specialized permits or licenses, obtaining them may extend the timeline.

Tips for a Smooth Incorporation Process:

13. Plan Ahead:

Start the process well in advance to account for potential delays and ensure a smoother experience.

14. Consult Professionals:

Seek advice from legal and financial professionals to ensure compliance with regulations.

15. Double-Check Documents:

Thoroughly review all documents before submission to avoid potential errors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How long does it take to incorporate in Canada?

A: The timeline varies, but the entire process can take around 6 to 10 weeks, considering factors like jurisdiction and business structure.

Q: Can I expedite the incorporation process?

A: Some provinces offer expedited services for an additional fee, which can shorten the timeline.

Q: Can I incorporate in any province?

A: Yes, you can choose to incorporate in any province, but each province may have slightly different requirements and processing times.

Q: Do I need a lawyer for incorporation?

A: While not mandatory, consulting a lawyer can ensure legal compliance and a smoother process.

Q: Can I start my business activities before incorporation is complete?

A: It’s advisable to wait until the incorporation process is finalized to ensure legal protection for your business.

Q: Can I change my business name after incorporation?

A: Yes, you can change your business name post-incorporation, but it involves additional paperwork.


Incorporating a business in Canada is a significant step that requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. By understanding the incorporation timeline, factors affecting it, and following the provided tips, you can navigate the process successfully and set your business on the path to success.

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