Incorporating a business in Nova Scotia has several benefits to both the corporation and its customers. Prospective business owners in Nova Scotia can register their businesses as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or cooperative.
All these business structures have different advantages and disadvantages and may be suitable for particular products and services. However, a corporation has more benefits than disadvantages and here’s why.
The shareholders of a firm or corporation are usually not liable for the actions of the company and cannot usually be held liable for obligations or debts of the business. When an incorporated business is unable to pay its creditors, the creditors will in most cases not be able to claim the debts directly from the shareholders. In other words, a corporation is a juristic person and can be sued and treated as a person.
Also, a Nova Scotia corporation enjoys perpetual existence since it is an entirely separate entity from its shareholders. In other words, the death of any shareholder doesn’t affect the corporation’s management as opposed to a sole proprietorship where the death of the owner leads to the death of the business.
If you’re planning on forming a complex corporation, you should definitely consult a corporate lawyer who will advise you appropriately on the best-suited structure for your business.
In any events, whether you choose to use a lawyer or an online incorporation service or to do it yourself, there a few crucial facts you should know before beginning the process of incorporating a Nova Scotia corporation.
Nova Scotia Incorporation Fees
To incorporate a business in Nova Scotia, the founder of the new business must file multiple documents and pay incorporation fees.
- Fees to incorporate: $417.33
- Business registration fees: $108.62
There are basically three different ways to incorporate a business in Nova Scotia: incorporation by yourself, using an online incorporation service to incorporate your business or hiring a lawyer specialized on corporate law.
How to Incorporate a Nova Scotia Business with the Help of an Online Service Provider
The incorporation process in Nova Scotia is straightforward, but it can be tricky. You can use the services of an online incorporation service to handle the difficult aspects. The online service providers usually have an online web-based form embedded in their sites in the form of questionnaires. You are required to fill out the forms about your proposed Nova Scotia incorporation, which will give the service provider important information about the form of business and requirements.
The online services work with skilled professionals who have experience with incorporation in Nova Scotia. They review all the information submitted to them and correct them where necessary. They can also provide answers to certain questions about incorporation. Note that you must pay the required incorporation fees imposed by the government and in addition the service fees for the online service provider.
These firms are a combination of professional and do-it-yourself services.
These two companies are well-known for offering reliable and affordable incorporation services in Nova Scotia:
How to Incorporate a Business in Nova Scotia by Yourself
By opting to incorporate a Nova Scotia business by yourself, you may save the costs associated with using a corporate lawyer. However, you must ensure all the procedures and documents are submitted correctly.
- Reservation of name: To do this, you have to submit your preferred business name and other relevant data to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies in Nova Scotia, which will conduct the name search. If this name search is successful and the business name is considered distinctive and appropriate, the business name will then be reserved for the owner’s use for 90 days. However, if it’s unsuccessful, you may need to apply for a new Name Reservation Request and follow the same procedure again. Nova Scotia currently offers business registration services online. You can submit the Name Reservation Request at the Nova Scotia Online Business Registry. You can also make downloads, print, and fill out the Name Reservation Request Form by hand, and take it to the Nova Scotia Registry or any Access Centre.
- Appointment of recognized agent: in Nova Scotia, every proposed corporation must have a recognized agent. The appointment of recognized agent form must be completed and sent with the other details to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.
After meeting these obligations, you must open a GST/HST account that would be used to collect and remit HST. You must also register the new business with the municipality (and also pay Business Occupancy Tax). You also have to register for any license or permits specific to running a business in the industry. You must prepare to have staff and learn how to do payroll in Canada. Lastly, you must register with the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.
Incorporating a Corporation in Nova Scotia via a Corporate Lawyer
Of all the methods mentioned earlier, using a lawyer is the most thorough. A lot of business owners prefer to use an attorney to incorporate their companies to avoid handling the process by themselves, especially if they aren’t well versed in the law. A good lawyer will review the entire process, give advice about the proper form of business best suited to the business owner and ensure the filing process follows the laws.
Hiring a corporate lawyer will mean additional costs. Depending on the form of business to be registered, their fees may run into thousands of dollars. However, over the long term, it may cost more if the process isn’t followed properly from the onset. The company may also lose some tax benefits if the filing isn’t done properly. We recommend using a lawyer if your business is complex.