One of the most important aspects of starting a small business in Quebec concerns the legal form the enterprise will take. Business owners have three choices for their business: sole proprietorship, partnership or a corporation. People often choose the corporation legal structure for their business because it offers certain advantages over the other two options.
A corporation functions as a distinct and unique entity. Along with separate tax and legal obligations, a corporation has rights, privileges and liabilities. A Corporate entity remains separate from its managers, owners and board members. Shareholders own the corporation and a Board of Directors manage the organization. Board members appoint Corporation officers, develop policies and approve transactions entered into by the Corporation.
Beside reducing personal liability for managers and board members, a Corporation enhances the business credibility, makes it easier to raise capital, and can manage has its own credit without the need for personal guarantees.
In addition, incorporating a Quebec business allows for the centralization of all management operations. Corporations have a perpetual existence, which means the death of an owner or the transfer of shares does not affect the corporate entity, which remains in force until officially dissolved.
The Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) provides legal guidelines for Federal Corporations. The Quebec Business Corporations Act governs Business Corporations incorporated in the Province of Quebec.
This page explains the process of incorporating a business in Quebec, Canada. Our Incorporation article covers the differences between a Federal Corporation and Provincial Corporations, including a Quebec Corporation.
Quebec Incorporation Fees
Incorporating a Corporation in Quebec requires the business owners to file multiple documents. The owner must also pay incorporation fee when filing.
- $316 – Incorporation fee (Certificate of constitution);
- $22 – Name reservation (including name search report) fee
Now, lets discuss various methods of incorporating your business in Quebec; proceed with the incorporation by yourself, use a Service Provider, for example, an online incorporation service, or use a corporate lawyer.
How to Incorporate a Business in Quebec by Yourself
By choosing to incorporate Quebec business yourself, you can save the cost of hiring an attorney. Make sure that you submit the following documents regardless of the method you decide to use:
- Quebec-biased NUANS – Complete a name reservation in the Quebec corporation database through the Registraire des entreprises du Quebec, by using the “Produire une demande de réservation de nom service” page on their website;
- Articles of Incorporation – fill out the document “Statuts de constitution” and “Déclaration initiale” on the Registraire website HERE;
- Fees – be prepared to pay the fees required to incorporate a Quebec Business Corporation;
How to Incorporate an Quebec Business Using Online Incorporation Services
If you would prefer some help to incorporate your business without the expense of hiring an attorney, consider employing the services of an online incorporation firm to assist with the incorporating of a basic corporate structure.
An online service provide usually has a Web-based form on their site, which requires you to answer a series of questions about your planned Québec Corporation. Be prepared to pay the government fees as well as the service charge assessed by the online incorporation Service Provider.
These online incorporation companies function as a blend of completing the process on your own and professional Service Providers. Generally, owners of the companies have direct experience filing the paperwork to set up a Quebec corporation in the proper manner. Service Providers representatives can answer your questions and help you resolve any issue.
In addition, incorporation service companies provide a full range of services and products for operating corporations, including resolutions, minute books, share certificates, tax accounts registration.
Here are two online incorporation services that offer the incorporation of a Quebec company service:
Incorporating a Business in Quebec through a Corporate Lawyer
Without doubt, the most guaranteed but most costly choice of the three is to use a corporate lawyer or a start-up lawyer to incorporate your Quebec business for you. Some people prefer to avoid going through the process themselves and to make a more cautious choice and hire a corporate attorney or start-up lawyer to handle the corporate filing process. A good attorney will overlook the entire process and ensures the filing follows the law. As a new business owner, you will also have access to the lawyer’s expertise and experience in setting up Corporations, including explaining the pros and cons of incorporating as a Federal or Quebec corporation.
The drawback is obviously the added cost that comes with using a corporate lawyer. Depending on the complexity of the Corporation to be created, the fees can run up in the thousands. That said, in the long run, in some cases, it might cost you more doing it yourself and dealing with the fallouts in the future, than paying more money now, but have a business legally and properly set up from the beginning.
To find a lawyer in Quebec to incorporate your Quebec business corporation, you can visit the Barreau du Québec website which offers a Quebec lawyer referral service.