How do I Incorporate my Business?

two business men in suits next to a sidewalk; highlighting the question of how to incorporate a business

If you have grown your business to the point where you would like to incorporate it or if you would like to create a new corporation for tax planning purposes, the actual mechanical process of incorporating a business is not daunting or complex.

Incorporation is a process for which a lawyer can take care of this for you, but if you would like to incorporate a company yourself, you can follow these basic steps:

  1. Select and reserve a name for your company with the BC Corporate Registry. This can be done online at BC Registry Services, or in person at a Service BC location. This step allows you to reserve a company name for 56 days while you complete the incorporation process.
  2. Compile documents before you incorporate your business Before you actually incorporate your company, you should have:
    • Incorporation Agreement – simply an agreement that outlines your corporation and signed by all shareholders of the corporation.
    • Company Articles – a document containing rules by which your corporation is governed by; for an example, see this Sample Incorporation Agreement
  3. File an Incorporation Application with BC Corporate Registry. You can file the incorporation application online, or fill it out and submit it to a law firm or registry to have them file it on your behalf.
  4. Receipt of incorporation confirmation from BC Registry. They will also provide you with a 9 digit business # that is your corporation’s identification # with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Your CRA business # will allow you to register your corporation for a payroll and GST account with CRA.

That is a brief overview of the incorporation process. A lawyer can help you with the process if required, contact us for more information.