Ontario incorporations for small business
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DIY Ontario Incorporation

It is possible to file your own Articles of Incorporation. This section will help you with some of the basics, and the steps.

Step 1: Learn About Incorporations

In order to properly handle your incorporation, you should learn more about the corporate basics. The government agency responsible for corporations is the Ontario Ministry of Corporate and Commercial Affairs. For more internet resources, just use your search engine.

Step 2: Corporate Name Searches

You must submit an official NUANS Ontario-biased Corporate Name Search Report. You can find these online. That is the only legal requirement.

However, it is good practice to check for trademarks as well. The first place to check will be the CIPO trademark database itself. Go over the database tutorial before you get started, so that you know how to search properly and understand the limitations of any search. Once you’ve done the registry searches, you should look for tradenames and unregistered trademarks. Many people simply use an internet search engine. You can also ask for our free prescreen, which covers many registered Canadian tradenames.

The next step is to interpret the results. You should be especially familiar with the trademark concepts of confusion, descriptiveness and use. By way of example, even if there is an exact match for your mark, it may not be confusing because it is in a different business field. Alternatively, it may not be an exact match, but if it’s too close in sound and/or appearance it would be confusing.

Step 3: Application

You can do it online and on your own. You will have to pay the Government of Ontario $300, and also e-filing fees and NUANS search costs. You can deal directly with the Government of Ontario, but only by doing a hard copy incorporation, which is going to cost you $350 in government fees. If you want to efile, you must deal instead with one of their appointed agents. Check with Consumer & Corporate Relations at the Government of Ontario.