Friday, July 17, 2009

Ontario or Canadian Incorporation - Where to incorporate?

We often get this question - I am based in Ontario and want to incorporate my business but don’t know if I should incorporate a Federal or Ontario corporation – where should I incorporate?

Deciding where to incorporate involves many factors including evaluating corporate and tax laws. A competent lawyer/accountant should be consulted to evaluate your specific circumstances. However, for most small corporations the following factors make Federal (Canada) corporations more attractive - read below. You can also check out this video about incorporations for more information.

Federal corporations have lower government incorporation fees than Ontario corporations ($200 versus $360). Also, although Federal corporations must register extra-provincially with the Ontario government, there is no government fee for this registration.

Federal corporations have the most stringent criteria in granting the right to use a corporate name. Ontario corporations (like most other provinces) offer very little protection of use, and will grant almost any name provided it is not identical. Moreover, if there is any protection, it is limited to that province, unlike federal corporations which afford Canada wide protection.

Federal corporations require that 25% of its directors be resident Canadians, while Ontario corporations require 51% be resident Canadians. This may be advantageous if you have foreigners involved in your business.

Delays for both are approximately the same where Certificates of Incorporation can generally be obtained within 2 working days or less.

However, Federal corporations must file annual reports at a cost of $20 per year whereas Ontario corporations’ annual reports are free.

You can check out our pre-incorporation checklist for Ontario incorporations. For a more detailed answer check out this link about where to incorporate in Canada.

Green Light for Organics Part II

Questionable Standards Until Now for Canada

Despite that proper accreditation for organic products has existed in Europe and the U.S. for several years; until recently Canadian organic products could receive such a title even based on the manufacturer using organic hand soap. There has only been voluntary certification here until June 30 of this year; when the labeling standards for Canadian organic products became enforceable by law.

According to Michael Saumur of the Canada Organic Office at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, those companies claiming to be organic on their labels that don't act on a warning to comply with the laws are subject to their products being removed from stores or face prosecution. These laws include a requirement for a product to contain at least 70% organic ingredients to be called “organic”. There will also be a specific logo for products that are over 95% organic. Those products that are between 70% and 95% organic can state their percentage on the packaging.

Though the laws may be inconvenient to implement at first, Denise Shaskin of Planet Organic Market believes they will ultimately benefit the organic industry. Now the competition in the industry can be more fair too, and the new certification is recognized by the U.S., eliminating the need for separate certification in order to export goods. According to a study in the Canada Gazette, the new certification standards could have a net benefit of $752 million for the economy.

In Shaskin's experience, people's main reason to shop for organic goods is due to an illness in their family. So since they often scrutinize the contents of a product for health concerns, she believes the certification standards will boost many consumers' confidence in the contents of the packages they buy.

Shaskin, recognizing the increasing demand for organic products in the marketplace, entered this market in 1993 and started the Planet Organic chain in 2001. She claims that annual sales jumped to $113 million last year from only $2 million for her retail chain that operates throughout Canada now and intends to expand further into Ontario and Alberta.

Incorporate in Canada with
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