Determine your Business Structure

Ownership will depend on the structure of the company and there are a number of options available.   The type of structure you choose for your business effects the way you report your income. how you will file tax returns each year, and many other matters. Knowing what these options are and determining the appropriate structure beforehand can require a discussion with an accountant or lawyer.

Types of Business Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship is an unincorporated business that is owned by one person. The owner of a sole proprietorship has sole responsibility for making decisions, receives all of the profits, claims all losses, and does not have separate legal status from the business.
  • Partnership is an association between two or more people who join together to carry on a trade or business. Each partner contributes money, labour, property, or skills to the partnership.
  • Corporation is an incorporated entity with its own rights and responsibilities as a distinct person under the law. A corporation is owned by the shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders. The owners of a corporation are not personally responsible for the debts of the corporation. The corporation is responsible for its debts.

Determine your Business Structure – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a sole proprietorship, partnership and incorporation?

sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business that is owned by one person. The owner of a sole proprietorship has sole responsibility for making decisions, receives all of the profits, claims all losses, and does not have separate legal status from the business.

partnership is an association between two or more people who join together to carry on a trade or business. Each partner contributes money, labour, property, or skills to the partnership.

Corporation is an incorporated entity with its own rights and responsibilities as a distinct person under the law. A corporation is owned by the shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders. The owners of a corporation are not personally responsible for the debts of the corporation. The corporation is responsible for its debts.

What is an incorporation?

Corporation is an incorporated entity with its own rights and responsibilities as a distinct person under the law. A corporation is owned by the shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders. The owners of a corporation are not personally responsible for the debts of the corporation. The corporation is responsible for its debts.

Fees for Federal Incorporations (Canada wide) are $200 for online filing or $250 for using the printed forms. Federal Incorporations forms are available from the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC). Internet filing is available at: www.ic.gc.ca/corporations.

Fees for Provincial Incorporations (Ontario wide) are $300 for online filling or $360 for using the printed forms. Provincial Incorporations forms are available for a fee from Staples or Grand & Toy. If you incorporate electronically you must use the services of either online primary service provider: OnCorp at www.oncorp.com or ESC Corporate Services www.eservicecorp.ca (primary service providers are under contract with the Ontario Ministry of Government Services ) to complete the online Articles of Incorporation. The primary service providers may charge their own service fee.

PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FROM AN ACCOUNTANT AND LAWYER IS RECOMMENDED IF YOU DECIDE TO INCORPORATE.


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Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC)

Whether you are starting or growing your business, we can help! MBEC is your central source for small business information, resources and guidance. We’ll answer your questions about registering and starting a new business, preparing a business plan, taxes, government regulations, available government programs and much more! If you have a question, or would like to contact us, please submit an inquiry or visit the MBEC office at the Mississauga Central Library (4th Floor).

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