We would be glad to assist you to register a foreign business in Ontario. Depending on the type of business entity you are wanting to register in Ontario, the procedure will be different.  In Ontario if you are registering a foreign company you are required to obtain what is called an Extra-Provincial License which is issued by the Ministry of Government Services.  Registrations of foreign companies in Ontario are governed by the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act (Ontario).

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Legal Requirements to Register a Foreign Business in Ontario

The Extra-Provincial Corporations Act (Ontario) governs foreign companies carrying on business in Ontario.  Sections 1(2) and (3) indicate that “(2) For purposes of this Act, an extra-provincial corporation carries on its business in Ontario if, (a) it has a resident agent, representative, warehouse, office or place where it carries on its business in Ontario, (b) it holds an interest, otherwise than by way of security, in real property situate in Ontario, or (c) it otherwise carries on its business in Ontario.   (3) An extra-provincial corporation does not carry on its business in Ontario by reason only that, (a) it takes orders for or buys or sells goods, wares and merchandise; or (b) offers or sells services of any type, by use of travellers or through advertising or correspondence.

Company Name to be Used When You Register a Foreign Company in Ontario

Foreign corporations can only be licensed under their corporate name.  However, once you have registered your foreign company in Canada under the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act (Ontario) you can register to carry on business under another name (i.e. business name) as long as you register that name under the Business Names Act (Ontario).

Certificate of Status or Certificate of Good Standing

Every foreign company will need to provide a Certificate of Status from its home jurisdiction.  This certificate will be an additional requirement that the company will need to provide.  It will be required to show the current name of the company, the date of incorporation, and that the company is in good standing.  This certificate is usually issued by the incorporating jurisdiction of the foreign company.  However, not all governments provide them.  In a case where a government does not have such a document a legal opinion will be required.

Agent for Service

You will be required to have an agent for service located in Ontario who can receive correspondence on behalf of the company in Ontario.  This individual does not have to be a Canadian however the person must live in Ontario.  If you do not have anyone who can hold this position for you we will be able to act as agent for service on your behalf for a nominal yearly fee.  If you decide to purchase our service you would indicate at the time of sale that you will need an agent for service in Ontario.

Register a foreign business in Ontario

Initial Return

An Initial Return must be filed subsequent to registration.  We will do this on your behalf.  This Initial Return outlines the registered office address of the foreign company, the Ontario address, the address of the chief officer located in Ontario, if any, and the address of the agent for service.  If any information on the form changes subsequently, you will need to file a similar form called a Notice of Change within 15 days of the change.

Schedule 548, Corporations Information Act (Ontario)

Foreign business corporations licensed under the Extra-Provincial Registration Act (Ontario) to carry on business in Ontario are required to file a Schedule 548, Corporations Information Act (Ontario) Annual Return for Foreign Business Corporations, together with their T2 return to the Canada Revenue Agency.  This schedule must be filed within six months after the end of each tax year.  Once you are registered you should establish contact with an Ontario accountant to assist you with these tax requirements.  We will be glad to provide you with a reference for an accountant.


A not-for-profit company that has been incorporated outside of Canada can be registered in Ontario.  We will be glad to assist you with your registration.

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Limited liability partnerships which have been registered outside of Canada may register in Ontario to conduct business.  This registration is called an extra-provincial limited liability partnership.

Unless your foreign partnership is a limited liability partnership (see above), it cannot be registered extra-provincially to conduct business in Ontario. However, you can register a partnership in Ontario which has all foreign partners.   The one requirement is that you must have an Ontario office address.

The Ontario partnership will also require a federal business tax number and once its worldwide profits are $30,000 it will be required to charge Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) to all customers in Canada.

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We Can Assist With Your Registration in Ontario
We Can Assist With Your Registration in Ontario


A limited liability company (LLC) is an unincorporated organization, which has been formed pursuant to the laws of  a State of the United States of America.  LLC’s offer their members the benefits and advantages of both a corporation (limited liability to its members as well as being a separate entity) and a partnership (ability to have flow-through taxation for U.S. tax purposes where the LLC is treated as a partnership under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code).  Subsequent to registration in Ontario, the  LLC will be considered to be an Extra-Provincial Limited Liability Company in Ontario.

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Operating Trade Names for Registered Ontario LLCs

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) may conduct business in Ontario as long as it registers to do so.   Registration of an LLC is governed by the Business Names Act (Ontario).

An LLC must conduct business in Ontario under its full LLC name.  It cannot conduct business under an operating trade name.

Revenue Canada Agency Requirements for Registered LLCs

A foreign Limited Liability Company (LLC) must register to obtain its Federal Tax Number and will be subject to charging Harmonized Sales Tax on its sales in Ontario if its Worldwide sales are over $30,000.

If the LLC plans on hiring employees it will be required to obtain an Employee Account No. Further, if the LLC plans on importing goods into Canada or exporting goods outside of Canada the LLC will be required to obtain an Import/Export Number.  For more information about this, review Federal Business Number.

For more information about the policy of the Revenue Canada Agency with respect to the status of a U.S. limited liability company (LLC) for purposes of the Corporations Tax Act (Ontario) refer to the Minister of Finance’s Bulletin on Limited Liability Companies.

Resources for Canadian Business Owners can assist you with obtaining the relevant tax numbers for your Ontario Extra-Provincial Limited Liability Company.