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An Ontario Certificate of Status is issued by the Ontario government for Ontario companies. Sometimes these are called Certificates of Good Standing or Certificates of Compliance and all companies registered in all jurisdictions in Canada and for that matter all countries can obtain these certificates when needed. However, in the Ontario jurisdiction they are called Certificates of Status.

When is an Ontario Certificate of Status Required

Basically a Certificate of Status is required when you need to provide someone or some other company with the assurance that your Ontario company is in good standing and is in existence and has not been dissolved.


What does Being in Good Standing Mean when you Receive a Favourable Ontario Certificate of Status

Being in good standing means that the company is still active and has not been dissolved for non-filing of federal and/or provincial tax returns or non-filing of the Ontario annual return.

Since the Ontario annual return filing is normally done at the same time as the tax returns are filed as part of the form, if you are behind in filing your federal tax returns you will at the same time be behind in filing your Ontario annual returns.

What does an Ontario Certificate of Status Show

The Certificate of Status for an Ontario company will provide the accurate current name of the Ontario company, the Ontario corporate number and its status.

If the individual or company requesting the Certificate of Status needs to show more information than is shown on the certificate they will need to obtain a legal opinion since an Ontario Certificate of Status cannot be modified to include additional information.

What Will Determine a Favourable Ontario Certificate of Status

Ontario companies must file federal tax returns each year and if those returns are not filed for a number of years the federal government will dissolve the company.  If your address is current on file you will be provided with warning from them that tax returns are due.

As well, Ontario companies must file Ontario annual returns each year and if those returns are not filed for a number of years the company will be dissolved.  You can file your Ontario annual returns separately just to ensure that this has been done so that you will not be dissolved by the Companies Branch for non-filing if you feel that you need more time in order to file your federal returns.

It is very expensive to revive a company and the Ontario government puts the onus on the owners of Ontario companies to follow the statute requirements.  It will not remind you that you have not filed your annual returns.

Any reputable Canadian search house will be able to check for you to see that your annual returns have been filed but there is a cost for this.  You will need to order what is called a Ontario Corporate Document List for your company. If it is determined that you need to file annual returns this can be done fairly quickly by a search house and a favourable Certificate of Status can be obtained.

An Ontario Certificate of Status is issued on behalf of an Ontario company to confirm it is in good standing.

Ontario Certificate of Status vs Ontario Corporate Search

A Certificate of Status is not an Ontario corporate search.  If you are trying to determine information about an Ontario company you should have an Ontario Corporate Profile search (i.e. Ontario corporate search) done rather than ordering a Certificate of Status.

Who Requests Ontario Certificates of Status

Certificates of Status are sometimes required by banks, law firms, individuals on the other side of a corporate deal whereby you may be selling your company, when the corporation registers a vehicle, when a company buys property, etc.

Any person or company that your Ontario company is dealing with may ask you to provide them with a Certificate of Status to ensure your company is in good standing with the Ontario government.  Knowing this in advance will save you money and problems.

What is the Timing and Method of Delivery for an Ontario Certificate of Status

In most cases you can get an Ontario Certificate of Status in the same day you order it and usually in less than one hour.  The certificate is issued as a pdf document.  The pdf will be forwarded to you by email.

Ontario Certificate of Status