How do we incorporate?

This page explains the steps you must take to incorporate a nonprofit under Ontario’s Corporations Act (OCA).

What are the steps to incorporate?
Ontario’s Incorporator’s Handbook (Section 1.5) explains the steps you must take to incorporate your nonprofit, including:

  • checking NUANS (Newly Upgraded Name Search), to make sure your nonprofit’s name isn’t already taken
  • gathering supporting documents that go with your application form

What does it cost to incorporate?
To get corporate status:

  • A NUANS name search costs between $22-$40.
  • Registering your nonprofit with the Ontario government costs $155. For expedited service, it is $255.

Check out Ontario’s Incorporator’s Handbook (Appendix F) for more information about fees.

Is there any help for nonprofits trying to incorporate?
Pro Bono Ontario has an online service called The Charity Start-up Toolbox that takes you through the steps needed to incorporate your nonprofit provincially, become a registered charity, or both. It includes this tool that can help you draft a complete package of forms, and bylaws, that you need for your application to incorporate.

The Law Society of Ontario has a guide for lawyers who may be helping you with the process.

Registered charities Applying to become a registered charity is a different process. These organizations have information and resources on the process:

Reviewed: August 2017