Should we incorporate?

This page may help you decide whether or not you should incorporate.

It takes time, money, and energy to get and keep corporate status, so you should think very carefully about whether incorporating is right for you.

According to Ontario’s Incororator’s Handbook (Section 1.3), there is no legal requirement to incorporate. Many community groups are able to pursue their mission without incorporating.

Ontario’s Incorporator’s Handbook (Section 1.3) discusses the pros and cons of incorporating.

There are over 45,000 nonprofits in Ontario. Joining one with a similar mission will avoid duplicating work and allow you to learn from its experience.

It takes time, energy and money to keep records, minutes of meetings, hold member and board meetings, and do what is required to maintain corporate status.


If you’d like the benefits of having corporate status, but don’t have the resources, or don’t want to devote the resources needed to incorporate, you can consider using a shared platform. See Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Shared Platform Guidebook to learn more about what shared platforms are and when they are helpful.

There are many other ways nonprofit projects can be structured too. Learn more about the alternatives here.


The government hasn’t said when Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will take effect. It may be in 2021 or later. If you’ve decided to incorporate, it doesn’t make sense to wait indefinitely.

If you’ve decided to incorporate, your next step is to decide whether it would be better to incorporate under Ontario laws or under federal laws.

If you’ve decided not to incorporate, you may like to learn about some of the rules that apply to unincorporated associations.

Reviewed: 2020-05-09