5. Who should register for a business number and what are the implications?

Whether you are required to register your business depends on its legal structure. A registered business is automatically included in the business register maintained by the Inspector General of Financial Institutions (IGFI) making its existence a matter of public record.  To register your business, complete the declaration of registration corresponding to its legal structure.

Sole proprietorships and partnerships

If you are starting a sole proprietorship under your own first name and last name, you are not required to register (although you may do so if you wish).  For example, the Henry Jenkins Travel Agency would not be required to register; however, a business called Laura’s Pet Care would be required to register, since its name does not include the owner’s last name.  If you are starting a joint venture, you are not required to register (although you may do so if you wish).

In most other cases, you must register your business. To do so, file the declaration of registration, along with the applicable fee, at an office of the IGFI in Montréal or Québec City, within 60 days following the date on which you begin your business activities. You may also file your declaration with the Ministère du Revenu or the Clerk of the Superior Court.


If you plan to incorporate your business under the Companies Act (in Québec), you may apply to the IGFI (but not to the Ministère du Revenu) to have your corporate name reserved for you for a period of 90 days. You must then complete the required forms and file them along with your articles of incorporation.

If your business is incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act, or if it is a foreign company that operates in Québec or has its head office there, you must complete a declaration of registration and file it with the IGFI within 60 days following the date on which your business begins operating in Québec.


Posted in: Small Business Services