How to Get Articles of Incorporation in Ontario

Clerk at Jeffrey Murray Law in Belleville, Ontario Filing the Application for Incorporation

Understanding the legal requirements and procedures is essential when starting a business in Ontario. One of the fundamental steps in establishing a corporation is obtaining the Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through obtaining Articles of Incorporation in Ontario and highlighting key steps.

1. Understanding Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Incorporation, often referred to as a Certificate of Incorporation, are foundational documents that mark the formal creation of a corporation in Ontario. These documents contain essential information about the corporation’s identity and structure. 

Key elements include:


The chosen name for the corporation must be unique and distinguishable from other existing business names.


The primary objectives and activities the corporation will engage in.

Share Structure: 

How the corporation’s ownership will be divided among shareholders through various classes of shares.

Registered Office Address: 

The physical location where official correspondence and legal documents can be sent to the corporation.

Initial Directors: 

The individuals responsible for the initial management and decision-making of the corporation.

2. Choosing a Business Name

Selecting an appropriate business name is vital for brand recognition and legal compliance. 

The name should be:


Uniqueness helps your business stand out and avoids confusion with other companies.

Avoid Confusion: 

It should not be easily mistaken for existing business names, especially those in similar industries.

Look for Meaning: 

The name should convey something about your business’s nature or offerings.

Before finalizing the name, conducting a comprehensive name search is crucial to ensure that the desired name is available for use.

3. Drafting Articles of Incorporation

Drafting the Articles of Incorporation involves creating a customized document that outlines how your corporation will operate. While templates are available online, tailoring the articles to your specific business needs is recommended. 

This document includes details about the following:

Corporate Structure

How decision-making authority is distributed among shareholders and directors.


The rules and procedures for board meetings, voting, and other corporate governance matters.


The framework for running the corporation, including any special provisions relevant to your business type.

4. Share Structure and Classes

Determining the share structure is a critical decision that impacts ownership and control within the corporation. 

This involves:

Share Classes

Deciding on different classes of shares (e.g., common shares, preferred shares) that can carry distinct rights, privileges, and restrictions.

Ownership Distribution

Allocating shares among shareholders and specifying the number of shares each class represents.

It’s advisable to consult legal experts to ensure your chosen share structure aligns with your business goals and complies with applicable regulations.

5. Registered Office and Address

The registered office is a physical location within Ontario where official documents and legal notices can be delivered. This address must be accessible during normal business hours and must be kept up to date with the provincial authorities.

6. Appointment of Directors

A corporation must have at least one director responsible for overseeing the corporation’s activities and making strategic decisions. Directors hold a fiduciary duty to act in the corporation’s and its shareholders’ best interests.

7. Filing the Application

Once the Articles of Incorporation are complete and customized to your business, you must submit them to the appropriate authorities. In Ontario, this is often the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. The application typically includes all the essential information gathered in the previous steps.

8. Benefit from Legal Expertise

Incorporating a business involves complex legal considerations. Seeking advice from legal professionals or business consultants experienced in corporate law can help you navigate the process smoothly, ensure compliance with regulations, and make informed decisions for your company’s future. Their expertise can provide peace of mind and minimize the risk of errors during the incorporation process.

Empower Your Business Journey

Incorporating a business in Ontario demands careful attention to detail and adherence to legal requirements. The assistance of professionals like Jeffrey Murray Law can make the process efficient and stress-free. 

By obtaining the expert guidance of Jeffrey Murray Law, Belleville entrepreneurs can confidently embark on their business journey, armed with accurately prepared Articles of Incorporation and a solid legal foundation. With their unwavering support, your business aspirations can take shape within the framework of Ontario’s legal landscape, setting the stage for growth and success.

DISCLAIMER: This website is for general information purposes only. Readers are cautioned to obtain legal advice as early as possible directly from a lawyer regarding the particular circumstances of their own situation. Do not rely on the information you find here as constituting legal advice as it is not possible to provide complete answers to any given question without a retainer that includes a detailed review of your situation.

Jeffrey Murray, A Belleville Lawyer

A Clear Way Forward

Legal services should make your life easier rather than harder. We’re here to empower you; not to bombard you with information you don’t understand.

At Jeffrey Murray Law, we consider ourselves part of the local community and want to get to know our clients as individuals with their own needs and goals first and foremost.

We’ve consistently demonstrated a commitment to meeting our clients where they are today and adapting to those needs. That means explaining each step of the process in plain English so you understand what’s happening, and we even offer virtual consultations to ensure that your schedule won’t hold you back. For Belleville Lawyers, look no further.

Jeffrey Murray