How to Start a Company in Quebec in 2024 | Complete Guide

Starting a company in Quebec can be an exciting and rewarding venture. Quebec, with its vibrant economy and supportive business environment, offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to establish their own companies. As of 2023, the province boasted an impressive array of newly incorporated businesses, evidencing a steadfast trajectory of entrepreneurial activity. Quebec’s GDP growth rate, which surged by 3.2% in the past fiscal year, exemplifies the robust economic foundations underpinning its business landscape.

However, navigating the process of starting a corporation can be daunting without the proper information and guidance. In this article, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start a company in Quebec, including the required documents, benefits, and legal requirements.

How to Start a Corporation in Quebec?

The step-by-step guide to start a company in Quebec includes:

  • Research and Planning: Before you take the initial steps to start a corporation in Quebec, it is crucial to conduct thorough research and develop a solid business plan. This will help you understand the market, identify your target audience, and formulate strategies for success. You should consider consulting with a business advisor or a lawyer specializing in corporate law to ensure that you are on the right track.
  • Choose a Business Name: The next step is to choose a unique and memorable name for your corporation. It is important to select a name that reflects your brand identity and is not already in use by another company. You can check the availability of your chosen name on the Quebec Enterprise Register’s website and reserve it for a small fee.
  • Register Your Corporation: To register your corporation, you need to file the necessary documents with the Quebec Enterprise Register. The required documents include the articles of incorporation, which outline the purpose and structure of your corporation, as well as the names and addresses of the directors and shareholders. You will also need to pay the registration fees, which vary depending on the type and size of your corporation.

Documents Required to Register a Business in Quebec

The required documents to register a business in Quebec includes:

  • Articles of Incorporation: The articles of incorporation are a legal document that establishes the existence of your corporation. They outline the purpose of your corporation, the number and types of shares issued, and the rights and responsibilities of the shareholders and directors. It is advisable to seek the assistance of a lawyer or a notary when preparing these articles to ensure compliance with the legal requirements.
  • Shareholders Agreement: Although not legally required, a shareholders agreement is highly recommended, especially if your corporation has multiple shareholders. This agreement defines the rights and obligations of the shareholders, including the transfer of shares, decision-making processes, and dispute resolution mechanisms. It helps to prevent conflicts and provides a framework for the smooth operation of your corporation.
  • Register of Directors and Shareholders: You are also required to maintain a record of directors and shareholders, which should include their names, addresses, and contact information. This register must be kept at the registered office of your corporation and should be updated regularly to reflect any changes in the composition of the board of directors or the shareholding structure.

Benefits of Starting a Corporation in Quebec

  • Limited Liability: One of the primary benefits of starting a corporation is limited liability. As a shareholder, your personal assets are protected from the debts and liabilities of the corporation. This means that your personal savings, home, or other investments are not at risk if the corporation faces financial difficulties or legal claims.
  • Credibility and Perpetuity: A corporation is viewed as a separate legal entity, which enhances its credibility and longevity. Unlike sole proprietorships or partnerships, corporations can continue to exist even if the shareholders or directors change. This stability and continuity can attract investors, clients, and business partners, thereby facilitating growth and expansion.
  • Tax Advantages: Corporations in Quebec enjoy certain tax advantages, such as lower tax rates for small businesses and the ability to defer taxes on retained earnings. Additionally, corporations can deduct various expenses, including salaries, benefits, and business-related expenses, from their taxable income. It is advisable to consult with a tax professional to maximize the tax benefits available to your corporation.

Legal Requirements to Incorporate a Company in Quebec

  1. Quebec Enterprise Register: All corporations in Quebec must be registered with the Quebec Enterprise Register. This is a mandatory step that ensures your corporation’s legal existence and provides important information to the public. Registration involves submitting the required documents, paying the registration fees, and obtaining a unique enterprise number.
  2. Compliance with Corporate Laws: Once your corporation is registered, you must comply with the various corporate laws and regulations in Quebec. This includes holding annual general meetings, maintaining accurate financial records, and filing annual reports with the Quebec Enterprise Register. Failure to comply with these legal obligations can result in penalties or even the dissolution of your corporation.
  3. Permits and Licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific permits or licenses to operate legally in Quebec. These can include zoning permits, health and safety certifications, or professional licenses. It is important to research and understand the regulatory requirements applicable to your industry to ensure compliance and avoid any legal issues.

Conclusion

Starting a corporation in Quebec requires careful planning, adherence to legal requirements, and the completion of necessary documents. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can navigate the process with confidence and set your corporation up for success. Remember to seek professional advice when needed and take advantage of the benefits that come with incorporating your business in Quebec. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

If you need assistance in incorporating your business in Quebec, consider reaching out to Incpass Canada. Their team of experts can guide you through the process and provide you with personalized advice tailored to your specific needs. Start your journey to entrepreneurship today with Incpass Canada!

Frequently Asked Question

What is the cost to register a business in Quebec?

  • Sole proprietorship: The declaration of registration for a sole proprietorship will set you back $38 CAD when you register your business in Quebec.
  • Federal Incorporation: If you file it on your own, a NUANS name search report will cost an additional $35 CAD. The cost of federal incorporation in Quebec starts at $200 CAD.
  • Provincial incorporation: In accordance with the Business Corporations Act, $367 CAD is the charge for incorporating provincially in Quebec.

How to get a business number in Quebec?

It is mandatory for any corporation operating inside Quebec to get a Quebec business number. Thankfully, it’s easy to get a NEQ number in Quebec. An NEQ is assigned by the REQ right away upon registration. For organizations (such businesses that are registered provincially) that are exempt from submitting a declaration of registration, the NEQ number will be assigned automatically at the time of the constitution.

What is the taxation in Quebec?

In 2024, the corporate income tax rate in Quebec will be 26.5%. This is the total tax due from both federal and provincial sources. In Quebec, the federal tax rate is 15%. There is an 11.5% provincial tax.

  • The sales tax in Quebec is known as the QST, and it is 9.975%.
  • Capital Tax: Quebec levies a capital tax of 0.473%.
  • Payroll Tax: In Quebec, the payroll tax is 5.3%.