Start A Partnership In Canada: Procedure & Requirements

Canada is a great place to start a business, and one can select from a variety of corporate structures. One option that is popular with many entrepreneurs is a partnership. A partnership is a company owned by two or more persons who split the company’s gains and losses.

There are several advantages to registering a partnership in Canada. Partnerships are relatively easy and inexpensive to set up, and they offer a great deal of flexibility in terms of management and decision-making. Additionally, partnerships can be a tax-effective way to operate a business.

When it comes to starting a partnership in Canada, there are some things you must know. In this article, we will discuss the different types of partnerships in Canada, the requirements to establish a partnership, the steps to register a partnership, the post-registration obligations, the documents needed to register a partnership, and the advantages of establishing a partnership.

Kinds of Partnerships in Canada

There are two primary categories of partnerships in Canada: general partnerships and limited partnerships.

General Partnerships

Each member in a general partnership bears personal responsibility for the obligations and liabilities of the company. This implies that each partner is responsible for individually repaying any debt incurred by the company. General partnerships are often used by small businesses or startups where the partners are close friends or family members.

Limited Partnerships

General partners and limited partners are the two categories of partners in a limited partnership. Limited partners are only accountable for their investment in the company and general partners are in charge of managing the company’s daily operations and management. Limited partnerships are often used by businesses that require a large amount of capital but want to limit the liability of the partners.

Requirements to Establish a Partnership Firm in Canada

To establish a partnership firm in Canada, certain requirements must be met:

  • Partnership Agreement: A partnership agreement describes the terms and circumstances of the partnership, including profit-sharing, decision-making procedures, and dispute-resolution procedures, even if it is not legally required.
  • Business Name Registration: Partnerships need to register their company name with the relevant territorial or provincial government. The name has to be original and not violate any already-registered trademarks.
  • Company Licenses & Permits: Based on your industry, you might require special local, provincial, or federal licenses as well as permissions.

Steps to Register a Partnership in Canada

The process of registering a partnership in Canada typically involves the following steps:

Choose a Business Name

Select a unique and memorable name for your partnership that reflects your brand and offerings.

Gather Necessary Documentation

Complete the required documentation and submit it to the province or territorial authority to register your business name.

Get Business Licenses & Permits 

Research and obtain any licenses & permits that are needed for your business activities.

Get a Business Number (BN)

Apply for a Business Number (BN) from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for taxation reasons.

Register for Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)

Depending on your business’s revenue threshold, you may need to enrol for GST/HST with the CRA.

Documents Needed to Register a Partnership in Canada

To register a partnership in Canada, you will need the following documents:

  • Business Name Reservation: Reserve your business name using the Canadian Business Names Database.
  • Partnership Agreement: Make a partnership agreement that specifies the terms and conditions of the partnership.
  • Identification Documents: Provide identification documents for each partner, like a driver’s license or passport.
  • Proof of Address: Give evidence of address for each partner, such as a utility bill or lease agreement.
  • Business Plan: Draft a plan outlining the aims and purposes of the company.

Benefits of Incorporating a Partnership in Canada

Incorporating a partnership in Canada offers several benefits:

  1. Limited Liability: Limited partners in a limited partnership are shielded from business obligations and responsibilities by having limited liability.
  2. Tax Flexibility: Gains and losses in a partnership are passed through to the individual members’ tax returns rather than being subject to corporation tax.
  3. Formal Ease: In contrast to corporations, partnerships can be formed with less paperwork and at a lower cost.


In Canada, registering a partnership is essential to formalizing your company and gaining access to a number of advantages. You may put your partnership on the right track for success by being aware of the many kinds of partnerships, adhering to the registration procedure, satisfying legal criteria, fulfilling post-registration obligations, and taking advantage of incorporation’s advantages.

If you’re looking for a seamless registration process and additional business registration services in Canada, consider utilizing IncPass. With IncPass, you can easily register your business and access services such as GST/HST registration, acquiring virtual office space, and more, streamlining your business operations and compliance efforts.


Do partnerships require annual filings?

Yes, partnerships in Canada are required to file an annual partnership information return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Can I change my partnership agreement after registration?

Yes, partnership agreements can be amended at any time with the permission of all participating partners.

What are the post-registration obligations of a partnership in Canada?

The post-registration obligations of a partnership in Canada include filing annual returns with the CRA and the province where your business is located, filing tax returns with the CRA and paying any taxes owed, keeping accurate and detailed records of your business operations, and complying with provincial laws and regulations that apply to your business.

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