The differences between registering and incorporating a company


Any company wishing to do business in Quebec must be registered on Quebec’s enterprise register. This register contains various information on operating companies and individuals doing business in the province of Quebec.

Once registered, the business is given a business number which is used to identify it to various government departments and agencies, mainly by facilitating the registration process for different government programs and services.

It should be noted that registration is not mandatory for all types of businesses and is optional in the following cases:

  • Natural persons operating a sole proprietorship under a name that does not include their first and last name (this does not apply to individuals operating a retail tobacco store or tanning salon)
  • Legal persons governed by public law
  • Joint ventures
  • Associations and other groups


In order to create a corporation, a business must apply for incorporation to the Quebec enterprise register by sending its incorporation documents. These documents consist of the articles of incorporation and the initial declaration.

Once the incorporation documents are filed to the register, the business incorporated under Quebec law is automatically registered. In cases where the business is not being incorporated under Quebec law, the registration and incorporation process are separated.


In conclusion, incorporation implies the creation of company while registration indicates the update of an existing company (often in cases of legal persons incorporated under federal law) on Quebec’s enterprise register.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. Contact a lawyer for a solution adapted to your needs.

Ponce Lawyers Inc.

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