Incorporating in Ontario

A co-operative is incorporated either provincially or federally, and in turn is governed by either the Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act, or the Canada Co-operatives Act. The difference relates mainly to where the co-operative will operate: a federally incorporated co-op will carry out operations in at least two provinces/territories and have fixed offices in more than one province or territory. Read Choosing Federal or Provincial Incorporation to learn which one is right for your co-operative business. The below information pertains to incorporating in Ontario.

Incorporation grants your organization legal rights and recognition under the law. This legal status allows a co-operative to purchase assets and take on debt, and generally makes it easier to raise capital. It also limits the liability of individual co-op members in the event of legal or financial difficulty.

Note: While a group can operate in a co-operative manner on an informal basis, it cannot use the word "co-op" or "co-operative" in its name, or be recognized under the law, unless it is formally incorporated as a co-operative.

Co-operatives in Ontario are now incorporated though Service Ontario. Please visit them online for the necessary details, steps and forms.