CanadaDemystifying the Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Business License in Canada

October 4, 2023by Tetra Consultants0
  • Canada has been a country that offers numerous advantages and opportunities to the businesses present there. Canada company registration is a necessary step in order to comply with the Canadian legislative framework. Business licenses in Canada can be obtained after the registration of the company. The registration requires some prerequisites which are choosing the name of the business, corporate structure, drafting of an article of association and memorandum of association, subscribing to GST or HST number, application for obtaining business number or tax account, and after compilation of these requirements, the company can apply for business licenses in Canada. 
  • Opening a business can be a complex process that involves various rules and regulations that might overwhelm business owners. There are various rules and laws while conducting operations of the business. There are many questions and concerns which might arise when the business owner starts operations, there may arise a need for various licenses which are needed to be obtained to eliminate any illegality. Thus, various business licenses are required to operate different business activities. Quebec has described its license requirement for many businesses on PerLE (permis et license) website
  • It is important to determine the kind of business licenses as they present various business licenses depending on the business activity. For import and export activity the business needs to register for the business number (BN) account through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which regulates and manages the business taxation and financial licensing in Canada. These taxation and financial reporting are then submitted to the Canada Borders Services Agency (CBSA). Like this various different business activities require permission from different government departments and authorities. Thus, if anyone is operating a business without a license they must apply for the relevant licenses. 
  • Tetra Consultants has been in the business of helping businesses to set up their company globally with various ancillary services which are essential for businesses. Business owners might need various services in order to apply for business licenses 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Business License in Canada

The step-by-step guide in order to obtain a business license in Canada is as follows: 

Step 1: Choosing a business structure

  • The business license in Canada also depends on the kind of business structure the company is following. The business structure can affect the company’s functioning and its scalability too, thus it is important to research, take market review,  and write a business plan. Choosing the right business structure can help the company to grow and expand.

Step 2: Choose a name for the business  

  • The business name is the name that is symbolized and is associated with the company thus naming the business is an important aspect that needs to be fulfilled before filing for a business license in Canada. The name must be unique and not deceptively similar to any other registered trademark. Tetra Consultants can help you with registration of international trademarks which will assist you in getting a trademark without any hassle. 

Step 3: Compile documents for licenses and permits

  • Before submitting an application for a business license in Canada, the documents must be checked and comply with the requirements. The license application majorly requires documents specifying the business description, corporate records, ownership or shareholding structure, state and local tax statute, and filing of fees to the government. These documents must be getting along with the application. Additional documents which may be required while submitting the application are the insurance bonds, educational qualification, and the financial statement of the company. Complying with these documents can help the company to file the application for the license. 

Step 4: Incorporation of business

  • Once the trademark is registered and the business structure is specified the business can take a step forward and apply for the incorporation of the company. The registration of the company takes place through federal incorporation or provincial/territorial incorporation according to the business activity chosen. Through the incorporation, the business is allotted a federal business number and corporation income tax account from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The businesses can be registered as extra-provincial or extra-territorial corporations in all other Canadian jurisdictions where the business plans to execute their business. Tetra Consultants might be of great help to you as our experts can assist you in the hassle-free incorporation of your company. 

Step 5: Apply for business licenses

  • Depending on the business and the operations the company can apply for licenses. For instance, small businesses will need to apply for legal permissions, medium size businesses will need to spend a few hundred dollars and big or giant businesses will have to spend thousands of dollars for the licenses. A business license in Canada shows the company’s legal registration and permits the business to operate within the jurisdiction without any extra charge. There are various types of licenses, permits, and registrations that a company needs to be fulfilled on the basis of the business activity. Various licensing and permit requirement includes municipal licensing, Environmental and Zoning permits, provincial registration, and Federal registration. 

Step 6: Keep up with license renewal requirements

  • Once the business license in Canada gets approved it also needs renewal from time to time so that the government authority can check the functioning of the business over the years through the licensing permits. Business licenses in Canada may take time to get approved through the agencies but after the approval, the license must be renewed because failure in renewal can result in the absence of legal permission to conduct a specific business. Thus, the renewal requirements must be met to avoid any accident of letting the license expire. 


  • The business license in Canada is a complex yet necessary process that a company has to go through. The process also involves the incorporation of the company which is an important aspect for every business unit operating in Canada to take the competitive advantage of working in Canada. Without licenses and incorporation the company cannot function in the way the company wishes to that is why the incorporation and obtaining license have been a very important process. It is also noted that obtaining a license may also vary depending on the business activity, structure, and business scalability. Thus before applying for the license, you must consult the professionals because they can help you with professional advice according to the business. 

Contact us to know more about how to register a company in Canada and obtain a business license in Canada and our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours. Tetra Consultants can help you with compliance solutions and various other services that can help in scaling up the business. Along with these compliance services, our consultants can help you with various other business-related services such as corporate bank account opening services, offshore financial licenses application, setting up offshore company, nominee director and shareholder services, and many more services like that.

Tetra Consultants

Tetra Consultants is the consulting firm that works as your advisor and trusted partner in your business expansion. We tell our clients what they need to know, instead of what they want to hear. Most importantly, we are known for being a one-stop solution for our valued clients. Contact us now at for a non-obligatory free consultation. Our team of experts will be in touch with you within the next 24 hours.

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