There are many perks to applying for Prince Edward Island incorporation, but the process can be tedious and time consuming. From selecting a corporation name that will easily be accepted by the government to correctly filling out your Articles of Incorporation, there are a lot of small mistakes which can have costly consequences later in the process. That is why it is best to seek the help of a professional filing service or a lawyer right from the start.
When incorporating in PEI you will need to have your attorney affidavit signed by an attorney anyway, so you might as well just hire a good attorney right from the start. Or, you can get a good filing service that can get the affidavit signed for you. This speeds the process up than if you were to fill out the paperwork yourself then seek the signed affidavit.
Selecting Your Corporation Name
This is the most difficult part of incorporating in PEI. You have to find a corporation name that will pass all of the following criteria:
- Distinct from any other business operating in Prince Edward Island.
- Representative of your business.
- In French or English, or both
- Ending with one of the following: Inc., Corporation, Limited, Limitee, Ltd., Incorporated, Corp.
Just putting one of those endings on an existing business name is not enough in many cases. You have to make sure that all elements of the name are clearly distinguishable from all other PEI business names. This requires some effort since you need the name to represent the type of business you operate but the terms cannot be too similar to what is being used by your competitors.
To see whether your intended name for Prince Edward Island incorporation should pass the application process, you have to pay for a name search. This search will go through all other business names in PEI and determine whether your name is too similar to any of them. If it is, you will need to change the name and perform another search.
The only way to get around the complicated naming process is to go with a numbered corporation name. This allows you to quickly file your Articles of Incorporation and the government will assign your corporation a number that becomes your official name.
If you go with a numbered name you will need to file for DBA to get a name that can be used for advertising purposes. Numbered names aren’t good for marketing! So, while you can file for Prince Edward Island incorporation quicker by going this route, you still have to go through the DBA process once you have succeeded with incorporating in PEI.
What Will You Need for Prince Edward Island Incorporation?
You have a few options for incorporating in PEI:
- Get the forms and fill them out yourself.
- Hire an attorney to fill out the paperwork and file on your behalf.
- Go with an online filing service to get the paperwork submitted on your behalf.
The benefit of doing everything yourself is you save a bit of money, but if you make mistakes your application can be rejected and you have to start all over. Plus, you still have to get a signed attorney affidavit to turn in with your Articles of Incorporation, so you might as well put the entire process into the hands of an attorney or professional filing service.
No matter which option you choose to get your paperwork filed, you will need the following information prior to filing for Prince Edward Island incorporation:
- Preferred corporation name
- Address of registered office
- Names & addresses for shareholders
- Number of shares to be held by each shareholder
- Names & addresses for directors
- Names & addresses for officers
- Fiscal year end for the corporation
- Names & addresses for accountants/auditors (not mandatory)
While collecting this information you will be deciding the basic structure of your corporation. There are some guidelines on each of these items, which will be known by your hired attorney or filing service.
If you choose to file on your own, here are the basic guidelines you will need to be aware of:
- Your registered office doesn’t have to be an actual office, but it does have to be within the limits of Prince Edward Island.
- You can have up to 50 shareholders and there must be at least one.
- Your directors do not have to be living in Canada.
- You can file without assigning auditors or accountants.
What Does Incorporating in PEI Cost?
The basic fee for Prince Edward Island incorporation is $260 (at the time this article was published). There will also be a charge for the name search unless you decide to go with a numbered corporation. Since you have to obtain a signed attorney affidavit for Prince Edward Island incorporation there will be some extra expense there as well.
If you decide to hire someone to fill out the Articles of Incorporation and handle the filing on your behalf, you will have to pay a reasonable fee for that service as well. In the long run it will be worth the effort, since you know everything is filled out correctly and your application is much less likely to be rejected.