The Canadian province of Manitoba is recognized as a land of natural beauty filled with clean, safe, and friendly cities and towns that offer you a calm and relaxed lifestyle. Manitoba has one of Canada’s most reliable and diversified economies, with low cost of living and a wide array of opportunities for quality careers, education, and business.
Manitoba remains one of the fastest-growing Canadian provinces and one of the best places in the country where small businesses are enjoying tremendous growth. There are over 35,000 small businesses in Manitoba, and being in the heart of Canada, it is renowned as a very vital part of the flourishing Canada’s economy.
Also, since a good number of its businesses are small businesses, the economy is primarily focused on natural resources, and these borders more on agriculture. Manitoba’s farmlands are also a very significant part of the province’s economy; renowned as the third place in Canada to have the most farms.
The province of Manitoba, along with IRCC, offers foreign nationals the opportunity to invest, immigrate, and enjoy living in Canada via the Manitoba Investment Program. The MPNP-B will only nominate individuals eager to live in Manitoba with their dependent family members, make an investment into a new or existing business and also take up an active managerial role in that same business.
Have it in mind that the diversity of Manitoba’s growing industries and economic sectors ensures that the unemployment rate stays low, and also establishes a conducive environment for start-ups. Good wages, safe working conditions, generous benefits, and workers’ rights are some of the highlights of working or even living in Manitoba.
Steps to Register a Business in Manitoba
In recent times, Manitoba has adopted a unique approach to business registration. For instance, just as in many other Canadian provinces, unincorporated companies are not expected to register. They are only mandated to register their business name.
The only businesses not expected to register their business name are companies run under the sole proprietor’s name. Every other business is expected to reserve and register a name, while your next steps will depend on the business structure you choose. The basic steps to register a business in Manitoba include;
Table of Contents
1. Choose Your Business Idea
The first step of registering a business in Manitoba is to decide on the type of business you intend to operate, and the type of business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) that will meet your needs.
Aside from putting together a detailed business plan to guide your steps, you should consider consulting with a lawyer or accountant, especially if you are not sure of the type of business structure that best suit your needs. Also carry out extensive research on the market, the industry, and your competition.
2. Reserving a Name
You are expected to register a business name before you can legally register your business in Manitoba. To register your business name, you will first have to submit a Name Reservation form to check if the name is unattached and free for you to use. Note that the Name Reservation filing fee is $45.00 and the Request for Name Reservation can be filed online.
To be approved, the name you choose will need to have a distinctive element (such as a catchy name, location, or personal name), a descriptive element (maybe the type of product or services provided), and if it will be a corporation it will be expected to end with a legal element (such as Inc., Ltd., or Corp.).
Once the name you’ve submitted is available, it will be reserved for a 90-day period, and then you can move on to the next step of either registering just the business name or incorporating your business.
3. Registering your business
After you must have reserved a name for your business, it is now time to move on to the next phase – business registration proper. If you intend to structure your business as a sole proprietor or a limited partnership, you will have to fill out and file the Registration of Business Name form.
This form is meant to be sent to the Companies Office attached with the $60.00 fee. To be approved, you have to complete the registration form using ink or have it typed. Have it in mind that the Companies Office does not accept double-sided forms or faxed copies of the form, therefore you have to forward this form directly to the Companies Office.
You can get the Registration of a Business form here: (http://www.companiesoffice.gov.mb.ca/forms/bnr_e.pdf)
The guidelines for completing the Registration of a Business Name form require you to complete your forms using ink, or typed. They do not accept double-sided forms for faxed copies of the form, so you will need to send this form directly to the Companies Office.
The content of the forms basically are looking for you to provide some information, including the business name, the contact person, the address of the business, the start date of the business, the type of business, as well as your business number (if applicable), and registrant information. This link breaks down the instructions for registering a business name:
For a corporation, once you have your name reserved you will have to file the Articles of Incorporation and pay the $350 fee to the Companies Office. When these are received you will be assigned a number to the corporation. To print out a copy of the Articles of Incorporation form go here: (http://www.companiesoffice.gov.mb.ca/forms/artincsh.pdf)
You will also need to file what is known as a Request for Service if you wish to incorporate. There is no fee for this form. However, it must be submitted with your Articles of Incorporation to complete the process. A copy of the form can be found here: (http://www.companiesoffice.gov.mb.ca/forms/requests.pdf).
5. Pay the Required Fees
Once you have successfully reserved a name for your business, then you are expected tp pay the required fees and below is a breakdown of what you are expected to pay;
- Name Reservation – $45
Registration of Business Name
- Partnership – $60
- Sole Proprietorship – $60
- Power of Attorney – $40
- Incorporation – $350
- Non-Profit Incorporation – $120
6. Apply and Obtain the Needed Business License and Permits
Please note that licensing for business in Manitoba is different from business registration and it is the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division that handles the application process. If you want to apply for business license, you would need to go along with a photo identification and proof of work status.
Despite the fact that obtaining specific business license may not be necessary for all businesses, it is the standard that new businesses in certain industries will need to get business licenses before they can operate legally within their municipalities.
If your business can generate health implications then you would need a business license to operate in Manitoba. Businesses such as food truck, hospitals, labs, hairdressers, pet shops, grocery stores, holistic centers, secondhand shops, nightclubs and restaurants among others.
If you are not sure on the type of business license and permit to apply for, you should visit Industry Canada’s BizPaL. They have useful tool for finding out what federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licenses you will need to do business in any province in Canada. As a matter of fact, BizPaL will provide a personalized list of the business documents you need for all levels of government.
7. Register for the Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST)
The next step that you are expected to take is to ensure that your register for the goods and services tax /harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) in your province. If your new small business’s gross income exceeds $30,000, it is mandatory to register for GST/HST. (Note that this Small Supplier exemption doesn’t apply to all businesses: taxi and limousine services, for instance, always have to register for GST/HST.)
In order to be on the good book of the law when operating your business in Canada as a new business that is not making up $30,000, it is still to your advantage to register for GST/HST immediately because of Input Tax Credits, which are basically your way of getting back the GST/HST your business has paid out on purchases for business use.
If you are interested in finding out more information on the GST/HST, visit Answers to Common GST/HST Questions and/or the GST/HST library.
8. Register for Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
The next step to follow in order to ensure that your business is starting on the right footing is to ensure that you register for provincial sales tax (PST). For example, if you choose to start your business in Saskatchewan or British Columbia or Manitoba, it is compulsory to register as a collector of provincial sales tax (PST).
But, if you decide to start your business in Quebec, you will need to register for Quebec Sales Tax (QST). Please note that some provinces have not harmonized their sales taxes with the federal goods and services tax (GST) and in those provinces, you will also have to register to collect and remit the appropriate provincial tax.
Requirements for Registering a Business in Manitoba
In the Canadian Province of Manitoba, the primary requirement for business registration, regardless of the size and industry, is to have a name reservation completed with the Province of Manitoba Companies Office branch. Note that to have the name reserved with the province, you will be expected to provide at least a single name for the branch to review.
Whether it is for a new business or an amendment to an existing one, here are the basic requirements of registering a business in Manitoba;
- Proposed name of the business: Note that the name provided is expected to be the name that is submitted for the Name Reservation with the Province.
- The address of the registered head office: To be approved, this address will have to be located within the Province of Manitoba.
- The name(s) and the address(es) of the applicant(s).
- Business activity: A simple but concise description of the services or products the business will provide to clients.
- Contact Person: Have it in mind that this is the person who will most likely be contacted for any questions or concerns with the registration.
- Place of Business: You are expected to provide the full address of where the business is located. In the cities of Winnipeg and Brandon, a Postal Office box will only be accepted if the form provides a civic address for the mailing address or applicant(s) address.
- Starting date of the business: Note that this date will not have to be more than 30 days from the date of the initial registration. However, if the business is being renewed after 5 years or more of business, then only a month and year are required.
- In addition, if the registration that is submitted is a renewal, tax account information may be necessary for the renewal process.
Cost of Registering a Business in Manitoba
Name Reservation: $65
- Registration of Business Name
- Partnership: $60
- Sole Proprietorship: $60
- Power of Attorney: $40
- Incorporation: $350
- Non-Profit Incorporation: $120