Register a company with the Quebec Enterprise Register
Registering a business with the Quebec Enterprise Register (REQ) is one of the first steps in an entrepreneur’s life. Often, a sole proprietor will have started his business without registration. Indeed, with this status, sole proprietors report their business income or losses on their personal tax return.
But soon, it will be necessary to go ahead with business registration, a rather simple process to perform. The whole process for registering a business with the REQ is detailed on this page.
Find below the main steps of your small business registration. And at the end of the post, check out the best business credit card offers available in Canada.
Why register an enterprise in Quebec?
The purpose of registration is to collect, in the enterprise register, information pertaining to enterprises and persons doing business in Québec. Such information is essential for individuals, business partners and government agencies that have dealings with these enterprises.
For example, some financial institutions may check your REQ registration to accept your business credit card application.
When registering a business, the REQ assigns a Quebec enterprise number (NEQ) to the enterprise. The enterprise uses its NEQ to identify itself with the REQ, as well as other government agencies.
Who can register an enterprise in Quebec?
The REQ mentions the types of persons or legal forms of business that must file a registration declaration. The one that is most common – especially among our readers – is:
Natural persons who operate a sole proprietorship in Québec, under a name that does not include their first and last namesQuebec Enterprise Register
As the REQ explains, it is also possible to register other legal forms of business on a voluntary basis, such as:
a natural person who operates a sole proprietorship under a name including the person’s first and last namesQuebec Enterprise Register
How much does it cost to register an enterprise in Quebec?
The fees applicable to a declaration of registration are updated each year on this page.
|Declaration of registration||Regular||Priority|
|Association and other group of persons||$36||$54|
|For-profit legal person or trust||$343||$514.50|
|Non-profit legal person||$36||$54|
Each year, only two formalities are required:
- payment of annual registration fees
- annual updating declaration
Annual registration fee
First of all, here are the annual fees to renew its registration with the REQ. Rates are updated every year on this page.
|Annual registration fee||Fee|
|Association and other group of persons||$36|
|For-profit legal person or trust||$92|
|Non-profit legal person||$36|
The annual update declaration to the REQ
Finally, care should be made to file an annual updating declaration each year, within the prescribed period.
This statement is free for all types of enterprise.
The annual updating declaration is very simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. For sole proprietorships or partnerships, the filing period is between January 1 and June 15.
If you do not do so within the time frame, a late production fee applies (less than twenty dollars for a natural person).
How to register an enterprise in Quebec?
To register an enterprise with the REQ, several processes are offered online:
- registration of a legal person
- registration of a natural person
- registration of a partnership
- registration of an association or group of persons
Let’s take the example of a natural person who wants to register an enterprise the REQ.
The registration of a natural person with the REQ
Who can register with the REQ as a natural person?
As the REQ states, “A natural person is not subject to the obligation to register merely because he or she uses a pseudonym for the exercise of a cultural activity of an artistic, literary or other nature. A natural person who has an address in Québec or who, by himself or through his representative acting under a general mandate, is in one of the following situations is presumed to carry on an activity or business in Québec:
- has an establishment in Québec;
- has a post office box in Quebec;
- has a telephone line in Quebec;
- performs an act in Quebec for the purpose of profit.
Any natural person who uses his full name to designate his business and who is not subject to the obligation to register may apply for registration by filing this declaration of registration and paying the required fees.”
So if you are considering starting a business selling products on eBay or Etsy, you have the right to register your enterprise under your own name. It will facilitate your business process (opening a bank account, applying for a small business credit card to split professional and personal expenses, etc.)
The information and documents required
To file a registration declaration, you will have to provide, depending on the situation, the following information:
- The name and address of the applicant
- The name of the natural person
- any other name that the natural person uses and under which he or she identifies in the course of his or her activities in Quebec, if applicable;
- The address of the natural person’s home
- The address of the elected home and the name of the person mandated to receive the documents of the natural person;
- The two main activities of the natural person;
- The number of employees whose workplace is located in Quebec;
- The names and addresses of Quebec-based establishments and their activities there;
- If applicable, the name and address of the administrator of the property of others, his office and the length of his term of office;
- If applicable, the name and address of the power-holder;
- contact information in case the REQ needs additional information to process the request.
This is basic information.
It will be up to you to define the two main activities based on the suggested list. This may be useful at the time of applying for a small business credit card so that the information is consistent with your REQ registration.
Steps to follow
It takes less than 10 minutes to make a registration declaration. Here are screenshots of the different steps (the registration service with the REQ is only offered in French):
Below, you can see that I chose slightly open activities for our enterprise selling products on eBay or Etsy:
And after these few steps, you will have to validate your registration declaration with the REQ and then pay the fees!
A few days later, you will receive all the documentation you need to register with the REQ as well as your Quebec Enterprise number!
Small Business Credit Cards
Once you have registered with the REQ, it will be much easier to apply for a small business credit card. Here’s our pick.
American Express provides 6 cards for the sole proprietors, professionals and small business owners. If in the past no verification was done, that is no longer necessarily the case today. Having your small business registered with the REQ gives you some peace of mind.
3 cards from the Membership Rewards program:
1 Marriott Bonvoy credit card:
To make a choice between these cards check out this post.
BMO has four credit cards for the sole proprietors, professionals and small business owners. Generally, there is no verification, but the application process can be subtle (which is why we have detailed this process on this page).
Since 2020, some new applicants have had to justify their REQ registration, at the time of picking up their new credit card in a branch.
1 BMO Rewards credit card:
1 cash back credit card:
Finally, other institutions – such as CIBC and TD – offer attractive credit cards for the sole proprietors, professionals and small business owners.
However, the application process will be more complicated than for American Express and BMO, often requiring:
- applying for the card in a branch
- bringing tax returns and other business documents
Here, the art of negotiation will be needed when you only show a REQ registration!
Once you have your business registered with the REQ, you’ll find it easier to apply for business credit cards.
If the institution asks for business documents at the time of your credit card application, or during your first year with the card, you will be able to provide your NEQ and a copy of your REQ registration. Justifying the existence of your small business!