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How to register an Enterprise with the Quebec Enterprise Register (REQ)?

To the point Would you like to register an Enterprise with the Quebec Enterprise Register (REQ)? Find out more about the steps to follow.

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.

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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.

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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 names

Quebec 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 names

Quebec Enterprise Register
REQ registration

The advantage to registering voluntarily is that it makes public an enterprise’s existence as well as certain information concerning it. Once registered, the enterprise has the same obligations as an enterprise that is required to register.

So it’s up to you to choose the right form to register your business. The main thing is to have an NEQ and appear on the REQ.

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
Natural person $36 $54
Association and other group of persons $36 $54
Partnership $54 $81
For-profit legal person or trust $343 $514.50
Non-profit legal person $36 $54
Cooperative $36 $54
Annual registration fee

For example, it costs $36 for a natural person to renew their registration to the REQ each year.

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Annual formalities

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
Natural person $36
Association and other group of persons $36
Partnership $54
For-profit legal person or trust $92
Non-profit legal person $36
Cooperative $42
REQ registration

Thus, for a natural person, it costs $36 to register his business with the REQ.

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).

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How to register an enterprise in Quebec?

To register an enterprise with the REQ, several processes are offered online:

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):

Registration En
Registration - REQ
Registration Address En
Address - REQ registration
Registration Person Fr
Person - REQ registration
Home registration Fr
Home - REQ registration
Address

The address you indicate will be mentioned to the Registrar and accessible to anyone looking for your business in the Registrar.

Below, you can see that I chose slightly open activities for our enterprise selling products on eBay or Etsy:

Registration Activites Fr
Activities - REQ registration
Email registration En
Email - REQ registration

And after these few steps, you will have to validate your registration declaration with the REQ and then pay the fees!

Registration Payment Fr
Validation - REQ registration

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

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:

2 AIR MILES credit cards:

To make a choice between these cards check out this post.

cards Company Fr Amex

BMO

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.

2 AIR MILES credit cards:

1 BMO Rewards credit card:

1 cash back credit card:

Other institutions

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!

Conclusion

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!

REQ - Air Canada
Air Canada - REQ Registration

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