Registering with the Registraire des Entreprises du Québec (REQ ) is essential for any company wishing to start up in Quebec. But why should a company register? What are the costs and benefits? This article provides a complete guide to the REQ registration process.
Why register an entreprise with the Registraire des Entreprises du Québec?
Registering an enterprise with the Registraire des Entreprises du Québec (REQ) is one of the first steps in an entrepreneur’s life and offers many advantages. Often, a sole proprietor will have started his business without registration.
Yet, this registration grants a business legal status, facilitating legal pursuits, contract signings, professional bank account openings, and reporting business income and expenses directly in individual tax returns. Additionally, this procedure bolsters the company’s credibility and legitimacy among partners and customers.
The next step with registration, a reasonably straightforward procedure, becomes indispensable. Detailed guidelines for registering a business with the REQ can be found on this page.
Find below the main steps of your small business registration. Also, don’t miss out on checking Canada’s top business credit card deals.
The REQ registration process aims to compile in the REQ details about businesses and individuals conducting business in Quebec. Such details are crucial for citizens, business associates, and governmental bodies transacting with them.
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 and other government agencies.
Who can register an enterprise in Quebec?
The REQ lists numerous individual types or business legal structures that must file a registration declaration. Hence, anyone or any entity intending to conduct business in Quebec must register, whether an individual, a corporation, or a partnership.
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 namesRegistraire des Entreprises du Québec
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 namesRegistraire des Entreprises du Québec
How much does it cost to register an enterprise in Quebec?
The fees applicable to a registration declaration are updated annually on this page (only available in French).
|Association and other group of persons||$36||$54|
|For-profit legal person or trust||$343||$514.50|
|Non-profit legal person||$36||$54|
Registration fees vary according to the type of business. It is, therefore, essential to consult the official REQ website for up-to-date rates.
Once registered, the company must comply with certain annual formalities to remain in good standing.
Only two formalities are required:
- payment of annual registration fees
- annual updating declaration
Annual registration fee
First, here are the annual fees to renew its registration with the REQ. Rates are updated every year on this page (only in French).
|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 (only in French)
- 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 just basic information to be submitted online or in person.
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.
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:
After these steps, you must validate your registration declaration with the REQ and pay the registration fees!
A few days later, you will receive all the documentation you need to register with the REQ and your Quebec Enterprise number (NEQ)!
Access to My Office by clicSÉQUR
Once your company is registered, you’ll automatically receive a permanent clicSÉQUR code by email, enabling you to log on to “My Office” at the Enterprise Registrar on the quebec.ca website.
ClicSÉQUR is the Quebec government’s authentication service. It gives citizens and businesses secure access to many of the online services offered by the Quebec government. Using ClicSÉQUR, users can access their personal or corporate information while ensuring that their data is protected.
Access to “My Office” can be helpful for any new declarations or changes to information in your company file. You will be able to:
- File or amend statuses
- Submit an update declaration (annual, current, or correction)
- Produce a declaration related to termination, liquidation, or dissolution
- Request services such as document copies
- Pay your registration fees
What's the difference between REQ and NEQ?
REQ (Registraire des entreprises du Québec) and NEQ (Quebec Business Number) are related but refer to different concepts within the Quebec business registration system. Here are the main distinctions:
REQ (Registraire des entreprises du Québec)
Nature: REQ is a government agency responsible for registering, maintaining and disseminating data on businesses operating in Quebec.
Function: Collects, preserves and disseminates information on Quebec companies. In addition, REQ provides access to the company register, where information on individual business entities is stored.
Responsibility: REQ administers the legal obligations of businesses, such as registration, annual declaration submissions, and updating business details.
NEQ (Quebec Business Number)
Nature: The NEQ is a unique number assigned to each company when registering with the REQ.
Function: It identifies the company and must be used in all communications with Quebec government departments and agencies.
Feature: The NEQ is a ten-digit number that enables quick and precise identification of the company in the register.
Small Business Credit Cards
Once you’ve registered with the REQ, financial management becomes paramount, and taking out a small business card is much simpler.
Here’s our pick.
American Express offers generous rewards and advanced protection for businesses. It provides five cards for self-employed workers, professionals and small business owners.
Three cards from the Membership Rewards program:
With competitive offers, BMO offers four cards for self-employed workers, 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:
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 can provide your NEQ and a copy of your REQ registration. Justifying the existence of your small business!
Frequently Asked Questions on the Registre des Entreprises du Québec
Why register a business with the REQ?
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.
What information does the file of a registered enterprise provide?
The enterprise register contains information concerning the identity of an enterprise or an association registered in Québec. Such as:
- its Québec enterprise number (NEQ);
- its name;
- its address;
- its legal form;
- the date it last updated its information in the register;
- its main fields of activity;
- its shareholders;
- its directors;
- its partners;
- its establishments;
- the index of documents that it has filed and that have been deposited in the register;
- the other names it uses in Quebec.
What is a Québec enterprise Number (NEQ)?
The NEQ is a 10-digit number assigned to an enterprise when it is registered in the enterprise register.
What is REQ registration?
Registration is the attribution of a Québec enterprise number (NEQ) by the Registraire des entreprises. Its purpose is to compile information related to the enterprises and persons carrying on business in Québec. Most enterprises must, once created, register with the Registraire des entreprises by filing a registration declaration.
What are the best small business credit cards in Canada?
There are many credit cards for small businesses in Canada. Find out more on our page about the best credit card offers for small businesses.