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Professional Corporations

Professional Corporations Are The Only Corporate Structure Permitted for Registered Firms

A professional corporation is a corporation incorporated under s.3.1 of the Ontario Business Corporations Act.

Professional Corporation Terms and Regulatory Information

 Note: Please be advised that Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario cannot provide legal advice, interpret the law or conduct research. The information provided below is intended as a general guide only.

A "professional corporation" means a corporation incorporated under the Ontario Business Corporations Act, which has as its only shareholder(s) a member or members.

A "registration certificate" means a certificate issued under the act, bylaws, or regulations to a professional corporation permitting the professional corporation to engage in providing accounting services to the public.

A "certificate of authorization" means a certificate issued to a professional corporation pursuant to the Public Accounting Act, 2004 to permit the professional corporation to engage in the practice of public accounting.

To obtain a certificate of authorization, at least one shareholder of the professional corporation must hold a current public accounting licence. A "licence" means a licence issued to a member pursuant to the Public Accounting Act, 2004 to permit the member to engage in the practice of public accounting.

A professional corporation may not offer or provide public accounting or accounting services to the public unless it is registered in accordance with the regulations and such registration is in good standing.

Any significant changes in practice, composition or structure must be sent in writing ten (10) days prior to such change being effected. A significant change includes but is not limited to any change in shareholder, director, officer, articles of incorporation, or dissolution. Please complete the Professional Corporation Update Form 4-6B.

A professional corporation must have a physical office location and all office locations providing services or carrying on business in Ontario must be registered.

The name of the professional corporation must include "professional corporation" or "Société Professionnelle."

Important Notes on Submitting Applications to CPA Ontario

Incomplete applications will result in a delay in processing your request and may result in your request being denied or closed.

All submissions must use the most current version of the forms available on CPA Ontario's website.

Applications are usually processed within 4 to 6 weeks of the date of receipt of the completed application. Processing time increases during periods of high volume.

Articles submitted to CPA Ontario must have been certified within the last 90 days of the date of receipt of the application for registration form. If greater than 90 days, a Certificate of Status issued by the Ministry must be included with the application form.

Electronically filed articles of incorporation are accepted.

Acceptable method of submission:

 Fax: 416 962.8900
 Mail: Attention to Registrar's Office, CPA Ontario, 69 Bloor Street East, Toronto, ON M4W 1B3

For more information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 1 800 387.0735 x4324.

How to Register a Professional Corporation

Extra-provincial registration of a professional corporation providing services in Ontario

If a professional corporation is based outside of Ontario and provides public accounting services in Ontario they must register with CPA Ontario.

How to apply for extra-provincial registration:

  • Complete the professional corporation application for Registration Form 4-6C and, if applicable, the Professional Corporation Application for a Certificate of Authorization Form 4-6D.
  • Attach Ministry-certified Extra-Provincial Corporation Form with an Ontario Corporation Number (OCN) and date of certification.
  • Attach a copy of the original Articles of Incorporation certified by the provincial ministry.

Certificate of authorization

Any professional corporation engaging in the practice of public accounting must hold an active certificate of authorization. However, if that professional corporation is a partner in a firm and the statement/report is issued under that firm, a certificate of authorization may not be required.

How to Apply for a Certificate of Authorization:

  • Complete and submit Form 4-6D along with a copy of the articles of incorporation and the fee. Articles submitted to CPA Ontario need to have been certified within 90 days of submitting the application. If the articles are older than 90 days, a Certificate of Status issued by the ministry must be included with the application form.
  • One of the shareholders must hold a licence. If applicable, attach the completed Application for Public Accounting Licence.
  • If the Public Accounting Licensee was not previously a shareholder of the corporation, documentation of the transfer or purchase of shares must be provided. If the licensee is made a director or officer, a copy of Form 1 from the Ministry showing the change to directors/officers must be provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to common questions about professional corporations.

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