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How to Register Your Construction Company


How to Register Your Construction Company


Information and news on the construction sectorHow to Register Your Construction Company

If the pandemic offered us insight into anything, it’s that home renovation and construction have plenty of public interest. This interest doesn’t seem to be fading. The construction industry is a booming one, as a contractor or entrepreneur (or both), you may be curious about starting and registering your own business.

The demand for skilled contractors is definitely there, but what are the logistics when it comes to registering a construction company?

If you’re looking to transition into owning your very own business in Canada, now is as good a time as any to jump right into this venture. As our economy grows, your business can grow alongside it. This article will list the primary steps and considerations that you should take in order to turn your construction company business dream into a reality! Moreover, we’ll be looking specifically at Ontario and Alberta. 

How to register your construction company in Canada

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Determine your type of business

Regardless of the province where you’re located, if you’re registering a business in Canada, it will need to be recognized by the Government of Canada as well as the Canada Revenue Agency. This means you’ll have to obtain a legal license for your business. 

This process will involve deciding whether you want to register as a small business or an incorporated company. We’ll go over the pros and cons below but would like to note that many of the larger Canadian construction companies choose to be incorporated for the reasons we’ll detail below.

Personal liability

When you register as a small business, you are personally liable for the actions of your business alone. This means that any liabilities your business incurs will be charged to you. When it comes to incorporation, the business will be separate from you and thus, will have its own liability risk that’s separate from your individual person.


Unfortunately, a small business license will not offer you name protection, so it’s easy to have your name or something similar used with no real recourse. In contrast, when incorporated you do have name protection and may be able to seek infringement recourse if someone decides to register a similar business name.


With a small business, you’ll be taxed at a personal income level as registering a business means that it’ll automatically become part of your personal tax account. With an incorporated company, the corporation has its own tax account independent from yours. Do bear in mind this will require you to file both a personal and business tax return each year. Corporations are privy to lower tax rates and other tax concessions. 

Registration length

The length of your business registration will depend on the province you’re in. In Ontario, a business license will be valid for 5 years and once this time is up you’ll be able to register your business for another 5 years. Otherwise, the Ontario Government will automatically cancel it. In Alberta, your business license will be active indefinitely and remain valid unless you choose to dissolve the business. 

In regards to an incorporated company, it’s continual. In Ontario, the corporation has no yearly filings. However, in Alberta, you’ll be required to file an annual return in order to remain active.

Regulations and licensing

In Canada, there are specific licensing requirements when it comes to skilled trades. In many cases, each Province has their own rules and you can determine this by checking with the College of Trades or the equivalent to figure out what these are. 

For Ontario specifically, there are trades referred to as compulsory trades which need licensing or certifications to legally operate. Here is a brief list of some of the trades that do require specific licensing: 

  • Electrician
  • Gasfitter
  • Refrigeration / AC
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Plumbing
  • Oil Burner Mechanic

For the very specific trade licensing specifications check here for Ontario and here for Alberta. Do keep in mind that for certain cities you’ll need municipal licensing to practice certain construction projects.

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Health and safety regulations

Health and safety are very important considerations when it comes to registering a business. You want to make sure that your workers are protected. In regards to the many trades covered under the construction sector, you’ll need to register with your provincial Workers Safety Board. It’s also recommended to look into the workplace safety regulations as defined by the Ministry of Labour, Skills and Training Development. For construction companies, there is a long list of considerations as this is a career with many risks. This includes covering areas such as fall prevention, hazardous substances, scaffolds, and so forth.

You can find Ontario regulations here, and Alberta regulations here.

Trade associations

In the construction industry, trade associations are a useful tool to connect with others in the field locally as well as internationally. Some options are:

If you're just getting started in this industry, registering with a trade association comes with many benefits. These include: saving money, gaining guidance, networking, learning from others in the field, maintaining the best construction and renovation practices, boosting your company reputation.

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Insurance is a crucial consideration for any business, but especially in the construction industry where you’ll need protection against various risks. Without insurance, you’ll be liable for every and all costs related to the workplace including injuries, broken equipment and so on. To do this, contact an insurance company and obtain construction liability insurance that covers both general and property liabilities. In some instances, you’ll also want to cover any vehicles your business is using. 

In specific cases and with specific clients, you may require additional types of insurance including workers compensation insurance, disability insurance or unemployment insurance. 

Follow these links to register your business in Ontario and Alberta

Follow these links to incorporate them in Ontario and Alberta.

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Last modified 2022-07-25

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Therefore, it’s important to find financial resources that can boost investments to develop sustainable solutions, thereby making net-zero emissions further achievable. The challenges faced require a comprehensive approach that involves construction industry players, governments, and research agencies. It’s important to find innovative solutions as well as adopt incentive measures to promote net-zero emissions in Quebec’s construction industry. The Advantages of Net-Zero Carbon Construction Source: Canva Despite its challenges, the benefits of net-zero emissions in construction are plenty. To name just a few: Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions Green building and net-zero emissions significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby contributing to the fight against climate change. Improves Indoor Air Quality Net-zero emissions constructions are often equipped with an efficient ventilation system that improves indoor air quality, thereby reducing health hazards for occupants. Cuts Long Term Energy Costs Carbon-neutral structures are designed to be energy efficient, which, in turn, means significantly cutting down long-term heating, air conditioning, and electrical costs. Creates Green Jobs Transitioning toward carbon-neutral construction requires the expertise and know-how of skilled construction and energy efficiency professionals, thereby creating new job opportunities in renewable energy fields. Promotes Innovation Zero-carbon building often requires the use of innovative technologies and materials, thereby promoting research and development in the field of sustainable construction. Refines Company Brand Image Companies that commit to carbon-neutral projects benefit from a more positive environmental and sustainable image, which can attract a more involved and eco-conscious client base. Respects Regulatory Standards An increasing amount of environmental standards and regulations are established to promote carbon-neutral construction. By complying, Quebec’s construction industry players avoid potential sanctions and fines. In a nutshell, in the province of Quebec, net-zero emission construction has numerous advantages, from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to improving the quality of life of occupants, with significant energy savings and job opportunities in the field of renewable energy in between. It also allows companies to bolster their commitment to sustainability as well as comply with continually evolving regulatory standards. Heading Toward Net-Zero Emissions: A Sustainable Future Courtesy of the Construction Industry Net-zero construction is a key priority for Canada, which implements measures and initiatives to promote zero-carbon building practices. Despite lingering challenges, net-zero emissions offer numerous long-term advantages for the construction industry. 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Following Quebec's Oil Heating Ban, Gas Is Next

Last December, Mister Benoit Charette, of Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (Ministry of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change), announced a ban against installing or repairing oil heating systems in residential homes. Furthermore, alongside this new directive, as of December 31, 2023, it’ll also be prohibited to replace oil-fueled boilers with heating devices that use fossil fuels in existing buildings. This initiative, which was endorsed by several municipalities in Quebec, targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of clean and sustainable energy sources. As such, gas heating could be completely phased out of homes within the next few years. In this article, we’re going to look into the reasons behind this ban, what it means for residents and businesses, as well as possible natural gas alternatives. Why Is Replacing Oil with Gas Heating Banned? Source: Canva One of the primary drivers behind this ban is the fight against climate change. Natural gas remains a fossil energy source, and its extraction, transportation, and combustion generate significant amounts of greenhouse gasses, thereby contributing to global warming. By banning gas heating, the Government of Quebec is hoping to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in residential and commercial areas. In fact, based on estimations, gas heating contributes to roughly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec’s residential sector. By prohibiting this practice, the government is striving to further commit to a new strategy that aligns with its international obligations, as per the Paris Agreement, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What’s the Outlook on Gas Heating? Implementing a complete ban could mean significant ramifications for numerous residents and businesses. Truth be told, based on the data gathered from the 2016 Canadian census, about 31% of households in Quebec use natural gas heating. Therefore, it becomes all the more important for these residents to find alternative, and greener, options like electric heating systems, heat pumps, or solar systems. However, it’s important to highlight that this ban may not solely apply to gas heating, but also to gas stoves. This would mean that residents and businesses would also have to consider alternative options for their culinary needs. Similar actions have already been taken worldwide. Cities such as Vancouver and San Francisco have put a ban on gas usage in new buildings, while as of 2023, the state of California announced a complete ban on gas heating in new buildings. Are you looking for experts for your heating and air conditioning project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! How Will the Government of Quebec Reinforce this Transition? Source: Canva The Government of Quebec acknowledges the challenges facing residents and businesses alike. However, the Chauffez vert financial aid program was established specifically to help homeowners replace oil heating systems with more eco-friendly alternatives. In addition to financial assistance programs, the Government of Quebec is also proactively raising awareness among the population about the advantages of eco-friendly natural gas alternatives. This effort will be reinforced by the launch of an information and awareness campaign designed to encourage Quebec residents to favour environmentally sustainable heating and cooking solutions. To achieve this goal, it’s essential to emphasize the economic and environmental benefits of such alternatives, like: energy savings; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and improving indoor air quality. Oil and Natural Gas Bans for a More Sustainable Future To conclude, the ban on gas heating in Quebec is a bold decision aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a transition toward more sustainable alternatives. Although a decision like this surely means residents and businesses will face challenges, the Government of Quebec is striving to financially assist this transition as well as educate the public regarding the advantages of ecological alternatives.

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N/A 23 Aug 2023

The Impact of Inflation on Renovation Projects

Inflation significantly affects several economic sectors, and the renovation industry is no exception. When the cost of materials, supplies, and services increase, it gets much more difficult for homeowners to carry out renovation projects, whether it be minor or major repairs or remodels. In this article, we’ll delve into how inflation has affected the renovation industry in Quebec. Inflation Anchors Down Renovation Plans Source: Canva Let’s start off by saying that the current state of inflation is hindering homeowners who are looking to have renovation work done. While numerous homeowners became aware of the importance of improving their residences during the pandemic, labour and material costs are at an all-time high. This is caused by the lack of construction industry-specific labour as well as the rise of raw material costs. This situation renders renovation projects more expensive and deters some homeowners from moving forward with their projects. Contractors are even confiding that, over the past few months, some of their loyal clients have been having cash flow issues. To put some numbers on this global trend, according to the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l’habitation (APCHQ), after reaching record-blowing spending figures of 23.5 billion dollars last year, the renovation industry is expected to see a 15% drop in 2023, meaning 20 billion dollars overall. Therefore, experts are recommending planning renovation projects ahead of time and taking into account any additional costs related to inflation. Inflation Alters Job Types and Volume Source: Canva Inflation is curbing the demand for very minor and major renovation projects, and this same trend was confirmed by our company in 2023. This drop stems from several factors. Firstly, the pending state of the economy has led investors to adopt a different, more cautious approach. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the construction industry preventing numerous worksites from being created. In 2023, amongst the projects that are likely to be on the decline, small-scale residential renovations will be hit. Households affected by the health crisis are expected to cut back on home improvement or repair expenses. It’s said that so-called “medium-scale” renovation work will be amongst the most sought-after from contractors (projects ranging between $5,000 and $75,000). Overall, the province of Quebec has had and will continue to experience a rather slow year in regard to extensive construction worksites in 2023 and beyond. Given the precarious economic climate and the pandemic, an industry investment downturn is to be expected. Despite Inflation, the Renovation Craze Lives On Source: Canva Despite inflation, the renovation craze is still well and alive amongst homeowners in Quebec, and the reasons for that are plenty. Improving Quality of Life Renovations can improve the home’s comfort and functionality, which in turn improves the dwellers’ quality of life. Even though costs can be steeper due to inflation, people are still willing to invest in their happiness and well-being. Increasing Property Value Well-carried-out renovations can increase a property’s market value. As such, homeowners can be motivated to renovate to benefit from a potentially decent long-term return on investment, even if the initial cost is steeper due to inflation. Personal and Household Needs People have specific needs, like building an additional bedroom to accommodate a new family member, creating a home office as a result of the widespread work-from-home trend, or renovating a bathroom to meet accessibility requirements. These personal or household needs can rightly motivate a homeowner to renovate despite current inflation rates. Favouring Renovating to Moving Some people prefer renovating their homes rather than moving. They might’ve grown attached to their neighbourhoods, their neighbours, or the memories created in their homes. In such cases, inflation can be seen as a temporary hurdle that’s unmatched by a homeowner’s love for their property. Accessing Loans and Grants The Government of Quebec often makes low-interest rate grant programs available to encourage green or eco-friendly home renovation or improvements accessible. Such financial incentives can mitigate the impact of renovation cost inflation, which can encourage homeowners to move forward with their renovation plans despite inflation. Note that reasons to carry out renovations differ from one person to the next. Some might be more motivated by the financial aspect of it all, while others might be more inclined to do so for personal or practical considerations. A Definite Impact on Renovation Work, but Demands Are Still High Source: Canva In a nutshell, needless to say, inflation significantly affects the renovation industry. Steep material, labour, and related service costs render renovation projects more expensive and, thus less accessible for many homeowners. Moreover, increased interest rates can also dissuade property owners from moving forward with repair work. Despite these challenges, some homeowners are still driven to renovate their homes to increase their property’s market value and improve their quality of life. Furthermore, due to inflation, limited demands make renovation contractors rather readily available. Therefore, it might be just the right time to contemplate carrying out the desired renovation work if you’re looking for a shorter-than-usual timeline.

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