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A professional corporation is one that provides professional services and is regulated by a governing professional body. In Ontario, you need to set up a professional corporation if you are a professional and you plan on offering your services through a company.
Nurses and other regulated health professionals can incorporate their practice in Ontario. Whether you should depends on a number of factors, such as the nature of your business and your personal financial circumstances. The College recommends you discuss your situation with an accountant or lawyer before deciding to incorporate.
The following information is intended for College members who are considering professional incorporation.
What is the role of the College in professional incorporation?
The College’s role in professional corporations is to:
- collect and store shareholder information
- create and maintain a public register of registered members and nursing professional corporations
- establish and maintain an administrative process, including fees and filings related to issuing, renewing, suspending or revoking a certificate of authorization for professional incorporations.
The College exists to regulate the nursing profession in the public interest. It is the practice of its members, and not the practice of professional corporations, that concerns the College.
What do I need to do to set up a professional corporation?
If you decide to incorporate, then you should first confirm the name of your corporation with the College to ensure it meets the naming requirements (see below).
You will then need to apply for and obtain incorporation from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. You do this by filing your articles of incorporation with the Ministry and submitting any fees and documents they require.
A copy of a corporation profile report, issued by the Ministry (or a service provider under contract to the Ministry), must then accompany your application for a Certificate of Authorization. The report must not be dated more than 30 days before your submit your application to the College.
Contact the Ministry for more information about incorporating.
How do I apply for a Certificate of Authorization?
You can apply by filling out the Certificate of Authorization application form and submitting it to the College.
Is there a fee for registering my health professional corporation?
Yes. See our Fees page for a list of our professional corporation fees.
Are there restrictions on health professional corporations?
Provincial legislation imposes a number of restrictions, including:
- Only members of the profession (i.e., members of the College) can be shareholders.
- The officers and directors must be shareholders.
- The name of the corporation is limited to and must include:
- the surname of one or more shareholder(s) as set out in the College register along with given names or initials, if desired (e.g., Jones, Smith and Partners)
- the name of the health profession practised by the shareholder (e.g., Sullivan Nursing) and the words “Professional Corporation” or “Société professionnelle”
- the final name should appear as follows: Jones, Smith & Partners Nursing Professional Corporation.
- The name of the professional corporation cannot be a numbered company (e.g., 1234567 Ontario Inc.).
- The corporation can only practise the profession or ancillary services (i.e., nursing care, health care, foot care).
- The corporation is subject to College investigative and regulatory powers.
What is my professional responsibility and accountability for inappropriate activities of the professional corporation?
The corporation’s shareholders are responsible for upholding the professional standards. Directors and officers remain accountable for practising nursing in accordance with the College’s independent practice guidelines, especially in relation to business advertising. They also remain accountable to the College for their professional conduct.
Is information about my corporation made public?
Yes. The College’s public register, Find a Nurse, will provide the public with the name and address of the corporation, the names of all shareholders and any revocations of the corporation’s Certificate of Authorization.
Can someone issue a complaint against a corporation or an individual within the corporation?
Yes. Anyone can make a complaint against a nurse or corporation. The Regulated Health Professions Act allows the College to investigate concerns about nursing practice. Consumers can also contact the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services for concerns about a corporation’s business practices.
How is the Certificate of Authorization maintained?
You must renew your Certificate of Authorization each year in addition to paying an annual renewal fee.
Directors and shareholders must inform the College of a change in status within 10 days.