If your business is growing, you might be thinking about changing its legal structure (company, general partnership, etc.). Or, if you recently bought a company, you might want to change its name to better reflect your image. You can make such changes by following certain steps.
Changing the legal structure of your business
You can change the legal structure of your business without interrupting your operations. The procedure depends on your current structure and what you want to change it to.
Whatever change you have in mind, you must generally:
- Register your business with Revenu Québec.
- Register your business with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec (Quebec business registry)
- Notify the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (labour standards, pay equity and workplace health and safety board)
Which legal structure should you choose?
You can operate your business in one of several forms: company, sole proprietorship, general partnership, etc. Each has its own special features. Here’s a brief summary of the most common ones:
- Sole proprietorship (self-employment) — a business run by a single person, often referred to as a self-employed worker.
- General partnership — a group of people carrying out a common activity.
- Business corporation (company) — a legal entity having a separate legal existence from its owners, as well as its own legal rights and obligations.
Each legal structure has advantages and disadvantages. To learn more, see our article Starting a Business: Choosing the Right Legal Structure.
Changing the name of your business
You can change the name of your business at any time by following certain steps which depend on its legal structure. For example, changing a company’s name must be approved by a special resolution by the board of directors.
You have two options when changing the name of your business:
- Choose a new name (e.g., Groupe ABC inc.).
- Choose a generic name, in which case the Registraire des entreprises du Québec (business registrar) will assign a name to you (e.g., 1234-5678 Québec inc.).
Lastly, you must update your business information with the Registraire des entreprises du Québec.
To learn more, see our article Choosing a Name and Logo for Your Business.
Changing the legal structure or name of a business can be complicated. Professionals, such as lawyers and notaries who specialize in business law, can help you with these procedures.
To find one, see the Lawyers and Notaries section of our Get More Help page.