Register a Professional Corporation with CPA Ontario

A professional corporation is a corporation owned and operated by one or more members of the same profession. The shareholders of a professional corporation registered with CPA Ontario can be:

  • one or more members of CPA Ontario
  • other professional corporations registered as firms with CPA Ontario
  • both CPA Ontario members and registered professional corporations

Professional corporation registration steps

Request to pre-approve firm name

The Registrar can approve or reject a firm name. It is best practice to obtain pre-approval before you move forward with other registration steps. The name of the professional corporation must include the words "Professional Corporation" or "Société professionnelle."

You may request a pre-approval by logging in to My Portal, selecting Obligations and Requests ► Applications ► Start New Application ► Firm Name Pre-Approval Application. The request must include all relevant facts such as:

  • proposed name
  • nature of the services being provided
  • practice structure
  • number of members, students and non-members involved with the practice
  • names of the member(s) involved in the practice
Responses will be sent by email. The pre-approval is valid for 180 days, but this does not mean your firm name is reserved. For guidance on firm names, you can refer to the CPA Code of Professional Conduct Rules 401/402, Regulation 10-1, our page on disclosure requirements and the Ontario Business Names Act.

Register with the Ministry

Apply to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. Have a copy available when completing the applications or requests.

Note: Professional corporations require an Ontario Corporations Number (OCN) to be registered with CPA Ontario.

Obtain professional liability insurance

When registering a firm, you must provide satisfactory proof of professional liability insurance before you can complete your firm registration and begin to practice public accounting or provide accounting services to the public. Read more about obtaining Professional Liability Insurance.

Register with CPA Ontario

Register your firm with CPA Ontario by logging in to My Portal, selecting Obligations and Requests ► Applications ► Start New Application ► Firm Registration Application.

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

Applications are usually processed within four to six weeks from the date CPA Ontario receives all required information.

Do you also require a public accounting licence (PAL)?

You will require a PAL from CPA Ontario if you practice public accounting and are the lead engagement person responsible for signing reports or statements issued or primarily produced in Ontario. Find out more on requirements and how to apply.

Obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA)

If you wish to engage in the practice of public accounting through your professional corporation, you will be required to obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA).

To obtain a COA, at least one shareholder of the professional corporation must hold a current public accounting licence or apply for a public accounting licence. However, if a professional corporation is a partner or shareholder in a firm and any statement/report is issued under that firm, a COA may not be required.

To apply, go to My Portal, select Firm Dashboard ► Select Firm to choose the appropriate firm ► Applications ► Start New Application ► Certificate of Authorization (COA) Application.

Applications are usually processed within three to five weeks of the date of receipt.

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

A professional corporation must register as a firm with CPA Ontario if they’re based outside of Ontario and provide public accounting services in Ontario. Please contact us for further information.

How to apply for extra-provincial registration

Register with CPA Ontario by logging in to My Portal and selecting Obligations and Requests ► Applications ► Start New Application ►Firm Registration.

Professional Corporations FAQs