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How to Find Business Records in Canada

Searching for Business Records in Canada

A variety of information on federal corporations and other types of businesses operating in Canada is available online.

Corporations Canada’s database of federal corporations and Industry Canada’s Canadian Company Capabilities database are two of the largest publicly accessible online databases containing information on Canadian businesses.

If you are searching for information on a federal corporation in Canada, the Corporations Canada database is the best place to start. It is the central repository for information on all federal corporations in the country and contains information on more than 480,000 active and inactive corporations.

This does not mean, however, that all businesses registered in Canada are listed. Since only federal corporations are included, information on other types of businesses in Canada will not appear.

Anyone can search the Canadian database of federal corporations free of charge. In order to search online, follow these steps:

  1. Go to:

http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/cgi-bin/sc_mrksv/corpdir/dataOnline/search.cgi?lang=e

  1. Fill in at least one of the fields on the online search form. You can search by:
    1. Corporation name
    2. Corporation number
    3. City and/or province of the registered office
    4. Corporation status – whether the corporation is active, inactive, dissolved, discontinued, bankrupt or amalgamated
    5. The Act under which the corporation was incorporated
    6. The creation date of the corporation. It is also possible to search a range of dates
    7. Any combination of these search criteria.
  2. Once you have completed at least one field on the form, click on the ‘submit’ button
  3.  A list of results will appear with the following information on each corporation:
    1. Corporation number
    2. Creation date
    3. Status - whether the corporation is active, inactive, dissolved, etc
    4. Corporation name
    5. Alternate name of corporation
  4. Scroll through the list of results to find the corporation that you are searching for. If you then click on that corporation, further information will appear, including:
    1. Old names and dates of name changes
    2. Full address of the registered office
    3. Number of directors and their names
    4. Information on the filing of the corporation’s annual return or summary
    5. Financial reports (as long as the corporation is a distributing corporation)
    6. Information on amalgamation(s), if relevant
    7. A list of parent and subsidiary corporations, if relevant

The database can also be searched in the French language at: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/cgi-bin/sc_mrksv/corpdir/dataOnline/search.cgi?lang=f

If you wish to find out the home addresses of a corporation’s directors, you can do so by making a written request. Include your name, telephone number, fax number, email address and business address in the written request. Send the request by mail, fax or email to:

Attn: Head, Information and Certification Unit

9th Floor, Jean Edmonds Tower South

365 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario, K1A OC8

Fax: (613) 941-5789

Email: corporationscanada@ic.gc.ca

If you are unable to find the information you are seeking online, you may email specific enquires to corporationscanada@ic.gc.ca There is also a telephone helpline that is staffed Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 8.00 pm Eastern time. The toll-free number within Canada is 1-866-333-5556 and the alternative number for calls from outside Canada is 613-941-9042.

Industry Canada’s Canadian Company Capabilities database contains information on around 50,000 businesses operating in a variety of industry sectors, including aerospace and defense; automotive and transportation; consumer products; energy; environment; industrial products; information and communication technologies; life sciences; and manufacturing and services. Information on business and trade associations and chambers of commerce is also included.

The Canadian Company Capabilities database is a particularly good place to look if you are seeking a supplier or trading partner in Canada.

Anyone can search the online database free of charge by following these steps:

  1. Go to: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/search/cccBasicSearch.do?language=eng&portal=1
  2. Type either a company name or keyword(s) into the ‘quick search’ box at the top of the page.
  3. You may perform a more detailed search by clicking on the ‘go to detailed search’ button and filling in as much as of the online form as you wish. You can, for example, search by city; province; primary business activity; number of employees; total sales; activity or interest in exporting; market interests and several other criteria.
  4. Click on the ‘search’ button.
  5. A list of companies meeting your search criteria will appear with the name and a short description of each company.
  6. Click on a company name to reveal more information about the organization, including:
    1. Contact details and website
    2. A description of the company’s activities
    3. The company’s products, services and licenses

You may also browse through companies listed in the database by following these steps:

1.      Go to: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/search/cccBasicSearch.do?language=eng&portal=1

2.      Click on the type of company on which you are seeking information. For example, if you are looking for suppliers of shoes, go to the ‘Consumer Products’ section and click on the ‘Footwear’ heading.

3.      A list of sub-categories will appear. In the Footwear section, the main sub-categories are ‘Boots,’ ‘Shoes and Sandals’ and ‘Other Footwear.’ Within each of these sub-categories, there are further sub-categories, such as ‘athletic/sports shoes’ under the heading of ‘Shoes and Sandals.’

4.      Click on the sub-category that most closely resembles the type of information you are searching for.

5.      An alphabetical list of companies active in the industry sector you have chosen will appear on the screen.

6.      Click on each company to view further information, including:

a.       Contact details

b.      Company description

c.       Products, services and licenses

d.      Technology profile

e.       Market profile, including information on the strategic alliances that the company is seeking

f.        Geographic markets

The Industry Canada database can also be searched in the French language by going to: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/search/cccBasicSearch.do?language=fre&portal=1

If you cannot find the information you are looking for on the database or if you have further questions, you may contact Industry Canada by telephone between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm Eastern Time, Monday to Friday. The numbers to call are either 1-800-328-6189 or (613)-954-5031.

These two extensive online resources should hopefully enable you to locate the Canadian business information that you are looking for.

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