Closing your business 

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If you are planning to close your business, there are a few things you should consider, such as notifying Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), filing a final tax return, paying any outstanding tax amounts, and financing your succession planning.

Legal and financial obligations

When you decide to close your business (a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation) and no longer need your business number (BN), you have to complete certain forms before the account can be closed.

Closing accounts

Here is a list of things you should do if you are planning to close a business:

  • Cancel your business registration for your sole proprietorship or partnership OR
  • Voluntarily dissolve your corporation
  • File a last tax return, if you have dissolved a corporation
  • Close your RST/PST/QST accounts with the appropriate provincial agency
  • Close your payroll accounts with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Close your GST/HST accounts with CRA

Changes to your business

Dissolving a corporation

When the time comes to dissolve your corporation, there are several factors to consider. In the same way you undertake certain formal procedures to create a corporation, you must file forms with the government to dissolve it. Dissolving your corporation is the legal act of ending its existence. Under the Canada Business Corporations Act, you need to obtain a certificate of dissolution by applying to Corporations Canada.

You must also close the relevant Canada Revenue Agency accounts (payroll, GST/HST and corporate income tax) and provincial tax accounts, and tie up other loose ends.

Dissolution checklist:

  • Ensure that the corporation's directors authorize the dissolution of the business
  • File the Articles of Dissolution with Corporations Canada
  • File all applicable tax forms
  • Notify creditors
  • Settle creditors' claims
  • Distribute remaining assets

Remember that if yours is a federally incorporated company, you must keep it in good standing by filing an Annual Return to Corporations Canada every year. This is in addition to the tax return you must file with Canada Revenue Agency. As a penalty, Corporations Canada may dissolve your corporation without your permission if you do not keep it in good standing, so be sure to report any changes in information.

Follow these guidelines if you are planning to dissolve your corporation:

Succession planning

Find information and financing options for your succession planning:

  • Succession planning

    Find the right strategy for selling your business or handing it over to someone else.

  • BDC transition financing

    If you are retiring or selling your business, you could get a loan to help with the costs of the transition.

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