Department of Community Services

Corporate Affairs

Corporate Affairs - Frequently Asked Questions

On business
What types of businesses are there?
Do I have to register?
How do I decide what type of business to register?
What is a corporation?
Where do I go to find out what names are available?
Can other people use my business name?
What is a corporate annual return? Does it have to do with taxes?

Non-Profit
What is the difference between a non-profit organization and a corporation?
How do I start a non-profit organization?
Is a non-profit organization automatically a charity?
Are there any Charities Information Sessions? [16KB ]

On Personal Property Security
What is a lien?
How do I register a lien?
How do I do a lien search?
What is a Garage Keeper’s lien?

On Securities
Where do I get information about my broker?
How do I make a complaint?  [26KB ]
What is the role of the Superintendent of Securities?


For further inquiries, contact Corporate Affairs Phone: (867) 667-5314

Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 local 5314
Fax: (867) 393-6251 
Email: corporateaffairs@gov.yk.ca

Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Cheques Payable to: Yukon Government

Visa/Master Card/American Express payments: Can be made by FAX or TELEPHONE. Yukon Government does not accept credit card payments by email for security resons

Location:                                   Mailing Address:
307 Black Street, First Floor           P.O. Box 2703 (C-6)
Whitehorse, Yukon                       Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2C6
Y1A 2N1



What types of businesses are there?

Sole proprietor - The simplest way to do business is as a sole proprietor. A sole proprietor is a person who carries on business by himself, with or without employees. This method of doing business allows the person to extend their rights as an individual to make contracts and buy or sell property, and requires only the registration of the "trade" or business name, and a business license.

The sole proprietor has unlimited liability for the business, which means that any assets, both business and personal, may be seized by creditors and sold to pay outstanding debts. Sole proprietors must include all income from the business on their personal tax return.

Partnership - When two or more persons decide to combine their qualifications, skills, energy and resources to go into business together, they form a partnership. Each partner is the agent of the other, and may commit the partnership to contracts with or without the other partners' consent. The partners are "jointly and severally" liable for all debts of the partnership, which means that creditors may seize the business assets, or the personal assets of one or more partners to pay outstanding debts.

Income tax law does not recognize a partnership as a company as far as the collection of taxes is concerned. Each partner must include his share of the partnership profits on his individual income tax return.

Limited Partnership - This type of partnership consists of one or more limited partners and at least one general partner. In this case the general partner (a limited company) has unlimited liability and the limited partner is liable only up to the amount of his investment. The limited partner must not have anything to do with the management of the business, and can only share in the profits of the business as determined by the partnership agreement.

Corporation - a corporation is a legal entity separate from the individual owners. It has all of the rights of a natural person: it may enter into contracts, own property, and may sue or be sued.

Incorporating a business should not be done without professional assistance, as there are many aspects to consider including the size of the business, the need for fundraising, internal organization, share structure, bylaws, and tax implications.

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Do I have to register?

If you are doing business in the Yukon Territory you must register as per the Business Corporations Act, or the Partnership and Business Name Act. Refer to question 1 for an explanation of the types of Businesses.

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How do I decide what type of business to register?

We suggest you seek legal advice if you are not sure which type of business registration would best suit your needs. A lawyer will advise you on your legal rights and liabilities. Our staff can't give legal advice.

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What is a corporation?

Corporation - A corporation is a legal entity separate from the individual owners. It has all of the rights of a natural person: it may enter into contracts, own property, and may sue or be sued.

Incorporating a business should not be done without professional assistance, as there are many aspects to consider including the size of the business, the need for fundraising, internal organization, share structure, bylaws, and tax implications.

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Where do I go to find out what names are available?

There are a number of places to search for existing names:

  • The internet
  • The phone book
  • The corporate registry

Once you have and decided on a name, you may have the name searched to see if it is available. Registering a business name does not mean you own that name. You could have legal problems if you use a name that is the same or too closely resembles a known trademark, or an existing business, partnership or corporate name. Choose your name carefully.

Business names are searched at the corporate registry only. Corporate names are compared to other corporate names in Canada, via a NUANS search. Please contact the corporate registry for information on obtaining a NUANS search.

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Can other people use my business name?

Registering a business name does not mean you own that name. You could have legal problems if you use a name that is the same or too closely resembles a known trademark, or an existing business, partnership or corporate name.

Business names are registered under the Partnership and Business Names Act in the Yukon. When registering a business name, your name is compared to those already registered to avoid conflicts. It is recommended that you make your name as unique as possible to avoid any confusion.

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What is a corporate annual return? Does it have to do with taxes?

A corporate annual return is information that the corporation must file for the anniversary date of its incorporation (registration, continuation, amalgamation, etc.) in the Yukon. The annual return is due by the end of the month following the anniversary month, and is true to the end of the anniversary month. Information required:

  • Corporate access number
  • Name of the Corporation
  • Registered and mailing addresses of the corporation
  • Year the information applies to
  • Names and mailing addresses of directors.

The corporate annual return has nothing to do with taxes. Contact Corporate Tax within the federal government or the Government of Yukon, Department of Finance for information on Yukon Corporate tax.

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What is the difference between a non-profit organization and a corporation?

A non-profit organization or society is generally formed by a group of individuals whose purpose is to perform or operate a public service.  The profits generated by the society are used to benefit the purpose identified by the society.  A corporation is generally formed by an individual or individuals who wish to conduct business for profit.

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How do I start a non-profit organization?

The individuals need to select a name and have it approved by the Registrar of Societies.  Once the name has been approved an application form (Societies Act Application) will need to be completed which includes the purpose of the society, a list of incorporators, at least one director, an address for the registered office, and a constitution and by-laws for the society.  For more specific information, please contact the Corporate Affairs office at 867-667-5314.

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Is a non-profit organization automatically a charity?

No, if you wish to obtain charitable status for your registered society, you must seek approval from Revenue Canada.  For more information visit the website: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/charities/

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What is a lien?

A lien is a charge registered pursuant to the Personal Property Security Act.  A lien enables secured parties (financial institutions, corporations, partnerships or individuals) to have priority over other creditors in respect of the collateral identified in the lien.

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How do I register a lien?

On June 27, 2016, Yukon joined the Atlantic Canada On Line (ACOL) Personal Property Registry System. All personal property registry transactions are now done online via this system.

Please contact a business lawyer or value-added service provider to register your lien through the Yukon ACOL Personal Property Registry System. If you are interested in registering it yourself, you will have to open an account with ACOL. Complete instructions on how to do this can be found on their website.  

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How do I do a lien search?

On June 27, 2016, Yukon joined the Atlantic Canada On Line (ACOL) Personal Property Registry System. You may use Lien Check to search a lien in Yukon or any of the other six jurisdictions (NS, NL, NB, PEI, NU, NWT) that use ACOL. To use Lien Check you will need the following:

  • A computer or mobile device with Internet access.
  • Adobe Reader or other software able to read the PDF report that will be displayed to you.
  • The serial number of the item, such as the motor vehicle identification number.
  • A valid credit card to pay for the Lien Check Service.

You may use Lien Check to search for the following types of personal property:

  • motor vehicle (including cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, and snowmobiles)
  • trailer
  • mobile home
  • airplane
  • boat
  • outboard motor
     

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What is a Garage Keeper’s lien?

This is a lien which may be registered in the Personal Property Security Registry for a period of 180 days ONLY.  This is generally used by businesses that have performed service on a vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle has neglected to pay for the work.  There are provisions within the Garage Keeper’s Lien Act which govern the disposition of the vehicle.

Note that the onus is on the garage keeper/secured party to discharge the lien upon expiry of the 180 days, or notify the Registrar if legal proceedings were instituted within the 180 day period.

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Where do I get information about my broker?

If a broker is selling securities or investments in the Yukon, they are required to be registered.  You may contact the Yukon Securities Office to determine if they are registered. 

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What is the role of the Superintendent of Securities?

The Superintendent is the overseer or legislative authority with the respect to matters involving brokers, security issuers or salespersons in the Yukon.

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