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What needs to be done to start an accounting business in Ontario?

By Michael Fromstein |

Sam asked:

I live in Ontario. I am a professional accountant from India and USA, and wish to start my accounting and finance consultancy in Ontario.

Should I incorporate my consultancy, form an LLP or can I do it as sole proprietor? What is the approximate cost for each entity?

Do I need to get approval from any body in Ontario before I start?

Michael Fromstein answered:

There are virtually no tax benefits from incorporating a proprietorship, an accounting practice or otherwise. Potentially, when you are making much more money than you are living on, maybe then the tax-deferral benefits justify the absolute current costs of incorporating and reporting on a corporation.

You can incorporate online, the cost varies slightly by province - by clicking on You can use a lawyer whose fees usually range from $1,000 to $1,500, in addition to government fees. You can practice unincorporated under your own name for free or register a business name online for about $60 (in Ontario).

As long as you do not call yourself a public accountant or a chartered accountant, you need no permission to offer accounting or bookkeeping services to the public. If you want to be a "Public Accountant" - you have to qualify through the local regulatory body. If you are a foreign Chartered Accountant, you can go to and see what courses you have to pass to get recognized as a Canadian Chartered Accountant. You do not need any specific designation to offer financial consulting services in Ontario.

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