Open an Online Shop in Canada

Updated on Tuesday 27th November 2018

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Starting a company in Canada has many advantages. Among these, the possibility of choosing the region to register it in, the industry to address and the support granted by the federal government and local authorities have convinced many entrepreneurs from abroad to move to Canada in order to start their own businesses.

One of the easiest ways of opening a company in Canada in our days is by developing online businesses which can reach not only local customers but people all over the world. The best way to do that is by opening an online store which can virtually sell anything in every corner of the world.

If you are interested in opening an online shop in Canada and need guidance, our local consultants who specialize in company formation in this country can offer the needed support.

Registering a company with the Canadian authorities

Even if the activities of the Canadian online store will be completed over the Internet, the company must still register as any ordinary business. This will imply:
  •           choosing a trade name for the company and reserving it with the Trade Register;
  •           preparing the same incorporation documents as for a traditional business;
  •           registering the company with the Companies Registrar and the tax authorities;
  •           reserving a domain name, having a website created and opening a merchant account.

The last steps are necessary for online businesses carrying out activities in Canada. You can rely on company formation services in Canada with our agents who can help you draft the documents needed to set up any type of business.

Registering a domain name for a Canadian online shop

One of the most important steps when starting an online store in Canada is creating a website and having a domain name registered with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). When choosing the domain name, the businessman will need to make sure it reflects the activity of the shop and complies with the legislation imposed on e-commerce companies.

Another important part of starting an online shop in Canada is the creation of the website which must use an e-commerce platform. The entrepreneur can create it on his own or appeal to the services of IT companies which specialize in developing such platforms.

Opening a merchant account for an online store in Canada

A mandatory requirement for being allowed to sell goods online is having a merchant account. This must not be mistaken for the corporate bank account, as it will be used to collect payments from customers. The creation of a merchant account can be completed with a bank, including the bank where the corporate account is opened, or with an online payment processor. The latter is usually employed online shops in Canada.

Our company registration advisors in Canada can offer detailed information on the steps required to set up an online store at a federal or provincial level.

Registering the domain name as a trademark in Canada

Even if this step is not mandatory, our Canadian consultants recommend online business owners to register the names of the online stores as trademarks. This step will not only protect the name of their company but also the reputation of the online store once it reaches a certain maturity and recognition.

The following steps must be completed in order to register an online store as a trademark in Canada:
  •           make sure the name is unique by checking it with the Intellectual Property Office;
  •           filing an application for registration of the trademark with the Office;
  •           submitting a detailed description and a sketch of the trademark;
  •           paying the registration fee with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Once the trademark is registered, the Canadian online store will have all the rights over the name.

Other requisites for online shops in Canada

Other requirements to be considered by online shops in Canada are related to having certain elements displayed on the website. Among these, we mention the legal address of the company, an email address, and a telephone number.

Considering many online stores sell goods in Europe, we remind business owners they now need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation which contains specific provisions related to the consent of customer of collecting personal information.

It is also useful to know that the Canadian legislation requires other regulations to be respected by e-commerce companies, among these the one related to taking anti-spam measures.

For full information on the requirements related to opening an online store in Canada, please contact us. We remind foreign investors we offer full support with respect to the procedure of opening a company in Canada.