Foreign companies have several structures when deciding to establish a presence in Canada. Among these, the branch office and the subsidiary are the most common, however, there is also the possibility of setting up representative or liaison offices, according to the Canadian law.
Compared to other countries, most of the times it is banks that set up liaison offices in Canada, which is why the Banking Law is the main legal document providing for the establishment of such form of doing business. Our Canadian company formation agents can explain the requirements for setting up a representative office.
What is the Canadian liaison office?
Compared to the branch or the subsidiary the liaison office does not allow a foreign company to carry out commercial activities in Canada; however, there are many companies and banks in foreign countries which set up representative offices here in order to have a contact point between the Canadian customers and the foreign company located overseas.
The Canadian liaison office is usually set up before the parent company decides to register a subsidiary or branch office here. The representative office will first prospect the market and even promote the services of the foreign company.
Foreign companies interested in setting up their presence on the local market can rely on our company registration advisors in Canada.
Types of representative offices in Canada
The Canadian law provides for the following types of liaison offices:
- diplomatic mission;
- international organizations;
- consular missions;
- special representative offices;
- foreign banks’ liaison offices.
Our local consultants can offer information the types of representative offices which can be set up in this country.
How to establish a representative office in Canada
Even if starting a business in Canada implies filing several documents with Corporations Canada, the country’s Trade Registrar, in the case of a representative office the requirements are less strict. The parent company will be required to file information like:
- specific application forms;
- its certificate of incorporation;
- the document appointing a local representative agent;
- information about the representative agent.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in starting a company in Canada.