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  • Anmol Trehin

Registraire des Entreprises: Why Do We Declare Information?

Regardless of the legal structure, both local and foreign businesses must generally register with the Quebec Enterprise Registrar to operate in Quebec. The information provided during registration has to be updated whenever there is a change to report, and once a year during the business’s annual updating declaration period. 


In today’s blog post, we’ll dive into the why of this public register.


What The Law Says


The why of it all comes from the Act respecting the legal publicity of enterprises. The purpose of this law is multi-pronged. It aims to enhance the protection of the public by providing access to key information, while also seeking to prevent and fight tax evasion, money laundering and corruption


Article 98 provides a list of information which may be set up against third persons from the time it is recorded in the statement of information and is proof of its content for the benefit of third persons in good faith. This includes, but is not limited to: 


  1. The name and address, including the Quebec enterprise number;

  2. Any other name used in Quebec and under which the company identifies; 

  3. The legal structure and the law under which the company is governed;

  4. The name and address of each director, 

  5. The name and address of the three majority shareholders;

  6. The name and address of each ultimate beneficiary; 

  7. The date on which the individuals listed above entered into their office.


However, not every information is publicly available. This includes the date of birth of individuals listed on the register, and their residential addresses if they have declared a professional address (read more about professional addresses here). 


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The Enterprise Register


Another task of the registry is to consolidate information on enterprises and people doing business in Quebec. As a result, businesses and individuals face fines for non-compliance, and can even be dissolved administratively for failing to file two consecutive annual updating declarations. These declarations must be filed even if there is no information to modify or update.  


The information found on the register is considered accurate and up to date from the date it comes into effect. Meaning third parties can rely on this information. For example, the bank may consult the register when conducting due diligence before offering a commercial loan. Similarly, vendors and customers may also consult it before deciding to do business with an entity. As it creates a legal obligation, third parties can hold the business accountable for the information presented publicly. 


Modifications to the Search Engine Coming Into Force on July 31, 2024


As of July 31, 2024 the Registraire des entreprises will implement an updated search tool. This will allow searches to be made using a person’s first and last name to find out who is associated with an enterprise. 


This broadens the use of the enterprise registrar, as currently the search engine only allows users to search a company by its name or its Quebec Enterprise Number. With this modification, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that the information available on the enterprise registrar is up-to-date. 


Conclusion


Understanding the importance of registering with the Registraire des entreprises and maintaining accurate information is crucial for businesses operating in Quebec. This public registry serves as a vital resource for third parties, providing transparency and accountability within the business environment.


For any inquiries or assistance with business registration and compliance, feel free to reach out to our team. We are here to support your business's success within Quebec's legal framework.

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