Not-for-Profit Corporations

Canada's not-for-profit corporations come in a range of sizes and serve a diversity of purposes, including healthcare, education, arts, sports, environment, social services, political advocacy as well as cultural and religious organizations. They are a significant contributor to the country's economy and well-being.

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The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act

The Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (NFP Act) was designed to promote accountability, transparency and good corporate governance throughout the sector, while being flexible enough to meet the needs of organizations both small and large.

Prior to October 17, 2011, the Canada Corporations Act, Part II, (sections 153 to 157.1(3)) allowed for the incorporation of non-profit corporations at the federal level. The Canada Corporations Act, Part II had remained largely unchanged since 191, and lacked the rules and provisions for the corporate governance systems that have been introduced into many other corporate laws in comparable jurisdictions.

Following extensive consultations, the NFP Act came into force on October 17, 2011 and is intended to be a comprehensive law, designed to cover all aspects of corporations without share capital incorporated at the federal level. As of that date, applications for incorporation under Part II of the CCA are prohibited.

Applications to incorporate a not-for-profit must now be made under the NFP Act and all organizations incorporated under the Canada Corporations Act, Part II were required to transition to the NFP Act by October 17, 2014.

Please refer to the Corporations Canada website for more information.

2021 Statutory review of the NFP Act

From June 18, 2021 to July 30, 2021, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada ran public consultations as part of the statutory review of the legislation. Canadians were invited to provide their views in response to a discussion paper and officials met virtually with organizations representing a wide range of stakeholders, including legal and governance professionals, national community organizations and foundations, indigenous, cultural and sports organizations as well as local associations.

The views collected informed a Minister's Report that was introduced in Parliament on November 23, 2021. We thank all participants for their contributions.

2002 Reform of the Canada Corporations Act

The Canada Corporations Act historically provided the federal framework for the incorporation and governance of federal not-for-profit corporations. From 2000 to 2002, the Government of Canada held extensive consultations across the country that ultimately led to the creation of the NFP Act in 2011. Key documents related to these consultations are archived on this website.

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