Corporations Canada Transactional Survey, January to June 2007

Branch and directorate:

Corporations Canada (CC) is the branch of Industry Canada responsible for administering the Canada Business Corporations Act and the Canada Corporations Act (Part II), the statutes under which businesses and not-for-profit corporations are incorporated at the federal level. There are currently over 200,000 federal business corporations and over 19,000 not-for-profit corporations included in the records of Corporations Canada. Each month approximately 1,800 new business corporations are incorporated at the federal level, along with some 200 not-for-profit entities. Clients of Corporations Canada include existing corporations or their professional representatives; entrepreneurs seeking incorporation or their professional representatives; representatives of not-for-profit organizations; and researchers and other general information seekers.


Responding to their 2005-06 Business Plan's objective of offering clients responsive and innovative products and services, Corporations Canada (CC) launched an online Transactional Survey in 2006.

The Transactional Survey's principal goals are:

  • measure the level of client satisfaction with online transactional services;
  • measure client satisfaction on an ongoing basis;
  • offer clients an opportunity to provide feedback on areas requiring improvement; and
  • evaluate findings and where appropriate, respond to clients' suggestions in a timely manner on online transactional issues.

CC established a rudimentary on-line transactional survey a few years ago. While results proved to be mixed because of technological challenges, the underlying value of relevant data and feedback eventually led to this baseline survey, which was developed and implemented by CC staff.

Anticipated outcomes / benefits:

CC's online transactional services survey provides current data that can be analysed from client segment, geographic area and volume perspectives. As outlined in the Business Plans for 2006-07 and 2007-08, CC staff will use captured feedback to increase market intelligence thus contributing to client relationship management initiatives.

Research Information:

During the period of January to June 2007, the on-line survey was offered to 66,335 clients. Of these 21,057 clients replied. The response rate was 31.7%, yielding a margin of error of +/- 0.63%.


This project was designed and analysed by Corporation Canada staff.

Corporations Canada Transactional Survey — January-June 2007 Report

Corporations Canada Transactional Survey
January-June 2007 Report


Corporations Canada's (CC) online Transactional Survey is designed to measure client satisfaction with its online service. The survey is offered on an ongoing basis and gives clients the opportunity to provide feedback on areas requiring improvement. This report discusses findings for the period of January to June 2007.

During the period of January to June 2007, the survey was offered to 66,335 clients of whom 21,057 replied, a response rate of 31.7 percent. This response rate is significantly lower than the one registered during the previous period when 51.2 percent of the users answered survey questions. An explanation for this may be that while the web-based survey is offered to all CC clients filing an online transaction, repeat users now have the option of opting out of the survey.

Yet, from one period to the next, satisfaction with the overall quality of the online service rose slightly with 81 percent and 86.3 percent respectively. The two areas of services receiving the lowest level of satisfaction were the issue of cost and the help features; the highest rated areas were the ease of following the steps, and of using the forms.

Satisfaction levels are higher within groups making the most transactions, 88.4 percent and 91.5 percent respectively for those completing between 2 and 10 transactions and those filing more than 10. Close to 86.2 percent of those users completing one transaction expressed satisfaction with the overall quality of service.

Transactional survey respondents are asked to indicate satisfaction or agreement to different questions on a scale of one to five with one being the lowest and five the highest level. References to satisfaction or agreement in this report are based on levels 4 and 5; in most cases however, average satisfaction levels vary little and are situated between 4 and 5.

Satisfaction by Filer Type

Approximately 57 percent of the respondents indicated that they are the owner of their corporation with the remaining groups splitting the difference. However, these numbers do not actually represent the distribution of filers by types, as repeated users such as law firms and accountants filing on behalf of their clients may opt out of the survey.

Pie Chart of Response rate

Overall, satisfaction levels are high for all groups with the third party and employee groups being more satisfied than the owners and directors. A possible explanation for this, at least for the third parties, is a familiarity with the online system based on transaction volumes. Thus, it can be argued that overall satisfaction with Corporation Canada's online service is constantly high among all user groups.

Filer Type: Third Party Employee Director Owner Other
Average Satisfaction Rate (1-5) 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3
Satisfaction Level (%) 90.2 87.8 86.2 85.4 85.2

Satisfaction with an Online Transaction

As previously discussed, 86.3 percent of the users said they were satisfied with the overall quality of the online services. This compares with 81 percent in the previous reporting period.

Respondents are equally satisfied when asked to comment on the different steps involved in conducting a transaction online.

Indicating a comfort level with the internet and accessing Corporations Canada's online services when asked how easy it was to find the website, respondents' satisfaction varied between 89.5 percent within the employee group to 84.5 percent for the owners. Third parties closely followed the first group, registering a level of 88.2 percent.

Bar Chart of Users Satisfied with an Online Transaction

Satisfaction tended to decrease when respondents within all groups were queried on navigating through the site and finding what they were looking for. Satisfaction levels ranging from lows of 80.9 and 82.5 percent from the Others group and the owners respectively to 87.3 percent for the third parties can possibly be explained by a lack of familiarity with site within the two former groups making limited use of the service as compared to third parties who would tend to be frequent users.

Response and Satisfaction by Jurisdiction

More than 83 percent of the respondents to the survey had their office registered in either Quebec (36 percent) or in Ontario (47 percent). 11 percent of respondents had their offices registered in western provinces and territories, mostly in British Columbia (5.4 percent) and Alberta (3.5 percent) compared to the Atlantic provinces (2 percent).

Overall satisfaction levels increased and are constant across Canada, ranging from 85.5 percent in British Columbia to 100.0 percent in Nunavut. All provinces reported higher satisfaction levels from the last reporting period.

Bar Chart of Users Satisfied Overall, by Jurisdiction

User Satisfaction with the Online Forms

Over 75 percent of the transactions during the period were related to annual return filings followed by 12 percent for the article of incorporation and 4 percent for the change of registered office.

Pie Chart of Transaction Distribution, by Form

Significantly, satisfaction with extensively used online forms such as the Annual Return and the relatively complex Articles of Incorporation are in mid-range at 85.3 percent and 86.1 percent respectively. The highest level of satisfaction with CC's online services was expressed by respondents filing a change of directors (91.7 percent) while the lowest level of satisfaction was expressed by those filing a certificate of existence (76 percent). This compares with satisfaction levels of 88.1 percent and 70.6 percent, for these forms, respectively, in the last reporting period.

Bar Chart of Overall Satisfaction Per Form Filed Online (Percent of Clients Satisfied)

Understanding and Filling Out the Forms

Users generally agree when asked if they find the online forms easy to understand and fill out.

However, those completing the Articles of Incorporation, the second most widely used form following the Annual Return, tend to agree less with the statement.

A possible explanation for this is that the form is longer, relatively complex and requires navigating through several windows.

Bar Chart of Percent of Clients Satisfied with the Forms

Usefulness of Help Features

User satisfaction with the help features is somewhat mitigated as reflected by lower ratings, notably with the Articles of Continuance and the Certificate of Existence.

User comments included suggestions that the help menus walk them through the process, making use of hyperlinks to relevant sections of the Act.

Another source of user frustration was the requirement to navigate between different windows while accessing the help functions.

Bar Chart of Percent of Clients Satisfied With the Help Feature

Time Needed to Complete the Transaction

Users showed varying levels of satisfaction with the amount of time it took to complete their transaction. Satisfaction with the Articles of Incorporation, one of the lengthier transactions, was at 79.5 percent (compared to 75.5 in the last reporting period). Users' comments referred to the complexity of the form and the requirement to enter the same tombstone data several times throughout the process.

Bar Chart of Percent of Clients Satisfied With Time Requirements

Cost of Doing Online Transactions

Satisfaction levels for the costs associated with certain transactions vary considerably, ranging from 50.8 percent of users agreeing that service costs are reasonable for the Articles of Amendment to a high of 91.7 percent for the Certificate of Compliance. However, this should not be seen as a comment on the online process per se and perhaps more as a reaction to paying for government services. For example, Ontario-based companies must pay $20 in costs for the federal Annual Return, while there is no fee associated with the provincial return (only 69.6 percent of respondent from Ontario agree that that the cost of filing the Annual Return is reasonable).

Bar Chart of Percent of Clients Satisfied With the Costs

Cost issue was the highest among owners and directors. The majority of complaints related to the $20 Annual Returns fee and the cost for filing Articles of amendment.

Final Appearance of the Forms

Users expressed varying levels of satisfaction when asked whether they agreed the forms' professional appearance and the allure of official documents were visually appealing. The most frequent transactions, the Annual Return and the Articles of Incorporations scored in average with most other forms.

In their comments, users suggested the printed Articles of Incorporation left something to be desired. Comments also included the need to see what the final product would look like, perhaps through a print preview function.

Percentage of clients satisfied with the appearance of the forms

Bar Chart of Percentage of clients satisfied with the appearance of the forms