Corporations Canada Transactional Survey, July–December 2006

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

Research Information:

During the period of July to December 2006, the on-line survey was offered to 56,023 clients. Of these 28,700 clients replied. The response rate was 51.2%, yielding a margin of error of +/- 0.58%.


This project was designed and analysed by Corporation Canada staff.

Corporations Canada Transactional Survey — July-December 2006 Report

Corporations Canada Transactional Survey
July-December 2006 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 July to December 2006.

During the period of July to December, 2006, the survey was offered to 56 023 clients of whom 28 700 replied, a response rate of 51.2 percent. This response rate is somewhat lower than the one registered during the previous period when 56.3 percent of the users answered survey questions. An explanation for this is that while the web-based survey is offered to all CC clients filing an online transaction, more repeat users have opted out of the survey.

Yet, from one period to the next, satisfaction with the overall quality of the online service was high and did not change with 80.9 percent and 81 percent respectively. The two areas of services receiving the lowest level of satisfaction were the help features and the issue of cost; 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, 89.9 percent and 87.3 percent respectively for those completing between 2 and 10 transactions, and those filing more than 10. Close to 81 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

Pie Chart of Response by Filter Type

Approximately 51 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 filer types, as repeated users such as law firms and accountants filing on behalf of their clients may opt out of the survey.

Overall, satisfaction levels are high for all groups with the third party and employee groups being more satisfied than 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
Average Satisfaction Rate (1-5) 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.1
Satisfaction Level (%) 84.6 84.2 79.6 79.5

Satisfaction with an Online Transaction (in %)

As previously discussed, 81 percent of the users said they were satisfied with the overall quality of the online services. This compares with 80.9 percent in the previous reporting.

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 86.7 percent within the employee group to 80.3 for the directors. Third parties closely followed the first group, registering a level of 85.1 percent.

Bar Chart of Satisfaction 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 76.9 and 77.1 percent from the directors and owners respectively to 82.4 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 (in %)

Bar Chart of Overall Satisfaction by Jurisdiction

More than 85 percent of the respondents to the survey had their office registered in either Quebec (49 percent) or in Ontario (36 percent). Ten percent of respondents had their offices registered in western provinces and territories, mostly in British Columbia (5 percent) and Alberta (3.5 percent) compared to the Atlantic provinces (1 percent).

Overall satisfaction levels rose and are mostly consistent across Canada, ranging from 68.4 percent in the Northwest Territories and 76.9 percent in Saskatchewan to the low and mid-eighties for the remaining jurisdictions. All provinces reported higher satisfaction levels from the last reporting period.

User Satisfaction with the Online Forms

Over 66 percent of the transactions during the period were related to Annual Return filings followed by 11 percent for the Articles of Incorporation and 7 percent for the Change of Registered Office Address.

Pie Chart of Transactions per form

Significantly, satisfaction with extensively used online forms such as the Annual Return and the relatively complex Articles of Incorporation are in midrange at 79.8 percent and 82 percent respectively. The highest level of satisfaction with CC's online services was expressed by respondents filing a Certificate of Compliance (90 percent) while the lowest level of satisfaction was expressed by those filing a Certificate of Existence (70.6 percent). This compares with satisfaction level of 89.1 percent and 89.5 percent, for these forms, respectively, in the last reporting period.

Bar Chart of Overall Satisfaction Per Form Filed Online

Understanding and Filling Out the Forms (in %)

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.

Percentage of clients satisfied with the forms

Bar Chart of Percentage of clients satisfied with the forms

Usefulness of Help Features (in %)

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.

Percentage of clients satisfied with the help features

Bar Chart of Percentage of clients satisfied with the help features

Time Needed to Complete the Transaction (in %)

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 75.5 percent compared to 76.1 reporting in the last period. Users' comments referred to the complexity of the form and the requirement to enter the same tombstone data several times throughout the process.

Percentage of clients satisfied with the time required

Bar Chart of Percentage of clients satisfied with the time required

Cost of Doing Online Transactions (in %)

Satisfaction levels for the costs associated with certain transactions, satisfaction levels vary considerably ranging from 51 percent for the Articles of Amendment to a high of 90 percent for the Certificate of Compliance of users agreeing that service costs are reasonable. 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 50 percent of respondent from Ontario agree that that the cost of transaction was reasonable).

Percentage of clients satisfied with the cost

Bar Chart of Percentage of clients satisfied with the cost

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

Final Appearance of the Forms (in %)

Users expressed varying levels of satisfaction within a narrow range 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 less than 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