How To Open A Business Bank Account In Canada

How To Open A Business Bank Account In Canada

Canada is a very attractive place to start a business. It’s one of the world’s strongest economies, has a huge pool of natural resources and also boasts strong trade agreements with other nations. It’s also home to an ever-growing, highly skilled and diverse workforce and you get easy access to the huge US market.

Check out our blog: A Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business in Canada

One thing every business needs is a bank account, and another factor Canada has in its favour is that it’s home to some of the world’s most reliable banks. When it comes to security, Canadian banks consistently rank among the best in the world. 

If you’re looking to open a business bank account here in Canada, keep scrolling. 

Do I Need to Be Canadian?

No, you don’t. You don’t even have to be a permanent resident. You also do not necessarily need to intend to immigrate to Canada. There are no residency requirements for opening a business bank account in Canada.

Do I Need to Be in Canada to Open My Account?

Some Canadian banks require your presence when opening a business account while others don’t.

However, if you decide to open an account without visiting, this often comes with more requirements and account restrictions. Because regulations can vary from bank to bank, you should call the bank directly to verify.

Several international banks have operations in Canada as well. So, it could be worth visiting a branch that is local to you. You may be able to open an account in your home country that can be transferred to Canada.

Unfortunately in this situation, you may be charged higher fees for holding the account internationally, and may require a high minimum balance.

What Documents Do I Need to Open a Business Bank Account in Canada?

Opening a bank account in Canada is a straightforward process that usually doesn’t take more than a day…once you have everything you need.

The documents required for each business type are as follows:

Sole Proprietorships 

– Trade name registration

– Master business license

– Two valid forms of identification for the business owner (including at least one photo ID and one government issued document)

Partnerships and Limited Partnerships

– Trade name registration 

– Copy of partnership agreement

– Registered declaration of partnership

– Two valid forms of identification for the business owner (including at least one photo ID and one government issued document)


– 2 pieces of ID of the corporation’s signing authorities

– Articles of Incorporation/Association

– Certificate of Status

– Corporate Profile Report

– Certificate of Existence

– Certificate of Compliance

– Corporate Annual Government Filing

– Notice of Assessment for Income Tax

– Business Number

– Business License

Which Bank Should I Choose?

All of the above business types have different needs when it comes to banking. Before you open a business bank account, you should research which banks offer the services you really need. 

The Canadian banking industry is significantly more centralized, particularly when compared to the neighbouring United States. 

Five banks control 90% of the retail banking industry in Canada, and each institution has its own set of features that may benefit your business more than another.

The five banks you should research are:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

Toronto-Dominion (TD)

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) 

What Fees Do Canadian Banks Charge?

Unfortunately, no matter where in the world you open a bank account, you can expect it to come with an annoying list of fees. Canada is no exception. 

Fees in Canada typically include the standard monthly/annual maintenance fees, debit fees, ATM fees, and deposit fees.

When conducting business from Canada, you should be wary of the high fees charged by banks to send money overseas. Along with these fees, many banks charge a very high exchange rate for international payments as well.

While it’s not unreasonable for banks to make a markup, some banks charge much more than others – especially when it comes to currencies which are not heavily traded. The rates you see on boards in banks/exchange bureaus are never that day’s true Foreign Exchange market ones. They are always higher, because the additional variable fees the bank is charging you are included.

Is There a Better Way to Make Business Payments?

If you open a business here in Canada, Remitr won’t let borders stop you from running an international business.

Our Global Network allows you to send money to over 150 countries worldwide. There’s no waiting around either, as funds are delivered in 1-2 business days. We offer you the best live foreign exchange rates – and charge a flat fee of just $5 to most countries. We also do same-day  local payments here in Canada at a cost of just $1.

Oh, and one more thing…we’ve even got you covered for receiving your online sales payouts! If you’re a SaaS company, e-commerce store or an exporter – your Remitr Global Business Account (GBA) makes getting paid painless. Receive in USD, EUR or GBP from your customers or your payment processor, and save up to 2% in currency fees.

Wondering how we can best serve your company’s unique needs? Send us a message or arrange a call with our Business Payments Specialist today!

Remitr is the better alternative to cheques, bank visits and wire transfers (they all suck). The Remitr Global Network allows fast, often 1-day, business payments worldwide. Remitr also offers businesses a free Global Business Account for receiving online sales payouts in USD, GBP and EUR – all without the bank fees or the delays.

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