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Professional Corporations

Applications to be emailed
Until further notice, please EMAIL completed applications for By-Law Administration Services to bylawadmin@lso.ca.

Purpose

The Business Corporations Act (Ontario) and the Law Society Act permit lawyers and licensed paralegals to practise law or provide legal services through a professional corporation.  These Acts, together with Part II of the Law Society’s By-Law 7, outline the requirements for professional corporations.  

All shareholders of a professional corporation must be lawyers entitled to practise law in Ontario or licensed paralegals entitled to provide legal services in Ontario.  

Lawyers and licensed paralegals may not practise law or provide legal services through a professional corporation until the professional corporation has received a Certificate of Authorization from the Law Society.  

Who can apply

Lawyers and paralegals who are entitled to practise law or provide legal services may apply to do so through a professional corporation.

Certificate of Authorization Application Requirements

Application Process

All applications and attachments are reviewed by By-Law Administration Services. If the review reveals that the application cannot be approved, a By-Law Administration Services Representative will contact the applicant to request additional information or advise of changes necessary for compliance with Part II of By-Law 7, the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) and the Rules of Professional Conduct and/or Paralegal Rules of Conduct.

By-Law Administration Services requires 15 business days to process a completed Certificate of Authorization application. A certificate will be issued upon approval.  

All Certificates of Authorization must be renewed by December 31 of the current calendar year through the Portal at http://portal.lso.ca, regardless of the approval date. This means that a Certificate of Authorization approved, for example, on December 27 must be renewed prior to December 31. Otherwise, the Certificate of Authorization will expire on December 31 and the professional corporation will not be entitled to practise law, provide legal services, or both practise law and provide legal services in Ontario. To allow sufficient time for delivery of your Certificate of Authorization prior to December 31 of the current calendar year (i.e. the date by when the renewal process must be completed), please ensure applications for a new Certificate of Authorization are submitted well in advance of year end. Certificates of Authorization approved after December 31 will not be backdated.

Administrative Fees

All administrative fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

A non-refundable, non-transferable application fee in the amount of $282.50 ($250 plus HST) must be received by the Law Society before an Application for a Certificate of Authorization will be processed. The application fee should be paid through the Law Society Store at: https://store.lso.ca. Proof of payment must accompany the Application for a Certificate of Authorization. 

Alternatively, a certified cheque or bank draft in the amount of $282.50 ($250 plus HST) may be enclosed with the Application for a Certificate of Authorization and mailed to:

By-Law Administration Services
Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St W
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6

An annual renewal fee in the amount of $113 ($100 plus HST) must be paid through the Law Society Portal prior to December 31 expiry if the professional corporation intends to practise law, provide legal services or both practise law and provide legal services in the next calendar year. 

The fee for a replacement Certificate of Authorization is $28.25 ($25 plus HST). The fee should be paid through the Law Society Store at: https://store.lso.ca. The fee applies if there is a change to the professional corporation name after the Certificate of Authorization has been issued or for the replacement of a lost certificate.

Ongoing Requirements

The Certificate of Authorization for a professional corporation must be renewed annually prior to December 31, in accordance with subsections 7(1) and (2) of By-Law 7. The renewal fee of $113 ($100 plus HST) must be submitted through the Law Society Portal at https://portal.lso.ca. Only shareholders of the professional corporation are permitted to pay the renewal fee.

If the renewal fee is not submitted by December 31, a notice will be issued indicating that the Certificate of Authorization has expired and the professional corporation is no longer entitled to practise law, provide legal services, or both practise law and provide legal services in Ontario. A Certificate of Authorization that is not renewed within 12 months after its expiry is automatically revoked by operation of By-Law 7. The Courts will be notified of both the expiry and the revocation.

If a professional corporation has not or will not practise law or provide legal services, the professional corporation must apply for permission to surrender the Certificate of Authorization in compliance with section 10 of By-Law 7. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Professional Corporation Renewal through the Law Society Portal  

Links to Application and Additional Documents

Information for Lawyers

Information for Paralegals

Applicable By-Law, Rules, and Acts

Questions

Application related questions should be directed to By-Law Administration Services by calling 416-947-3315 (toll-free 1-800-668-7380 ext. 3315) and asking to be transferred, or by email at bylawadmin@lso.ca.

Accessibility

The Law Society of Ontario is committed to ensuring that our websites and web applications are accessible for people with disabilities. We have also made efforts to make Law Society documents accessible to everyone. If you need any of our documents or forms in an alternate format that is accessible to you, please contact us.

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