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Information for Licensed Members

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Professional Corporation FAQs

When do the new professional corporation by-laws come into effect?

The new professional corporation by-laws will be effective March 1, 2019. After this date, any new applications for both professional corporation names and Certificates of Authorization must comply with the new by-laws. The two major areas that will be affected are the naming rules for professional corporations and the renewal process.

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What are the major changes in the updated professional corporation by-laws?

The naming rules for professional corporations have been updated along with the required documentation for issuance of a Certificate of Authorization.
The College is updating professional corporation naming by-laws to simplify the application process for professional corporations and to increase transparency regarding veterinarians associated with professional corporations.
The new by-laws require that professional corporations move from a three-year renewal period to a one-year renewal period. The renewal fee will also change from $150 to $100 (plus HST).
For more information about the eligibility and required documentation of the new professional corporation by-laws, please review the College’s By-Laws.

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Do I need to change my professional corporation name to comply with the new by-laws?

If your professional corporation was authorized under the previous by-laws, the name is considered to be “grandfathered” by the College.
However, updating your professional corporation information may trigger a name change. Here are circumstances where a name change may be required if the current name does not meet the by-law requirements:

  • Purchasing an existing professional corporation that is named after the seller or another member
  • Purchasing an existing professional corporation that is named after a geographical area or an associated clinic
  • Changing the listed Managing Director of an existing professional corporation
  • Amending an existing professional corporation named after two shareholders when one of the named shareholders is removed
  • When amalgamating two existing professional corporations, the name selected for the professional corporation must be approved by the College and comply with the new by-laws
  • Amalgamating an existing professional corporation with a holding company

Please note: Professional corporations who have received name approval before March 1, 2019 but have not yet been issued a Certificate of Authorization must also comply with the new by-laws, including the updated required documentation. For more information about how to change your professional corporation name, please see the Professional Corporation Name Change instructions within the Changes to Professional Corporation page.

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What is the difference between a professional corporation and a business corporation?

Professional corporations have restrictions on their activities. The Ontario Business Corporations Act restricts professional corporations from carrying on a business other than the practice of the profession and related or ancillary activities. Veterinary professional corporations are regulated by the Veterinarians Act and College By-Laws. 

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Can a family member be a shareholder in a professional corporation or an associated holding company?

No. The Ontario Business Corporation Act and the Veterinarians Act require that all issued and outstanding shares of professional corporations be owned, directly or indirectly, by a member of the particular profession.

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Can shares be held through a holding company?

Yes. According to College By-Laws, holding companies may own shares of a veterinary professional corporation, so long as all of the shares of the holding company are held by veterinarians holding a licence with the College.

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How do I change the name of my professional corporation?

The steps for a professional corporation name change are as follows:
Apply for a new professional corporation name with the College.
Await name change approval from the College.
Amend the professional corporation name with the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services within six months of name change approval. 
Submit a Notification of Change to the College and include a copy of the Articles of Amendment.

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Does my professional corporation name need to be on invoices?

As per the Ontario Business Corporations Act, the professional corporation name, in addition to the facility name, must appear on all invoices and consent forms. The professional corporation name does not replace the facility name.

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Does my home address have to be posted on the College website?

College By-Laws state that the business address and phone number of the professional corporation must be publically accessible. Therefore, if you are not an owner of a facility through which the professional corporation practices, then your home mailing address will be used. An alternative is to provide the College with a P.O. Box. 

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How do I request a Certificate of Status through the MGCS?

Please visit the MGCS website or call the toll free number (1-800-361-3223), for more information on obtaining a Certificate of Status. The College is not permitted to contact the MGCS on behalf of members or professional corporations.

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What are the fees for incorporation of a professional corporation?

  • There is currently no fee for a name application with the College.
  • The fee for an Application for Certificate of Authorization is $452.00 (HST inclusive).
  • The fee for an Application for Renewal of a Certificate of Authorization is $113.00 (HST inclusive).
  • The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS) sets fees for its own processes.

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Do I have to post the Certificate of Authorization in my facility?

No, you are not required to post the Certificate of Authorization for your professional corporation. The College does recommend storing the certificate in a safe place, since your professional corporation is not authorized to operate without it. The certificate also indicates the professional corporation’s expiry date. 

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