Did you know that trusts carrying on a commercial enterprise in Quebec must now be registered? Here is a brief look at those new rules.


As of July 1, 2014, a trust carrying on a commercial enterprise and not managed by a registered trustee (such as a trust company) must register with the Quebec Registraire des entreprises in the same manner as a sole proprietorship, partnership or legal person (corporation) within 60 days of beginning operations in the Province of Quebec.

Trusts, like other entities, do not need to be profitable to be required to register. They are presumed to be operating a commercial enterprise in Quebec if they (1) have an address in Quebec, or (2) either directly or through a representative acting under a general mandate, have an establishment, a post office box or the use of a telephone line in the province, or (3) perform any act for profit in Quebec. Business, investment and real estate investment trusts are all considered to be trusts carrying on a commercial enterprise.


A commercial trust operating before July 1, 2014 but not yet registered must file a Declaration of Registration for a Trust Operating a Commercial Enterprise, which sets out the name of the trust, the governing legislation, its address and its activities, the number of establishments and employees in Quebec, and the name and addresses of the trustees.

Commercial trusts which had already registered before that date need to file two forms: one to add certain informati on particular to trusts, as well as a second form removing from their registration any inapplicable information — e.g., names of directors and officers.

Like the other business entities in Quebec, a commercial trust must also file an Annual Updating Declaration every following year, as well as a Current updating Declaration when the information in its registration changes during the course of the year.

The government filing fees are the same as those for corporations, namely $319 for the initial Declaration of Registration and $42 for the Annual Updating Declaration. There is no government fee to file a Current Updating Declaration.