Professional Corporations

Information for Prospective Members

A member of a regulatory College governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) can choose to practise personally, i.e. in his/her own name, through a partnership or through a professional corporation.  Members of this College who wish to practise through a corporation will need to establish a professional corporation and apply with the College for a Certificate of Authorization. 
Note: Normally, Members employed by organizations such as hospitals, agencies and employee assistance programs are considered to be practising “personally”.  Generally, they are not considered to be practising “through a corporation”; therefore, such organizations are not expected to follow the requirements for professional corporations. Members are not required to practise through a professional corporation.
To obtain a Certificate of Authorization, the member must complete an application form, pay a fee and submit detailed substantiating information. The certificate must be renewed annually.
Click here to access the Professional Corporation Certificate Application.
Professional corporations have a number of conditions and restrictions, including the following:
  • The professional corporation cannot be a numbered company (e.g. 1234567 Ontario Inc.).
  • The name of the professional corporation must include the words “Professional Corporation”.
  • The legal name of the corporation must indicate the health profession to be practised through the corporation, as well as the surname of one or more of the shareholders.
  • A member may use another business name aside from the legal name (e.g. a professional corporation could use the name “Danforth TheraClinic” for marketing purposes, while its legal name is “J. Doe Psychotherapy Professional Corporation”). All names must be on file with the College, and Ontario law requires the legal name to be on all contracts, invoices, negotiable instruments, and orders involving goods or services.
  • Only members of the College can hold shares.
  • The officers and directors of the professional corporation must be shareholders.
  • The professional corporation can only offer psychotherapy services, or provide related or ancillary services.
Members cannot avoid professional liability through a professional corporation; injured clients can sue the member personally. However, members working through a professional corporation do have protection against trade creditors. For example, if suppliers or other creditors are not paid by the professional corporation, they cannot sue the member personally.
A number of provisions exist to ensure that members continue to meet their professional and ethical obligations while practising through a professional corporation. For example, the RHPA applies to members even if they practise through a professional corporation. The College has the same powers over the professional corporation that it has over the member.
CRPO staff cannot provide advice or direction regarding whether you should incorporate your practice or about how to create a professional corporation.  You should consult with your lawyer and/or accountant for further information.
Updated May 2014