Updated Legislation for Not-for-Profit Corporations in Ontario

On October 19, 2021, the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) will come into effect. The new legislation will make it easier for non-profits to operate and will modernize the legislative framework for the not-for-profit sector.

The new regulations of ONCA will give non-profits more flexibility and will improve how they operate, such as:

  • Simplify the registration and incorporation process
  • Enhance corporation members’ rights and outline actions they can take if they believe directors and officers are not acting in the corporation’s best interest
  • Allow some corporations to use a review engagement in place of a financial audit, removing barriers for many non-profits
  • Clarify rules for governing a corporation and increase accountability
  • Clarify that not-for-profit corporations can earn a “profit” through commercial activities (e.g., selling T-shirts) if it is reinvested to support the corporation’s not-for-profit purposes

Non-profits incorporated in Ontario will have three years after proclamation to transition to the new rules of ONCA and make any necessary changes to their governing documents.

Ontario Business Registry

The Ontario government is launching a new business registry on October 19, 2021. The Ontario Business Registry is going to provide simpler, faster and better solutions for not-for-profit corporations. It will provide access to government services 24/7, allowing non-profits to use the services they need quickly, such as filing an annual return.

The registry will also make available comprehensive data on the sector, helping us further understand the diverse needs of non-profits across Ontario. As October 19 approaches, organizations can sign up to receive emails with information about the new registry.

Learn more about ONCA, how to take advantage of some of the changes before the act comes into effect, and how the regulations could affect your organization.