Federal government launches digital solution to connect business registries across Canada

WOC in Tech

The federal government has launched a new digital solution aimed to make business registration and reporting easier. Four western provinces are now offering the solution for businesses to connect their business registries.

BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are the first provinces to adopt the MRAS.

The tool, called the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service (MRAS), was designed to reduce domestic trade barriers for companies by digitally connecting Canada’s business registries. Businesses can use the tool to register in select provinces and territories without needing to provide the same information to each jurisdiction.

Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, said the MRAS is an attempt to break down regulatory red tape for Canadian businesses.

“The adoption of the Multi-Jurisdictional Registry Access Service by the four western provinces is the result of a successful collaboration that will bring tangible benefits to businesses,” added Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of industry, science and innovation. “As the economy turns the corner on the pandemic, businesses can rest assured that our government is making it easier for them to invest and create jobs.”

Businesses are legally required to register in each province or territory where they conduct business. The government said business registration serves as an “authoritative source of identity” for Canadian businesses.

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MRAS is the result of a national collaboration by the provinces and territories, led by the federal government, that began in 2016. The MRAS solution is hoped to not only streamline the registration process, but also increase corporate transparency.

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are the first jurisdictions to adopt the MRAS solution to connect their business registries. The federal government said the adoption of MRAS by these provinces is an extension of the Canada’s Business Registries, a free online search platform of Canadian businesses launched in 2018.

Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement’s Regulatory Reconciliation and Cooperation Table, jurisdictions across Canada agreed to collaborate on adopting the MRAS. More business registries are expected to use MRAS, starting with Corporations Canada in fall 2020.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.