Manitoba Non-Profit Organizations

A non profit organization is one which is created with the intention to not make personal profits. It is formed for non-commercial purposes, for example, to perform community work or to establish a social or athletic club. Any profit that is made is used to further the goal or undertaking of the organization. Profits must not be used by the individuals involved for their own personal financial gain.

While it is not necessary for this type of organization to be registered in order to operate on a non profit basis, the following two options are available:


Option 1: Incorporate under The Corporations Act

Incorporation creates a legal entity for the organization and those individuals who are involved with it.

  • Limited Liability - The individuals who are involved in the corporation are not normally responsible for the legal and financial obligations of the corporation (there are exceptions to this general rule).
  • Title to Property - The corporation can own property in its corporate name. Should the membership of the corporation change, the legal ownership of the property lies with the corporation.
  • Legal Action - The corporation can start a legal action under its corporate name which is separate and apart from its members.
  • Funding - If an organization requires funding, some federal, provincial or private funding agencies require that it be incorporated.
  • Continued Existence - The existence of a corporation does not depend on the continued involvement of its individual members or directors. The corporation exists until it is formally dissolved.
  • It is more expensive to incorporate.
  • It is more complex and expensive to operate. There is more of an administrative burden in that, for example, an auditor may have to be appointed.

Option 2: Register a Name Notation under The Corporations Act

A name notation is typically used by non profit groups which are not incorporated. It is not mandatory and just notes the name of the organization on the records of the Companies Office for a period of three years.
A name notation does not have the advantages of incorporation as shown above.

  • If the organization requires funding, it may not be recognized by federal, provincial, or private funding sources as it is not incorporated.
  • It may not be able to set up a bank account under the name notation as it is not an incorporated entity.
  • The name is noted for three years. If the group remains in existence after three years, it can be renewed for a further three year period.
  • A name notation cannot have the following words as part of its name: Incorporated, Limited, Corporation, or the abbreviation or French equivalent.

Select one of the following options for more information.


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