Rules and tools for organizations.
Nonprofit Law Ontario logo and slogan
Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act takes effect! 

After 11 years of waiting, Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) finally took effect on October 19, 2021. Existing nonprofits have 3 years to bring their articles of incorporation and bylaws into compliance with the new law. Until then, most of the rules in your articles of incorporation and bylaws continue to apply whether or not they comply with ONCA as long as they were valid under the previous law. 

If your articles and bylaws do not contain rules addressing the issue you are facing, you must now look to ONCA for the rule that applies. To learn more about ONCA visit Nonprofit Law Ontario

Ontario Business Registry launched 
Along with the new legislation, the Ontario government has launched a new online database and service that allows nonprofits to complete over 90 services online. For example, a nonprofit can now register, incorporate, order information about its directors and address, and file their annual Information Return online. Visit the Ontario Business Registry to learn more.
CLEO can help you transition to the ONCA 
People often ask us what services we offer nonprofits. Here’s what we offer:  
  • Online bylaw tools: Our free and interactive Bylaw Builder is now fully compliant with the ONCA! 
  • Answer questions: While we do not give legal advice, if you have a general question on nonprofit law, send it to and we will respond as soon as we can.
  • Live webinars or blog posts: If you belong to a regional or provincial association interested in a webinar or blog post about ONCA, we can partner with you to deliver one that meets the needs of your member organizations. Send requests to
Nonprofits must file their annual returns 

Every year, within 6 months of the end of their fiscal year, nonprofits must file an annual return with the Ontario government. The annual return ensures that the nonprofit’s information, such as name, headquarters and directors, is up to date on the public record.

Nonprofits whose 2021 annual filings were due between May 15, 2021 and October 18, 2021, were exempt from filing them as the government wanted to focus on launching the new Ontario Business Registry. Now that the Registry is up and running, nonprofits whose 2021 annual filings are due after October 19, 2021, are required to file their annual return. 

The annual return is not the same as a nonprofit’s tax return. To learn more about what tax returns nonprofits need to file, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

COVID-19 online meeting rules extended 
The government is giving nonprofits more time to hold their board meetings or members’ meetings electronically. Nonprofits now have until September 30, 2022, to hold meetings online or by phone. They can do this even if their bylaws say they cannot.  
Visit our Latest developments page for more details. 
Charity and nonprofit law events
Ontario Nonprofit Network’s Nonprofit Driven Conference 2021 
Cost $240-300. Register here. 
Note: CLEO is speaking about the ONCA on October 28 at 1:00 p.m.  
Online. October 27-28, 2021 
About Nonprofit Law Ontario 
Nonprofit Law Ontario, formerly known as Get Ready for the ONCA, is a CLEO project that supports nonprofit organizations in understanding the laws that apply to them. 
CLEO produces clear, accurate, and practical legal information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. 
Please forward this ebulletin widely. Subscribe to receive it directly at
Copyright © 2021 CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario).
Connect with CLEO / Contacter le CLEO:
Facebook icon
Twitter icon

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)
180 Dundas Street West, Suite 506
Toronto, ON M5G 1Z8