Canada today launched the Multi-jurisdictional Registry Access Service (MRAS), a service the connects 14 business registries across Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

Businesses are legally required to register with their province to provide services. By consolidating the business registries, the government hopes to reduce the registration complexity and cost for businesses large and small. Under the new system, companies no longer need to submit the same information to every jurisdiction when registering their business in the four provinces.

MRAS also improves a business’s searchability and visibility by collecting registered companies under a common searchable site that holds registry information for over 80 per cent of corporations operating in Canada.

“We’re committed to improving corporate transparency and reducing internal trade barriers for Canadian businesses,” wrote Navdeep Bains, Minister of Industry, Science, and Innovation in a press release June 30. “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. 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.”

The Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Canada first began the Business Registry Search Pilot in 2016. The pilot program eventually evolved into MRAS after the department partnered with seven provinces in September 2016 to accelerate its development. The prototype was finished in 2017. MRAS then went into the pilot stage in 2018 and officially launched it in 2020.

The government expects more Canadian provinces to adopt MRAS in the future.

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