The Holding Company in Canada: The 2023 Expert Guide!

by | Dec 23, 2023

Are you planning to start a holding company in Canada? Before doing that, you should know the requirements and how they can benefit you. The holding companies can be a handy tool for successful business owners. It’s a tricky decision for those who want to speed up their company’s growth.

Yogi & Associates will go into detail in this blog post to help you grasp what holding companies are and what goes into it.

1. What is a Holding Company?

An organization created to own and manage subsidiaries is a holding company. It focuses on shares of other companies and exercising control over these holdings.

2. Understanding a Holding Company:

Holding companies owns the majority of another company or companies in Canada. This allows it to decide on strategic matters for these companies. This includes financial planning or mergers and acquisitions. It can handle investments, manufacturing, buying and selling real estate, and tech-related work.

The holding companies protect themselves and their other owned companies from financial difficulties. It functions as a shield to keep their belongings safe from harm.

Additional Information:

A holding company, called a “Holdco,” offers benefits ranging from risk mitigation to tax optimization.

3. What is the Purpose of a Holding Company?

Holding companies operates by acquiring a sizable part of other businesses. Significant ownership allows it to make decisions and influence critical business choices. By receiving a part of the profits generated by these businesses it owns, it makes money from them. The holding companies can raise more capital by selling some of their assets or taking out a loan. It can then be used to either support or invest in its current portfolio of businesses.

4. Types of a Holding Company

Pure Holding Company:

It consists of having stock in many other businesses. But, all they own are the stock of other companies. Their primary concerns are control and ownership; they don’t operate in it.

Intermediate Holding Company:

It is the opposite of a pure holding company. This includes ownership and control as well as business operations.

Financial Holding Company:

It handles financial affairs only. It functions as the family’s money manager. It manages financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and investment firms.

Financial Holding Company:

Investments in companies are the main focus of this type. This relates to investments made in stocks, bonds, or other financial institutions.

Subsidiary Holding Company:

They are responsible for holding and managing subsidiaries and supervising their daily activities.

5. How do the Holding Companies Make Money?

Holding companies make money through the following sources:

  1. Holding companies get dividends from other companies. The companies share their own profits share from these companies.
  2. The holding companies benefit from the companies they own, increase in value, and sell their shares. We refer to this as a capital gain.
  3. Holding companies can generate interest by lending money to their subsidiaries. They receives income from the interest earned.
  4. They can also get money by investing in stocks, bonds, and other businesses.
  5. Holding companies also provide consultation services to their subsidiaries and charge for them.

6. The Pros of Holding Companies in Canada:

Tax Benefit:

The holding companies get tax benefits on dividends from their other companies. They also get tax deferral on investment income.

Risk Reduction:

By dividing the holding company’s assets and liabilities from those of its subsidiaries, they offer a certain amount of protection. The holding company’s assets might be protected if a subsidiary encounters economic or legal difficulties.

Centralized Asset Management:

They enable centralized asset management. It facilitates the efficient allocation of funds and resources among subsidiaries. This centralized structure improves negotiating power and makes credit more accessible.


Holding companies eases family succession planning for business succession. They make it easier to pass ownership of assets, like money or real estate, to the next generation while preserving order and stability.

Growth Opportunites:

Holding companies with subsidiaries can diversify their investments across many industries or fields. It thereby spreads risk and increases growth opportunities.

7. The Cons of Holding Companies in Canada:


It is expensive to start holding companies. The cost of the legal and administrative requirements is high. This includes incorporation fees, accounting fees, and legal compliance.

Tax Laws and Regulations:

A holding company’s advantages may change due to changes in tax laws. These changes can impact the tax benefits that the holding companies gain.

Risk Concentration:

Holding companies work to protect their assets from risks. Yet, any problem with one of their subsidiaries could impact the entire group. One subsidiary’s financial troubles or poor management may affect the holding company’s stability.

Flexibility Reduction:

The holding companies is limited to using the profits for that particular subsidiary. They can’t transfer earnings from one subsidiary to another. It reduces their resource allocation flexibility.

Relationship with their Subsidiary :

The holding companies are not involved in the day-to-day activities of the companies. They have less of a relationship with their subsidiary in this way.

The Bottom Line: 

The holding companies assist with estate planning, valuable tax treatment, and asset protection. Still, there are drawbacks. Engaging a lawyer to incorporate a holding company will cost. It is possible to do it yourself, but it is complex and error-prone. Also, there are annual tax return filing fees and continuing administrative costs.

After reading Yogi & Associates’ blog, we hope you understand what holding companies are. Our specialists have considered the benefits and drawbacks, offering a complete picture. Our blog is a great tool to help you decide if you’re considering launching a holding company.


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