Have you come upon an old stock certificate and wondered if the company is still in existence?
A very good starting point is the FP Survey, Predecessor & Defunct. This book provides information on changes to companies, as well as on those that are no longer in existence. It is also helpful in determining the date of incorporation of a company, the jurisdiction of incorporation (i.e. federal or provincial) and the status of a company (e.g. dissolved).
The actual stock certificate often indicates whether the company was incorporated under federal or provincial legislation.
If the company in question was incorporated under federal legislation, you can use Library and Archives Canada’s Archives Search to see if we have files on the company as part of the Corporations Branch (RG95) records. These records consist of files relating to companies which were incorporated, amalgamated, and dissolved between 1867 and 1973. It is possible to order copies of these files, but keep in mind that some of these can be voluminous.
You can also search Industry Canada’s Corporations Canada database for more recent company information. If your company was incorporated at the provincial level, Industry Canada provides a handy list of provincial registrars. A few jurisdictions offer free company databases (others may charge a fee) that provide information on the status of a company.
If your certificate is from a mining or oil company, you could ask your local library about these sources:
• Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, c1960. 419 p. AMICUS No. 1715558
• Canadian Mines Register of Dormant and Defunct Companies. Supplement, compiled, printed and published by Northern Miner Press Limited. Toronto: Northern Miner Press, 1966- . ISSN 0068-9300. AMICUS No. 13231254
• Canadian Mines Handbook. Toronto: Northern Miner Press. Maps. 19 cm. ISSN 0068-9289. AMICUS No. 89851
• The Financial Post Survey of Mines. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5085. AMICUS No. 104992
• The Financial Post Survey of Oils. Toronto: Maclean-Hunter. ISSN 0071-5093. AMICUS No. 34629
• FP Survey, Mines & Energy. Toronto: Financial Post. ISSN 1486-4266. AMICUS No. 18927856
Good luck with your research!