I'm offered a permanent position in a company.

When I look the company up, the company appears as "Inactive - Discontinued " since a few months before. This is in the federal registry. Name search isn't finding anything in provincial registry.

The company name on the offer is the exact same name that is showing the "Inactive - Discontinued " status.

They've had a change in high-level management. But how does it relate to these?

What can this be?

I don't want to ask the company-- this is a weird thing to ask. And some other things in the contract made me wonder. This is, in fact, the first time I've looked up a company like this.

Is the contract I'm making with an invalid/inactive company name valid? To what extent?


Update: It's a Canadian company in Ontario. They have offices, headquartered in Ontario.



My hunch is this is a thing about that change they've had few months ago. This is an active, operational company out there with many clients. But then there is this.


Update 3:

they are a subsidiary-- been acquired. i asked them.

  • 1
    can you specify country in question
    – depperm
    May 25 at 13:08
  • 9
    "I don't want to ask the company - this is a weird thing to ask"... is it? It's a weird situation, so I'd start by asking. They may have a simple explanation. Or they may not. May 25 at 13:15
  • 1
    There are likely to be other identifiers you can find regarding the company. I suggest you take a look through the website and see if you can find any others, like business registration number etc. It's possible they have reincorporated under a different name or something. May 25 at 13:22
  • 5
    I'm struggling understand why you wouldn't want to ask the company. It seems like an important thing to clarify. May 25 at 13:48
  • 1
    @mattfreake i think that's what i shd do. this post was to find out-- can be something trivial/obvious. i don't know the dynamics of these. i'm not an accountant or anything like that.
    – ash__999
    May 25 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


Make sure you are looking in the right place. And check that there aren't both active and inactive versions of the company.

Most companies in Canada are registered with the province they are headquartered in, not registered federally. For example Blackberry (a significant multinational) is registered in Ontario not in the Canadian Federal Corporations Database.

Significantly Blackberry also has several entries in the database, including at least one Inactive one. A search for "Blackberry" yields mainly inactive companies as the first hits, but eventually the active one (or in fact several active ones). A quick check reveals that the active company was formed by merger of the Inactive one with a numbered company - some kind of behind-the-scenes corporate technicalities that I won't pretend to understand. The old company was presumably made inactive by the merger, and the new one with the same name is now active. This is especially likely to be the case for your company as a result of "that change they've had few months ago".

Make sure you are looking in the right place, and then look to see if there is an active company in with the inactive.

  • Thx for the ans. The office address appearing on the "inactive" record on Federal registry (the links you sent are the ones - thank for them as well) is their address, so no doubt that it's them. My main concern is the name appearing on the job offer. i'm pretty sure this is active operating company registered properly. but how valid/legal is my contract with the inactive-company-name.
    – ash__999
    May 25 at 22:26
  • Did you not find an active entry in the same database? May 25 at 23:31
  • no. i don't have business# or anything else to search by anyways, only the the name
    – ash__999
    May 26 at 1:11

Reach out to the government registry and ask them why this company appears as "inactive - discontinued" and what all the possible causes and implications of this are.

Next, I would reach out to the company and ask them why they are listed as "inactive - discontinued" in the government registry. Don't mention anything about having already spoken to the government registry.

Listen to their response and see how closely it matches or differs from what the government registry told you. If they are very different, you could confront them about the information that the government registry gave you but I would probably thank them for their time and move on to a different opportunity.

  • "Next, I would reach out to the company and ask them why they are listed as "inactive - discontinued" in the government registry." Also, it's a good idea to do this over email, this way you have a written record of your query. May 27 at 9:12

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