Adding a Trade Name to a General Partnership

DBA tradename general partnership

Effective October of 2021 a Firm Name For a General Partnership or General Partnership now has the opportunity to register a business name under that General Partnership.

This provides the opportunity to register a trade name or DBA under an existing General Partnership to operate a secondary business name.


Can a partnership have a trade name?

Yes, under the Ontario Business Registry (OBR) system a General Partnership and Limited Partnership can register a trade name under the Business Name Act.

What is a trade name?

A trade name is a secondary business name that can be listed under either an existing corporation or existing General Partnership. The trade name offers the business the ability to operate a different business name than the original. Once registration has been completed, it can be added to the general partnership bank account, it can be advertised and promoted and operated as a business entity.

What is required to register a business name?

The information required to add the trade name under an existing General Partnership is as follows:

  1. Name of General Partnership
  2. Business Identification Number (BIN) of Existing General Partnership
  3. Company Key (this is not mandatory if registering with us)
  4. Official email address
  5. Proposed Business Name
  6. Business Activity and Naics Code
  7. Principal Address of Business
  8. Person Authorizing the registration

Should I search the business name before registering?

The trade name or DBA does not have name protection for the business name however, you will want to search the intended new business name to ensure it is available. With Ontario Business Central, if you search a new business name and the proposed name is being used by another operating business whether a corporation, registered business or trademark, you can provide a new business name to search at no additional cost.

Does the trade name or DBA allow us to market to a different clientele?

Yes, you can register a completely different name from the General Partnership business name. If you are looking at tapping into a new marketplace or offering a new service or an existing one that is revenue generating, adding the trade name gives you the marketing ability to push out a completely different name than you have as the general partnership.

Can we register more than one trade name or DBA?

Yes, you can register as many trade names or DBA as you wish. By doing secondary business names, you have endless marketing opportunities to put new marketing strategies forward.

How long is the registration valid?

The registration is valid for 5 years in Ontario. This is also the same registration period you have for the General Partnership. The registration itself displays the expiry date for when you are required to renew. We will also keep track of this timeframe and email you when the renewal of the registration is required.

How much does it cost to register?

The registration costs are $145.00. The registration is valid for the 5 year period without any additional costs being required.


Does the trade name allow us to operate a completely different business name from General Partnership?

Yes, you can use any business name you wish for the registered business name under your General Partnership. You cannot use wording that represents a corporation by using legal endings such as inc. ltd. or corp.

There are restrictions and regulations attached to any business name under the Business Name Act. You cannot use profanity, some slang terminology and a number of symbols are not available.

How is the trade name taxed?

If the trade name is under a General Partnership, the trade name will be taxed under the personal income of the partners. If the trade name is owned by corporate partners or a corporation, the trade name will be part of the corporate tax return.

Ontario Business Central offers a number of services to start, grow and wind down your business including

Register a Business
Ontario Articles of Dissolution
Change a Business
Cancel a Business
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.