Originally Posted on June 5, 2017
There are so many things to be done when you are moving your business location including improvements to the new space, phone lines, notifying both suppliers and clients of the new address, new office equipment, and so many other things. There is one thing that business owners forget to do and that is to notify government agencies of the business move. This is one of the most important items to do when moving and most often forgotten.
Notifying Government agencies of your move
When you incorporated or registered your business, you are required to provide a physical address for your business. If this address is changing from what you originally established with the move of the business, it is very important to update your records with the Province or Federal government.
Update the following addresses:
- Address for Ontario Incorporated Company
- Address For Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership
- Address for Federal Incorporated Company
- Address for Domestic Corporation with Branch Address in Ontario
Why is updating the business address important?
The physical address you have provided as your business address is the address that will be used if your business is being sued by a third party. Your business information is available publicly by the jurisdiction you originally registered or incorporated within. Every person and business owner dreads the idea of someone wishing to sue over any matter. Outside of the prospect of being sued, it is vitally important that if this event happens that you have your current business address available. When someone decides to sue you, the address listed on your registration or incorporated business address is where the service of the legal documents is going to be delivered to, typically in person by an agent of the individual or law firm representing the individual or company who is suing you. Once a service has happened, you as the business owner usually have 20 days to respond to the plaintiff’s claim. If there is no response, the plaintiff can gain judgment against your business and begin procedures to gain proceeds from the judgment.
Far too often, business owners have no idea of the litigation or judgment until the judgment is being enforced by the plaintiff, when the damage has already been done. It is very hard to have a judgment set aside so that you can back up the time clock and provide your defense and fight against the plaintiff’s claim if you have missed the original service of the documents.
Whether a move has already taken place or is about to occur, update your business address as soon as possible. Even if you are reading this and a move happened a year or two ago. Update as soon as you realize you should have done this. It is important to do so asap.
How to update your business address
Updating your business address is very easy and there are a few different options in doing it.
If you have a corporation in Ontario
There is the availability to update your business address with the Province of Ontario at no cost. You can complete a Form 1 Notice of Change, which is available on the Service Ontario website. The benefit to filing via email, is that there are no government or agent fees; however when you email in these documents, the turnaround time for the Province to update your corporate address is typically many weeks. It is your responsibility to ensure this update has occurred weeks after you have filed the documents. Since October of 2021, the Province has included the requirement for a company key to update your corporate record directly with them. The unfortunate thing is you have to apply for the Company Key first and it is delivered to the address currently listed for your corporate address. If you are no longer at this address, it makes it very difficult to apply for the Company Key prior to updating your address.
Your secondary option is to file the update to your corporate address electronically. You can easily change the corporate address for the business without the need for a company key. As an intermediary with the Province of Ontario, we are able to by-pass this requirement making things much easier for you to complete. The update tends to be completed on a same day or next business day turnaround time. The electronic update to your business address not only is completed quickly but you will receive email confirmation that the update has taken place. There are both government and agent fees associated with the electronic filing; however there is peace of mind that comes with this format of updating your file versus the email version.
If you have a registered business in Ontario a Business Name Registration (formerly) Master Business License
When you originally registered your registration, you completed either a Form 1 Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Form 2 Trade Name under an existing corporation. With this form you provided the details of your business including business name, activity, business address, your name and address and the same for any partners you may have. To change the address, you can either file directly with the Province where a company key is required or you can file electronically without the requirement of the company key and complete your amended registration much faster and easier.
Filing Amendment with Province
To file an amendment of your current registration with the Province of Ontario, you first are required to obtain your company key. This is a 9 digit sequence of numbers exclusively available to your business. The Company Key was introduced in October of 2021 and is required with any subsequent filing with the Province directly including amendments, renewals or cancellations of your current registration. If you registered your business prior to October 2021, you most likely have not received the company key yet. To obtain the company key, the Province has provided the ability to request and receive the new company key by mail to your registered business address. This may be an issue for those of you who have already moved and may have difficulty receiving mailings from a previous address and it can take weeks for you to receive the Company Key before you are able to make changes to your business
Filing Amendment with Ontario Business Central
As a trusted intermediary to the Province of Ontario, we are able to file an amendment, renewal or cancellation of your current business registration without the requirement of the Company Key. By using us, you will save time and effort in making a change to your business.
At Ontario Business Central, we assist individuals to update their business address on a daily basis.
If you would like our assistance here are the links to complete either the corporate or registration update easily.
Other government agencies to update
Now that you have updated your new address with the Province of Ontario, it is also important to notify Revenue Canada of the new address. You can reach them directly at 1-800-959-5525 and provide the details of your new address for your corporate tax, individual tax, hst and payroll accounts.
If you have any other government accounts such as WSIB, Vendor Permits, etc. you should contact and notify these agencies as well. You can Google the direct phone numbers for these agencies and reach out and provide the new address.
If you have any questions about moving your business, please feel free to contact our staff, who is available to provide additional information and assistance.
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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.