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 you either registered with or incorporated within.
Why is it 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 has 20 days to respond to the plaintiffs claim. If there is no response, the plaintiff can gain judgment against your business and begin procedures to gain the 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 plaintiffs 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 asap.
How to update your business address
Updating your business address is very easy and there 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, this is available on the Service Ontario website. The benefit to filing manually, is that there are no government or agent fees however when you mail in these documents, the turnaround time for the Province to update your corporate address is typically 9 weeks and the Provincial examiners do not confirm they have received or updated your corporate address. It is your responsibility to ensure this update has occurred weeks after you have filed the documents.
Your secondary option is to file the update to your corporate address electronically. 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 manual filing.
If you have a registered business in Ontario (Master Business Licence)
When you originally registered your registration, you completed either a Form 1 Sole Proprietorship or Form 2 Tradename 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 fill in the same application as when you registered however with this registration, you will be checking on amendment at the top of the form.
You can complete the form 1 or 2 in person at a Service Ontario kiosk at no cost.
Alternatively, you can have an agent complete and register the updated address on your behalf where there is an agent fee to complete and no government fee.
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.
Laura Harvey is an entrepreneur herself as the owner of Ontario Business Central Inc. Her passion has always been about supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and advancement within Canada.
Laura authors in-depth blogs for Ontario Business Central assisting entrepreneurs and business owners to start, manage and grow their businesses. She has almost 30 years of expertise as a corporate specialist and 25 years of being an entrepreneur. Laura has the unique position of supporting a community that she also belongs to. She walks the walk right along with you.
You can find Laura on Linkedin and Twitter.