How to Add a Partner to My Business?

business partnership

Original publish date: Aug 10, 2018

Depending on what business you have set up, you may or may not be able to add a partner to an existing business.

Adding A Partner to a Sole Proprietorship or Proprietorship

If you have registered a Master Business License or small business as a single owner by either registering a Sole Proprietorship or Proprietorship, you cannot change these to add a new partner to the business set up however you can simply register a new General Partnership or Partnership to provide the opportunity to have the business include a partner. This does mean you are completing a new registration to obtain the ability to include a partner. We recommend that when you have completed a new General Partnership or Partnership that you cancel the previous registration as a Sole Proprietorship where you operated the business as a sole owner. This confirms the ending of the business as one person and the beginning of the business as 2 or more individuals.

If you would like our assistance in completing these options, we have included the links below to register a new General Partnership and to cancel the existing Sole Proprietorship.
Business Cancellation

New Registration

Adding a Partner to a General Partnership or Partnership

If you have registered a General Partnership or Partnership as a small business or Master Business License, you are able to add a new partner or partners to this existing registration. There is no limit to how many partners you may have in this business set up and at any time you can remove partners to a minimum of two. With the Partnership or General Partnership, you must always have a minimum of two individuals within the business. If the business is moving forward with only one person, you would complete a Sole Proprietorship or Proprietorship and it is recommended you cancel the General Partnership or Partnership.

If you would like our assistance in adding a new partner to your existing business, here is the link to do so:

amend a business

If you have a General Partnership and wish to switch to a Sole Proprietorship, here are the links to both cancel the existing Partnership and to register the Sole Proprietorship so you can continue on as a sole owner of the business.

Business Cancelation

New Registration

Adding a partner to an Ontario Incorporated business

If you incorporated a business, in doing this, you have much more flexibility than if you had registered a small business. As long as you have allowed the expansion to provide additional directors within your Articles of Incorporations, you can, at any time, add a new director to your existing incorporated business.

If you look at your existing Articles of Incorporation within the body of the document, you will see where typically it lists the minimum and maximum number of directors. This provides the parameters of how many directors overall can be included in the corporation. A standard example is a minimum of one and a maximum of ten. You have given the corporation the ability to expand to a total of 10 directors within the business before needing to change the overall landscape of how the business was originally set up and to remove the number of directors down to a minimum of one.

If you would like to either add a new director or remove an existing director you can do this simply by filing a Notice of Change for the corporation to provide the details of the individual’s name, address and citizenship.

If you would like our assistance in completing this option, we have included the link below to change director information with your existing corporation.

Notice of Change

If your existing Articles of Incorporation do not allow for an additional director to be added, we can also assist with amending the articles to change the minimum and maximum number of directors, prior to filing the notice of change. If you wish to have us assist with this option, noted below is the link to amend the Articles of Incorporation for your existing corporation.

Articles of Amendment

To recap adding a new partner to you existing business

Sole Proprietorship – cannot add another partner, you must create a new registration as a General Partnership and it is highly recommended to cancel your Sole Proprietorship.

General Partnership –  As long as the General Partnership will continue with 2 or more partners, you can add another partner by amending your current registration.

Incorporated Company – Within your Articles of Incorporation you have provided the minimum and maximum number of directors allowable for your listing of directors. As long as you remain within those parameters, you can add another director to your existing corporation.

Our team has been assisting entrepreneurs over the last 25 years to make these types of changes. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff for additional information and assistance.
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.