How to register a company in Toronto

Toronto businesswoman

Originally Published: Oct 1, 2018

If you are looking at registering a Master Business for a business in Toronto, there are two options available to you to do this.

Online Registration

From the convenience of your home or office, you can register a business online within a few minutes. The online process provides the Master Business Licence, whether a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Tradename, to you by email in a PDF file. The electronic copy of your registration is just as valid as the manual filing and also allows you the ability to save the registration on your computer if duplicate copies are ever required.

Manual Registration

If you wish, you can also attend the Provincial Government’s office, located at 393 University Avenue, 2nd floor, Toronto to register your business manually. The Master Business Licence forms are available at this office for you to fill in and file. The manual filing provides only one copy, so it is important for you to maintain that copy in a safe place. If a duplicate is required, you would need to obtain a copy from the Province at a fee. The registration is completed while you wait.

What information is required for me to register my business?

Registering a Master Business Licence is a pretty simple process where the information required is as follows:

  • Name of business
  • Type of business
  • Business address (you can provide your home address if you are operating out of your home)
  • Business Activity (a few words describing what your business will provide)
  • Your legal name and any other individuals who are operators of the business
  • Your home address and any other individuals who are operators of the business

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How long is the registration valid?

The Master Business Licence is valid for 5 years. Within the Master Business Licence, the date of registration and expiration are listed. When the registration is coming up on expiration, it is important that you register it for another 5 years as a renewal of the registration. When completing the renewal, you provide the same information as when you originally registered, but this time you provide the 9 digit BIN number which is also located on your Master Business Licence.

Should I search the business name against existing businesses?

It is always recommended that you search the business name to avoid any confusion or conflict with an existing business name. There are different databank searches available. We, as an online provider search the NUANS databank which will provide a listing of existing Master Business Licences, corporations and trademarks across much of Canada. This is the most comprehensive databank available to search against existing businesses.

The Province of Ontario offers a business name search, which provides a listing of any exact name match of Master Business Licences already listed within their databank. It does not provide any similar matches, corporation or trademark conflicts and solely provides details within Ontario.

Are there restrictions or regulations to the registration?

Yes, there are actually many. Common restrictions are that a Sole Proprietorship cannot be named to sound as if it is operated by more than one person, many symbols are not available for registration and inappropriate language is not permissible.

If you would like to register your business, Ontario Business Central has been assisting individuals to do so for over 25 years. We offer the following services related to registering a Master Business Licence:

  • Pre-screen the details of your registration against regulations and restrictions prior to submission
  • Electronically file your registration on a same day basis and return to you
  • Search the NUANS databank for any similarly named existing businesses. If there are any similar business names, you can provide a new name to search at no additional cost
  • Storage of your registration at no additional cost if a second copy is required by you and only you, the registrant
  • Automatic email notification when your registration is coming due for renewal

Our staff is here to assist you with any questions you have related to registering a Master Business Licence. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. See link below should you be ready to proceed:

Obtain a Master Business Licence

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our 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.