Originally posted on Nov 26, 2018
Completing a corporation search in Ontario provides the most detailed, current information on an existing corporation. The search name has changed as of October 2021 to an “Entity Search” in Ontario. This allows searches to check both for corporations and registered businesses within the corporate database simultaneously. Often people searching a record are not sure whether the business is an incorporated or registered business. This takes the guess what out of that and allows you to search both at the same time.
The information provided in the search results is as follows:
- Correct legal name of the business
- Business address
- The mailing address for business
- Directors and officers names and addresses
- When the directors and officers began with the corporation
- Any corporate name change
- Whether the corporation is currently active according to the Provincial record
- Business activity in some circumstances
- Correct business legal name
- Physical address for business
- Mailing address in some circumstances
- Owners with owners addresses
- Business activity
Who can request the information?
The corporate data bank is public and accessible to anyone who wishes to see the details of a corporation.
Is a corporation made aware of corporate searches done on them?
No, the request is done through the Province, and there is no tracking database available to view who ordered the search request.
How long does it take to obtain results?
The corporation search, also known as the entity report and corporate profile report, can be obtained on a same-day basis, usually within minutes. The file is ordered, obtained and emailed to you within a PDF file.
How reliable is the information?
The individuals who own the corporation and registered businesses are to voluntarily update the document each time there is a change, whether it’s a change of address for the corporation or registered business or a director or officer change. Often the individuals forget to update the business or corporate information, however, if you are litigating against a registered business or corporation, the corporate search record of the address is where the documents should be served.
How long is the information valid?
The information is valid as of the day prior to you ordering the report. The next day, the information may be changed.
What if this is my corporation and the records are outdated?
If you are a director, officer or someone who is aware of the current information related to a corporation that is not up to date, you can file what is called a Notice of Change, or Form 1, to update the corporate information. We can assist you to complete this, if necessary.
What about information regarding shareholders of the corporation?
Shareholders are not listed on the corporation search or any public document. The shareholders of the corporation are held privately by the corporation. Often, the individuals who are listed as directors and/or officers of any given corporation are also the shareholders, but there may be exceptions or additional individuals who are not listed as directors and/or officers.
What if the corporation is listed as canceled?
An Ontario incorporated company can be canceled by 2 sources. One is through the Ministry of Consumer and Business services that hold the corporate records. The Ministry of Consumer and Business services can cancel the corporation if it is not compliant with their requirements. Additionally, a corporation may voluntarily dissolve themselves by obtaining a letter of consent to dissolve from the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance may also cancel the corporation if the corporation has not been maintaining the required tax return filings on behalf of the corporation.
Should you have any questions about conducting a Corporate Search, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
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.