New business owner

Registering Your Master Business Licence

Ontario Business Central has been assisting individuals to register their business for over 20 years. From speaking with the consumers, we have compiled commonly asked questions about how to register and what the process entails. We offer this information to help you register.

Sample Master Business LicenceIt is a quick and easy process that allows you to operate a business, open a bank account, use name for marketing (storefront, business cards…). You are allowed to use the name as it is registered. This type of business registration does NOT have name protection. Since the MBL does not have name protection we recommend pre-searching the name in the Nuans databank (a service we offer), to ensure you are not infringing on a Corporation or Trademark that has name protection.

Under the Ontario Business Names Act, you must register your business name if operating under any other name but your first and last name, (ex: Roger’s Designs).   Even in the event of using your personal name for the business, people will register their personal name for the business to gain access to wholesale pricing or discounts from suppliers.(ex: Roger Smith)

A Master Business Licence is a registration that is valid for 5 years. Before the end of the 5 year term, you are required to renew your licence.

Often clients refer to the Master Business Licence as different names. Noted below are some of the commonly used terminologies:

  • Business Registration
  • Small Business
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • General Partnership
  • MBL
  • Tradename
  • Operating as name
  • Division of name

What is required to register your Master Business Licence?

  • Type of registration (Sole proprietorship, General partnership or Tradename)
  • Name of the business
  • Business Activity
  • Business and Mailing address (Home address can be used. PO BOX can only be used for mailing address. Business address must have a physical location)
  • Legal name of owner(s) and address(es)
     

Tradenames also require the following

  • Name of Corporation
  • Ontario Corporate Number
  • Home Jurisdiction of the Corporation

Why register a Master Business Licence?

  • Quick turnaround time
  • Simple registration
  • File with personal taxes
  • Inexpensive to set up

Who do we see registering Master Business Licences?

  • Individuals who are not concerned about name protection of business name.
  • Individuals who are not concerned about personal liability risk.
  • Business revenues typically of lower income (under 80K)
  • Looking to operate different businesses from their corporate name.

Things to think about after registering?

  • HST registration
  • WSIB
  • Import/Export
  • Insurance
  • Marketing
  • Opening Bank Account
  • Town/Municipal Licensing (ex: Vendor Permit) 

How long does it take to be registered?

Registering a new Master Business Licence is available Monday-Friday (excluding holidays) on a same day basis if ordered before 3pm. Should the order be submitted after this timeframe, it will be processed next business morning.

Renewal of a current Master Business Licence typically takes 3-5 business days. We process the day it is submitted, however the registration goes through a clearing house for renewal approval. Once received, we email the document to you.

Should you wish to, Ontario business Central offers the ability to register your Business as a Master Business Licence.

**OUR INFORMATION IS SIMPLY A GUIDE TO ASSIST YOU. WE ARE NOT A LAWFIRM NOR ACCOUNTING FIRM. YOU MAY WANT TO SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL BEFORE PROCEEDING TO REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS.**