Many small business owners are completely unaware of the fact that their Master Business Licence expires every 5 years. If the Master Business Licence is not renewed, the registration will automatically expire. The Master Businesses include Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership and Tradename registrations. .
Keep The Business Licence Active
If you’re business is still active, you will want to keep your licence active in order to comply with Ministry regulations. There are other reasons why you’ll want to renew your licence and keep it from passing expiry.
Keep Your Original Creation Date
When you renew your licence, you are able to keep the original creation date of the business, allowing you to show the history. If you’ve been in business for many years, you may want your licence to reflect that. When your licence expires and you register a new one, it will show a new creation date.
Keep Your Original Name
Ministry regulations change overtime, and those new changes are grandfathered for current registrations. These could include restrictions or rules around business names. What this means is that if you registered your business before the change, as long as you keep it active, you wouldn’t be subject to those new regulations. If the business licence expires and you have to register a new licence, the new registration would have to abide by any current regulations, regardless of how it was previously registered.
When Do I Need To Renew My Master Business Licence?
In Ontario, Master Business Licences are valid for 5 years. After this, they need to be renewed in order to remain active. There is a 60 day grace period after the expiration date, where you’re still able to renew the licence.
Renewals can take between 3 to 5 business days to get back from the Ministry. If you’re past the expiry date and are getting close to the end of your grace period, we do offer a rush renewal service that can be completed on the same day. Just select ‘RUSH’ when submitting your order for renewal.
Renewing your business licence updates and changes
When you’re renewing your business licence, there are some things you’ll be able to update and change and some things that must remain the same.
What can be updated are the addresses of the business and owners, as well as the business activity. If it’s a partnership, you’re also able to add and remove partners when renewing if the business remains a partnership (more than one person). If you’re renewing a Tradename under a corporation, and that corporation has amended their name or amalgamated, that change can also be reflected in the renewal.
There are some things that must remain the same: These include the business name, type of registration (Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Tradename), and the corporate name, if unchanged If registered as a Sole Proprietorship, the individual’s name needs to be included exactly as it was originally registered.
Your Business Identification Number BIN
When you register a Master Business Licence, your registration will be assigned a Business Identification Number (BIN), this is a 9 digit number provided exclusively to your registration. If you’re looking to amend or renew your licence, this 9 digit number is required. If your licence ends up passing its expiration, and you need to register a new Master Business License and you will receive a new BIN.
If it happens that your licence isn’t close to renewal but you’ve lost or misplaced it, you can order a Document Replica, which is the government issued replacement copy of a Master Business Licence. It doesn’t look exactly the same as your original Master Business Licence, but it will have the same information, including the BIN. The Document Replica can be used for anything the original registration could be used for such as opening a bank account or real estate transactions.
You can order a Document Replica here, and receive it within a few hours of placing your order:
It can be difficult to remember when your licence is due to be renewed. In fact, many small business owners don’t even realize that their licences need to be renewed and unknowingly allow them to expire. One of the benefits of using Ontario Business Central is that we will keep track of your 5-year expiry date and send you a reminder before that date, giving you plenty of time to complete the renewal.
It’s important to keep your Master Business Licence active and renew it before it passes expiry. If you have any questions about renewing your Master Business Licence, please feel free to contact our staff for 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.