Start a Small Business in Ontario

start a small business in ontario

If you want to start a small business in Ontario, registering a Master Business Licence is one option to set up your business. This option is ideal for those looking to start a small business for very little cost. There are three different types of Master Business Licences that can be created:

A Master Business Licence is a one-page document issued by the Province of Ontario that allows you to operate your chosen business name. Included on the Master Business Licence is the name of the business, address, name(s) of the owner(s) and business activity. Once the registration has been completed, you will also see a 9-digit business identification number, this number is exclusively provided to your Master Business Licence registration.  

You will need a copy of the registration to open a bank account and start your business, when you want to make changes to the business registration or when it comes time to renew the business licence. 

Master Business Licences are valid for 5 years after their creation, after which you will want to renew in order to stay actively registered. Ontario Business Central keeps your Master Business Licence on file for the 5 year period it is valid and will send you a reminder email when it’s coming up for renewal.

Benefits of Starting a Small Business in Ontario

There are certain benefits registering a Master Business Licence provides to you including:  

  • Valid registration for a 5 year period
  • Ability to operate under a registered business name within Ontario
  • Access to open a business bank account, tax accounts, obtain cheques, business cards
  • Potential access to wholesale or discounted pricing from suppliers
  • Ability to advertise and promote the registered business name

A Master Business Licence registration does not provide the following:

  • Name protection for the business in Ontario
  • Liability protection for the individual owner(s)
  • Potential corporate tax benefits
  • Continual registration without the need for renewal
  • Flexibility to make many changes to the registration

Starting a Small Business with Ontario Business Central

Ontario Business Central has been assisting entrepreneurs with registering their small businesses in Ontario for more than 25 years. When Ontario Business Central completes this registration for you, you’ll also have the benefits of:

  • Pre-screening of your small business registration to check for potential errors or reasons why a Master Business Licence may be flagged and cancelled by the Ministry
  • Access to your Master Business Licence during the 5 years it is valid, resent to you upon request
  • Email reminder when your business registration is coming up for renewal
  • Optional name search prior to completing the registration in order to check against existing small businesses, corporations and trademarks across Canada. This allows you to see if there are any potential name conflicts and search a different name at no additional cost.

Optional Name Search

In order to possible naming conflicts with existing businesses, corporations and trademarks, you can choose to conduct a preliminary search prior to completing your business registration. Ontario Business Central searches the NUANS databank across Canada, checking for any names which may appear too similar to the business name you wish to reserve. This gives you the opportunity to make changes to your business name before the registration is completed. A name search can be included with your Master Business Licence registration.

To register a Master Business Licence with our team, please click the link below:

Get a Master Business Licence

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for any clarification or assistance you may require.
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.