Company Key Ontario

A Company Key in Ontario provides protection to an incorporated or registered business where a Company Key is required to have access to the business’s records.

Across many jurisdictions in Canada, a Company Key or corporate key has been introduced as a protection for corporate and registered business access.  Corporations Canada has had the corporate key as part of the incorporation process with them for many years.

A Company Key in Ontario was introduced on October 19 2021.  The Company Key is a sequence of 9 digit numbers exclusively provided to each business. You can opt-in or opt-out at the time of registration or you can apply for it later if you are an existing business.

A Company Key is similar to the PIN number attached to your bank card where the PIN is needed to access a bank account.  The Company Key protects your corporate records from changes without your authority as a key-holder.

Why would I want a Company Key for my business?

The Company Key offers protection to your corporate or registered business records.  The public system is completely open allowing anyone to gain access to your business and allows changes to your business without your authorization or consent.  Once the Company Key is established, this 9 digit number will be required for any subsequent document filing for your business with The Ministry of Government and Consumer Services providing protection to your business identity moving forward.

It is not mandatory to obtain the Company Key to start or change your business. You may continue to register and change your corporation without the requirement of the Company Key if you wish.

However, we would recommend taking the time to obtain the Company Key for your business. Once you have established the Company Key, your business has protection against unwanted changes to your business account with the Province of Ontario.

We have been assisting entrepreneurs and business owners to start, change, cancel or search businesses across Canada for almost 30 years.  Within our industry we are seeing more fraudulent transactions on behalf of existing businesses due to identity theft of businesses, similar to personal identity theft of individuals.

For Years, we have heard from clients who couldn’t understand why anyone had access to their business where changes could be made without their authority.  All of this changes once you obtain your Company Key where it puts a lock on your corporate or business records.

How do you obtain a Company Key?

If you are registering a new business, you can choose to either opt in for the Company Key or not.  We provide you the access to add the Company Key or not when starting your business.  You can choose to have the Company Key immediately as you start your business or wait to obtain it at a later time.

When including the Company Key as part of the registration or incorporation process, time delays of up to a few days occur.

If you do not want to wait or are not interested in having the Company Key, you can register or incorporate by opting out of the Company Key and obtain your incorporation or registration on a same day basis without an assigned Company Key.

Company Key for a New Business

Any new business whether incorporating or registering in the Province of Ontario has the ability to choose whether they wish to obtain the Company Key as part of the registration process.  This is applicable for any new startup including all of these Ontario registrations:

How do you obtain a Company Key as a New Business Owner?

If you are just starting a business, you can decide to opt in for the Company Key as part of the original incorporation or registration process.  Once your business has been created, you will receive the Company Key to your official email address as provided.  As the key-holder it is your responsibility to keep the key confidential.  Moving forward, each time you make a change to your business, you will need to provide your Company Key as part of the process.

Company Key for an Existing Business

Any existing business already registered or incorporated in Ontario will not automatically be included in the Company Key set up.  You as a business owner can continue to complete corporate filings with us without the need of a Company Key or, you at any point can apply to obtain the Company Key.  Once you do, you can use the Company Key for any subsequent filings with the Province of Ontario including:

  • Changing corporate name
  • Changing corporate or business address
  • Changing corporate or business owners
  • Adding a trade name aka registering a business name for a corporation) to an existing corporation
  • Renewal of a Master Business License aka (Business Name Registration)
  • Renewal of a Sole Proprietorship
  • Renewal of a General Partnership
  • Renewal of a trade name aka (business name for a corporation)
  • Initial Notice filing for a Corporation
  • Notice of Change for a Corporation
  • Annual Return for a Corporation

How do you obtain a Company Key as an Existing Business Owner?

The process to obtain your Company Key is easy and can be done at any point.  You don’t need to be making a change to your business to apply for the Company Key and once you have it, you have the protection against others having access.

Use an email address that you intend to keep for the long haul.  Any government updates or requirements will be sent to this email address so it is important to consider when you have more than one email which one you will designate for your business entity as the official email address.

Steps to getting your Company Key

  1. Make sure your corporate or business address is current and up to date.  If there is a possibility that the business address is an old address,  it’s time to update before you begin the process of requesting the new Company Key.

If you need to update your address, we can do this easily and quickly on a same day basis

Incorporated Business Address Update

Registered Business Address Update 

  1.  Apply online using your email address to have the Company Key from the Ontario Business Registry system.  Once you fill in the application, the Company Key will be mailed to your business address within 3 to 5 business days.
  2. Once you have your Company Key you have protected your business from that point moving forward against any changes to your business without your consent or whom you deem to have access to your Company Key.

How can Ontario Business Central help you in this new system?

We have been gearing up for months to offer you the best experience possible in the new Ontario Business Registry system.  Ontario Business Central is an intermediary, trusted partner to the Province of Ontario.

As an existing business, we can make changes to your business without the need of a Company Key and also provide the ability for you to use your Company Key, once created, to provide sole access to your corporate records within our system.

Ontario Business Central has been serving the entrepreneur, business and legal sectors of Canada’s economy for almost 30 years.  With every change there are questions and confusions about how the process works.  Our staff are here to answer your questions and help you through this new process.  We look forward to helping you.

If we can be of assistance, please feel free to reach out to our staff for any clarification or assistance you may require.

[email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-877-306-9458
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.