Ontario Business Central can assist in searching and finding information on existing businesses. Whether it’s your own business that you’re looking to obtain copies of documentation on or another business that you wish to find more information about, there are a number of different searches that can be conducted, depending on the type of business being searched and what information is being sought out.
Corporate Profile Report
A Corporate Search or Profile Report provides the most up to date information on an incorporated business in any jurisdiction in Canada.
As of October of 2021, the province of Ontario merged searching registered businesses in Ontario and corporations into the same search request.
This is the most common report requested as it provides the most comprehensive view of the corporation. Whether the corporation is active or not, the data is maintained and is retrievable.
The details provided on the report are as follows:
Certificate of Status/Compliance/Good Standing
There are different identifiers for this report including Certificate of Status, Certificate of Compliance or Certificate of Good Standing. Regardless of the identifier, the certificate will show whether the corporation requested is in good standing, meaning active or not.
The Certificate is typically requested when the corporation is either purchasing or selling business assets or by professional incorporators who are required by their governing body to provide a certificate each year.
Articles of Incorporation
Regardless of the age or current status of the corporation, ordering a copy of the Articles of Incorporation will allow you to obtain the original Incorporation documents. The original Articles of Incorporation never change from the first date of issuance. If over time the corporation makes changes including name changes, structure changes, director, officer or address changes, the original incorporation documents remain the same. Any change done by the corporation is reflected in subsequent filings with the Province or Territory.
Point in Time Report (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
This report will show the exact same information as a Corporate Profile Report would, but for a specific date. So, if there were changes made before or after the date specific to this report, they would not necessarily be reflected in the report. The report is essentially a snap shot in time of the corporation for a specific day.
Document List (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
If you’re looking to see all documents filed for a corporation, this search will provide you with a complete list of any documents filed. This is available for Ontario corporations only and only shows documents filed after 1995.
Business Names List (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
If an Ontario corporation has alternative business names it operates under, this is called a Tradename. This search will show any existing Tradenames that are active under a corporation. The Business Names List search is exclusive to Ontario corporations and will not show the names of expired Tradenames.
The corporate search request is now available not only for corporations but for registered businesses such as Sole Proprietorship, General Partnerships and Trade Names in Ontario as of October 19, 2021.
Document Replica (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
If you have misplaced your original Master Business Licence, you will be able to obtain a Government issued copy called a Document Replica. It contains the same information that would appear on a Master Business Licence but will look different than the original.
BNLP Document List (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
Similar to a Corporate Document List, the BNLP Document List will show any documentation filed for a Master Business licence whether a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Tradename including registration, amendments, renewals and cancellations.
Business Names Report (ONTARIO EXCLUSIVELY)
Comparable to a Corporate Profile Report, this would provide very similar information but for a Master Business Licence. It’s recommended to order a certified copy of the Business Names Report if your bank requires this or if you are preparing for litigation against a business.
When you are looking for more information about the financial position of a corporation, these due diligence searches may offer the information you are seeking. You can pull documentation on financial position, liabilities a corporation holds and whether it is involved in litigation as either a plaintiff or defendant.
These searches can include:
Searches for litigation involving a corporation can be conducted through Superior Court cases of $25k and more (in Toronto only), Court of Appeal searches in Ontario and Small Claims Court (in Toronto) for cases under $25k.
If you are looking for more information about an existing company or require documentation, but are unsure of which search to order, you can contact our knowledgeable staff for assistance in understanding what information each search can provide you with.
Ontario Business Central offers you the search services that you want, at an affordable price.
If we can be of assistance, or if you have any questions about this service, please feel free to reach out to our staff for any clarification or assistance you may require.
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.
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