Totally Impressed with the service I received. The process was swift and registration completed in a few working days. No wonder the ratings are so high on Google. Keep up the great work.
Use this form to register a new business name or renew an existing business registration in Ontario including a Sole Proprietorship (1 owner), Firm name for a General Partnership (2 + owners), Business Name under a Corporation or General Partnership (Trade Name or DBA).
Jump start your business today by completing your online registration using the best and easiest platform available. The time it takes is 3 to 5 minutes. At Ontario Business Central, our business is to help you start and grow your business.
Registering a business in Ontario is simple with the help of Ontario Business Central. Whether you are creating starting a small business or adding a trade name to your corporation, we make it easy to get your business and running quickly. It only takes a few simple steps to complete your registration using our online form.
Here are a few key differences between Registration and Incorporation to help you determine which is best suited to your needs.
|Use of a Business Name||✔||✔|
|Ability to Hire Employees||✔||✔|
|HST/Payroll Set Up||✔||✔|
|Set Up Business Bank Account||✔||✔|
|Sole Foreign Ownership||✔||✔|
|Business Name Security||✖||✔|
|Business Tax Incentives and Reductions||✖||✔|
|Limited Liability For Owners||✖||✔|
|Venture Capital/Raise Capital||✖||✔|
|Structure Changes to Business||✖||✔|
|Purchase Real Estate/Stock Investments||✖||✔|
|Flexibility to Alter Business||✖||✔|
|Extending Business Into Other Jurisdictions||✖||✔|
Totally Impressed with the service I received. The process was swift and registration completed in a few working days. No wonder the ratings are so high on Google. Keep up the great work.
It was very easy to renew my business license online. An agent followed up with me immediately by email when she noticed an address discrepancy on my application. It was easily resolved. Prompt, professional and friendly service.
Awesome company to work with. Website is easy to navigate into finding what you need, online forms are simple to fill in, and the request was processed and confirmed within the afternoon! Very impressed with their service and will be using again for my husband's business come January.
Choosing the right name for your new business is a very important decision. You want a name that will draw potential customers, help clients identify your product or service and build a business image. Choose a name that is easy to remember and provides information so potential customers easily understand your product or service.
A business registration is not required if an individual is doing business under his/her own name (e.g. John Smith). If a descriptive element (e.g. John Smith Books) is added then under the "Business Names Act" the registration must be completed.
The individual registering the business assumes full responsibility for any risk in confusion with an existing corporation, business name or trade mark. It is very important when choosing a name for your business that you consider the uniqueness of the name. Any name provided by the registrant will be accepted by the Ontario Government, as there is no name protection for small businesses. If you choose a name that is deceptively similar to an existing name, you risk legal action being taken by the other party.
When choosing a business name certain words or expressions cannot be used. They are as follows:
If you want your business name in a language other than the Roman Alphabet you may do so as long as the name is registered in the Roman Alphabet. Your business name may be displayed in Chinese, Italian, Spanish etc. as long as the English name is also displayed at the place of business.
You want to chose a business name that is tailored to you and your business. It is very difficult to find a name that is not infringing on another business name. Your name should be specific to you, what you do, the area you live, the times available, the speediness or accuracy of your service etc. all of these identifiers help to make a name that is unique to you and your business.
There are two ways to search for available business names as part of the registration process. Neither of these is mandatory, however it is recommended that you consider verifying the business name availability to ensure you are not infringing on another business name and to verify that you have a distinctive name to separate you from your competitors.
Ontario Business Name Search
This is a search done through The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations. This database searches for exact name matches against business names that already exist in Ontario. It does not search for similar names to the name you are proposing. It does not verify that you are not infringing on another corporation name, trademark within the province of Ontario or other provinces.
Name Search (new updated automated name search)
This databank contains records throughout most of Canada. It displays corporations and business registrations with the same or similar name to the one proposed. This search is much more effective in determining name availability. A preliminary search is done initially to check for availability before the expense of ordering the actually search printout.
The next step to complete the Ontario Business Registration is to begin the registration of your new business. You will be prompted to provide the following information:
The Ontario Business Name Search is a database search from the Ontario Business Registry. It will only identify an exact business name to the proposed business name you would like to register. You can request this search and pay the provincial fee of $8.00 but just know the results will be very limited.
A NUANS report is not necessary when you register a business however, you can select to complete a name search for $12.99 as part of your registration process where we will search the business name in the NUANS database for any conflicting business names including same or similar business names, corporations or trademarks. This is a much more comprehensive search result than the Business Name Search and provides much more clarify to any conflicts to your proposed business name. In addition, if there is a conflicting name already registered or incorporated, you are able to provide a new business name to use at no additional cost.
You can complete either a new registration or the renewal of a current registration with this service. You can change your current registration including updating an address or changing the business activity. If you wish to cancel a current registration, this can be completed by filing a business cancellation.
If you wish to change from a Sole Proprietorship to a General Partnership or vice versa, you will need to complete a new registration.
Once the registration is completed the new business is registered with the Ontario Government and given a Business Identification Number (BIN) that identifies your registration from any other. The registration is valid for a period of five years as indicated on the completed form. Within that five year period if you want to amend or cancel the registration you must provide your business BIN number to link the changed registration with the previous one. After a five year period, you are required to renew your business registration.
Your business registration must be renewed every five years. The renewal must be completed within 60 days of the expiry date of your registration. On your present registration it will show you two dates, when the business commenced in Ontario and when it will expire. If this time has lapsed you must register your business as New. You also have the business BIN number that must be given to link the expiring registration to the renewal. When completing the business registration form you will be required to provide the same information as when you originally registered your business name. Once the form is completed you will have five years before requiring to renew your business registration again.
When amending your Business Name the business BIN number is required. The Ontario government allows you to make changes from your original registration in these areas:
You may not change the name of the individuals or business name by amending. If you require these changes a cancellation of the old business name must occur and a new business registration must be submitted. When completing the business registration form you will be required to provide the same information as when you originally registered your business name. Once the form is completed the amendment will continue throughout the remainder of the five year period.
If you want to wind up or cancel your Business Registration, you must file a cancellation with the Ontario Government. The information provided must be completed as when you initially registered your business with the business name, name and address of individuals, activity of business and person authorizing the cancellation. The business Identification Number (BIN) must be inserted to link the cancellation of your registration against the business your originally registered with the government. Your (BIN) number is listed on your original registration.
Once you have completed the filing of the cancellation your business name will be shown as a cancellation and no longer as an active business in Ontario until the original expiry date has passed.
If you do not have a copy of your original registration to renew, amend or cancel your registration, we can search your registration with the Ontario government to find it. An additional fee will be required.
When a business is registered, it gains legal recognition in its jurisdiction. This means it can legally enter into contracts, hire employees, open bank accounts, and conduct operations under its business name.
Registered businesses are typically assigned a tax identification number, which they use for all tax-related purposes, from reporting income to claiming deductions.
In many jurisdictions, once a business name is registered, other entities are prevented from registering the same or a confusingly similar name. This helps in building a brand and prevents confusion among consumers.
In addition to basic registration, many businesses are also required to obtain specific licenses or permits based on the nature of their operations. For example, a restaurant might need a health permit, while a financial consultancy might require professional licensing.
Beyond legal recognition, registering a business often provides the owner with various benefits, such as:
Once registered, the business is required to:
Yes, you are required by law to register your business in Ontario whether it's a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Trade Name under a Corporation. The only time this is not applicable is for a Sole Proprietorship who chooses to use their own personal name (First and Last Names) for the name of the business. This is never applicable for General Partnerships or Trade Names under existing corporations.
Even if your business operates solely online, you are required to register. The registered business name and the domain name are not required to be the exact same name however most individuals choose to operate in this way maintaining consistency in both area
In the context of business taxation, a "write-off" refers to an expense that reduces taxable income. While the exact rules and eligible expenses can vary depending on the jurisdiction and its tax laws, in many places, including Canada and the United States, businesses can write off a wide range of expenses, as long as they are deemed "ordinary and necessary" for the operation of the business. Here's a broad overview:
Yes, as long as you have registered a business name and not used your own personal name, you will need a separate bank account. No need to worry as the bank fees are a write-off for the business so the out of pocket expenses are a short term expense for you and your business.
We have provided a guide to starting a new business. This is a quick and handy reference to assist you to start or grow your business.
When looking at starting a business, you want to consider whether you want to take the time and effort to start a business from scratch where sales are at zero, there is no branding, social media, suppliers or staffing or look at purchasing an existing business or franchise. There are always pr's and con's to each option. Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort to get the business up and running, an existing business although you have to pay to purchase it, will have revenue flow from the day you begin r where sales, branding and staffing are already in place with the knowledge and expertise for the business. Many individuals purchase businesses that they do not have an expertise in and rely on the individuals who have been with the business to help them gain the knowledge required.
Another option is to purchase a franchise. In this case, if you purchase a seasoned franchise, the franchisor has gone through the hurdles of growing and branding the business, has marketing, support, storefront configuration and many other things that allow you as a new business owner to step in and operate. This, however can come at a hefty price where you have the initial cost to purchase the franchise and ongoing monthly expenses as royalties to the business franchisor.
Doing market research as part of your evaluation prior to starting your business gives you the understanding of what you face as far as competitors, what they are selling, where, how effective they are. Whether there is a niche within the market that you can tap into. You can view their social media, what their sales focus on, pricing and so many other things to give you a very good comprehension of what you will face as you start your business.
The business plan is the foundation of determining the concept of the business, to provide a listing of services or products you will provide, both market landscape and strategy along with your financial plan, advertising budget, investor opportunities, risk and mitigation planning and a view for expansion and growing your business well into the future. The business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically as new business opportunities and variances become apparent.
This is a very commonly asked question from new business owners and there are financing options in Canada to gain outside investors such as angel investors and business grants to help make your dream a reality. Venture capitalism is at the root of many startups that have gone from nothing to becoming very successful. A cash infusion can make a world of difference to any business owner. In 2019, Canada saw over 6 billion, that is with a B invested in local Canadian startups.
Building a brand is properly one of the trickiest aspects of starting a business and one that can either catch on with people or not. It is so important to put focus towards the business name, font selection, colours, logo, and so much more. The business name is crucial and should be something easy for people to say, spell and remember. Those are three of the best practices when choosing a business name. You also want an identifier as in what does your business do. Don't waste your time or anyone else's using words like enterprise, global, products, services that are so generic, no one has any idea what you do. Name what you do as part of your business name. This not only is a huge identifier to people looking for what you offer but it also gives you an SEO boost for your marketing.
As you choose your business name, it is vital to ensure the name you are vetting to use to operate your business is also available when it comes to domain registration and social media. You want to establish universal branding for the business name, domain, and social media such as facebook, google my business, instagram, tik tok using the same business name, fonts, colours, and presence.
This is a favourite topic for every Canadian and of course every business owner. Revenue Canada Agency is not something to fear, it is something to understand and follow when it comes to your responsibilities as a business owner. When you initially register your business, the record is sent to the Revenue Canada Agency and verifies to them that someone has set up a new business. When you register a business versus incorporating, the tax implications are much more simple. The revenue received from your business is added to your regular income made by employment when applicable. Your personal tax return now includes any income made from the business minus the expenses of having the business operation including things such as rent, telephones, suppliers, business insurance etc. If your business revenues reach a point of having $30,000.00 in revenue within a year (Jan 1 to Dec 31), you are required to apply for HST. Prior to reaching this revenue status, the HST is a voluntary program where you can opt in to including HST or not. Payroll is only mandatory when you hire employees. Import and export is only necessary when you are bringing goods into Canada or exporting goods outside of Canada.
As previously stated, if you register a business, you will pay personal taxation on income earned from the business minus the business expenses. It is recommended to hire a bookkeeper to assist you in determining what your tax implications are as you go through the year. A registered business has the same tax year as you as an individual from January 1 to December 31 of each year and finalizing tax payments are due April 30th each year.
After you have registered your business, there may be additional provincial or municipal licensing requirements. There is a useful tool called bizpal which can assist you to determine what additional licensing, if any, is required for your specific business.
Often people who register a business forget they have taken on a new risk and liability as business owners. With a registered business, you as the business owner are personally liable for any damages brought forward because of the business activity. It is recommended to find business insurance to protect not only your business but also your personal assets.
When you register your business with Ontario Business Central you will also receive the freebiz guide, our business guide which provides additional information and support for your new business including additional information regarding the government of Canada, market access, income tax,associations to join, mentorship programs and much more.
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