Ontario Master Business License Registration/Renewal


From $60.00 plus fees

This form can be used for Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership, Tradename (DBA) under existing corporation. For any further clarification regarding business structure, click here.

Registration Type


9 DIGITS REQUIRED

Business Identification Number: Is a 9 digit unique number provided by the Province of Ontario for each registration submitted and completed. The BIN number is located on your current Master Business Licence and is required when renewing a registration.

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BUSINESS TYPE
NAME SEARCH
DOMAIN NAME REGISTRATION ?

Included with each domain name:

  • Domain name for 1 year
  • Contact Privacy (non disclosure under Who Is)
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Domain Lock to protect from unauthorized domain transfers
TAX ACCOUNT SET UPS
TOTALS

What is a Sole Proprietorship?

A Sole Proprietorship is under the classification of setting up a business known as Master Business Licences. The Sole Proprietorship specifically is designed for the single business owner. This establishes a small business with 1 individual as the business owner and operator.

Details about registering a Sole Proprietorship
  • Owned by 1 individual
  • Registration exists for 5 years and is renewable
  • Taxation for the business is included in individuals’ tax return filing
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
Things to consider when completing a Sole Proprietorship
  • No name protection for the name of the business
  • Personal liability where if there is personal or property damage due to the activities of the business, the individual Sole Proprietorship may be held responsible
  • Taxation – depending on earned income from the business revenues filing under the individuals’ personal tax return may be higher than if the business was incorporated
  • Inflexible – the Sole Proprietorships are limited to changes where the only changes available are address changes of business or individual and business activity.
  • Limited access to credit
  • Viewed as a small organization by other businesses and suppliers
  • Restrictions on wording of Sole Proprietorship to ensure the registration is not viewed as more than one person. Words which are not permitted include group, associates, consultants and any wording where it may be confusing to the business being owned by one single person
  • Another business cannot operate under a Sole Proprietorship.
Why do individuals register Sole Proprietorships?

A Sole Proprietorship is a useful tool to start a business whether the business is a grass roots organization, a part time business or a way to see how the world views your business idea with little cost to establish the business.

The main things to keep in mind when registering a Sole Proprietorship are:

  • How important is name protection to the business?
    If you are spending what you consider to be a fair amount of money for promotional material, advertising, social media whereas the business name is going to be viewed by a larger segment of the population, name protection for the business may be an important aspect of protecting the brand you want to establish with your business. If you are spending money to promote the business and are concerned about protecting the name or brand of the business, incorporating the business where name protection is available may suite your needs.
  • How important is liability protection?
    When registering a Sole Proprietorship, the business is not a separate entity from you as it is when you incorporate a business. If the business you are operating is, in your mind at higher risk for personal or property damage from the activities associated with the business, it may be a good idea to view incorporation as an alternative where the business is a separate entity from yourself as an individual. You may also want to speak with your insurance broker or insurance company regarding obtaining business insurance in the event of risk.
  • What about taxation?
    A Sole Proprietorship taxation is filed under the personal taxes of the individual who operates that business. If the revenues associated with the business are or will be higher than the needs of the individual owner, it may be an option to look at incorporation or at minimum a conversation with an accountant or tax expert to advise you on what would work best for you in your specific circumstance.

 

What is a General Partnership?

A General Partnership is under the classification of setting up a business known as Master Business Licences. The General Partnership specifically is designed for 2 or more individual owners, or 2 or more Corporations registered in Ontario.

Details about registering a General Partnership as 2 or more Individual owners
  • Owned by 2 or more individuals
  • Registration exists for 5 years and is renewable
  • Taxation for the business is included in the 2 or more individuals tax return filing
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Personal Liability for the business by the individual owners
  • Taxation is under the individual owners
  • Inflexible to making changes to details of registration
  • Limited access to credit
  • Viewed as a small organization by other businesses and suppliers

Details to register as a General Partnership between 2 or more corporations

  • Owned by 2 or more corporations
  • Registrations exists for 5 years and is renewable
  • Taxation for the General Partnership belongs to the corporations establishing the partnership
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Liability reverts to each corporation involved in the General Partnership
  • Taxation reverts to each corporation
  • Inflexible to make changes to the details of registration wording where it may be confusing to the business being owned by one single person
  • Another business cannot operate under a Sole Proprietorship.
Why do individuals register a General Partnership?

A General Partnership is a useful tool to start a business whether the business is a grass roots organization, a part time business or a way to see how the world views your business idea with little cost to establish the business.

The main things to keep in mind when registering a General Partnership are:

  • How important is name protection to the business? If you are spending what you consider to be a fair amount of money for promotional material, advertising, social media whereas the business name is going to be viewed by a larger segment of the population, name protection for the business may be an important aspect of protecting the brand you want to establish with your business. If you are spending money to promote the business and are concerned about protecting the name or brand of the business, incorporating the business where name protection is available may suite your needs.
  • How important is liability protection? When registering a General Partnership as 2 or more individuals, the business is not a separate entity from you as individuals. If the business you are operating is, in your mind at higher risk for personal or property damage from the activities associated with the business, it may be a good idea to view incorporation as an alternative where the business is a separate entity from yourself as an individual. You may also want to speak with your insurance broker or insurance company regarding obtaining business insurance in the event of risk.
  • What about taxation? A General Partnership as 2 or more individuals is filed under the individuals’ personal taxes of the individuals who operates that business. If the revenues associated with the business are or will be higher than the needs of the individual owners, it may be an option to look at incorporation or at minimum a conversation with an accountant or tax expert to advise you on what would work best for you in your specific circumstance.

 

What is a Tradename?

A Tradename also known as a DBA or carrying on business name is under the classification of setting up a business known as Master Business Licences. The Tradename is specifically designed for registering a secondary business name under an existing corporation already registered in Ontario.

Details about registering a Tradename
  • Owned by an existing corporation either incorporated or registered as a corporation within the Province of Ontario
  • Registration exists for 5 years and is renewable
  • Taxation for the business is included under the corporate tax return filing
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Inflexible to making changes to details of registration
Why do individuals register a Tradename?

A Tradename is a useful tool to operate a secondary business name outside of the corporate name.

Typically, individuals operate a Tradename under their existing corporation for the following reasons:

  1. To use the business name without the legal ending for signage or advertising. Example ABC Holdings Inc. adding a tradename ABC Holdings.
  2. To add a secondary business name under the corporate name to highlight a specific section to a business. ABC Holdings Inc. adding a tradename DEF Landscaping.
The main things to keep in mind when registering a Tradename under a corporation are:
  • How important is name protection to the business? If you are spending what you consider to be a fair amount of money for promotional material, advertising, social media whereas the business name is going to be viewed by a larger segment of the population, name protection for the business may be an important aspect of protecting the brand you want to establish with your business. If you are spending money to promote the business and are concerned about protecting the name or brand of the business, incorporating the business where name protection is available may suite your needs.
  • How important is liability protection? When the business is registered as a tradename under an existing corporation, the corporation has liability protection which is carried forward with the tradename operating under the corporation.
  • What about taxation? A tradename is taxed under the taxation of the corporation and any revenues generated from the secondary business. Any tax accounts including HST, Payroll etc will also be considered under the corporate umbrella of the existing corporation the tradename is registered under.

 

Register/renew a small business online by selecting one of our packages above. The detailed information on this page provides answers to the questions of key importance in setting up an Ontario business registration

1. How to Register or Renew a Business in Ontario

A small business in Ontario may be registered as an ONTARIO BUSINESS REGISTRATION (also known as a "FORM 1" or Master Business Licence) as a simple, inexpensive way to set up your business. The registration is available as either a Sole Proprietor (for a single individual) or Partnership (for two or more individuals) or as a Tradename ("operating as" name under a Corporation).

The information required for company registration:

  • The business name
  • Business address
  • Principal place of business in Ontario
  • Individual/s name and address (Post Office Boxes are not accepted)
  • Activity carried on by the business
  • Person authorizing the registration of the business

    Advantages & Disadvantages of Registering a Business in Ontario

    The advantages of registering an Ontario Business Registration are that it is an inexpensive and simple format to begin doing business. The disadvantages are that there is little name protection of your business name and the business owner is fully responsible for all the debts and obligations related to his/her business.

Registering a Corporation? See the information here.

 

2. Choosing a Business Name

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 business. If you choose a name that is deceptively similar to an existing name, you risk legal action being taken by the other party.

Restrictions On Name Use

When choosing a business name certain words or expressions cannot be used. They are as follows:

  • Obscene or objectionable words in nature
  • The words "University, College or Institute" may not be used unless written consent is Provided by the Ministry of Education.
  • The words Incorporation (Inc.), Limited (Ltd.) or Corporation (Corp.) may not be used, as this is an identifier for a corporate entity.
  • Individual names other than individuals registering business (e.g. Tiger Woods)
  • Words that imply an association with a government body or are restricted by Federal or Ontario Laws.
  • Sole Proprietors cannot use words to imply more than one individual (e.g. group, associates or partners)
  • Numbers that would make it appear the business is an Ontario numbered corporation.
  • The @ sign is not available to use in any business name.
  • You may use the following symbols but not as the first character in your business name: ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + ; : { } / ^ \

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.

Business Name Search

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.

Business Name Availability

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 databank searches exact name matches against business names that already exist in Ontario. It does not search 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.

NUANS 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.

3. Finalizing Your Business Registration

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:

  • Do you require an Ontario Business Name Search?
  • Do you require a Nuans Name Search?
  • Is this a New business, Renewal, Amendment or Cancellation?
  • Provide business name/s in order of preference
  • Business address
  • Address of principal place of business or same as above
  • Activity of business
  • Sole Proprietorship or Partnership?
  • Individual/s name and address ( P.0 Box not acceptable) - if you are in a rural area, provide your rural route number or lot number when street address is not available.
  • The person authorizing the registration (usually the owner of the business if other than yourself).

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.

After You Have Registered Your Company

Renewal of Business Name

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.

Amendment of Business Name

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:

  • Business address or principal place of business in Ontario
  • Individual/s address
  • Activity of your business

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 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.
> Amend your existing business registration

Cancellation of Business Registration

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.
> Cancel your existing business registration

BIN Number Not Known

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.

Register Your Company Now

Other services offered by Ontario Business Central include Nuans Search and Report and Online Company Incorporation services and more.

 

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