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Sole Proprietorship
General Partnership
Trade Name Under a Corporation

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An Official Intermediary for the Province of Ontario

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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).

  • Ordering Page
  • Provide Registration
  • Payment Information
  • Order Confirmation
Registration Type

A renewal is required every 5 years. Renewals can be submitted up to 6 months prior to, and up to 60 days after the expiry date. After this has passed, a new registration would be 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.

See a sample registration to locate your BIN number

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Included with each domain name:

  • Domain name for 1-5 years
  • Contact Privacy (non disclosure under Who Is)
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Domain Lock to protect from unauthorized domain transfers

.CA Domain Registration (
Registrant must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada ?

.COM Domain Registration (
No requirement for citizenship needed ?


Business Registration Online Today

Jumpstart your business today by completing your business registration using the best and easiest platform available. It takes 3 to 5 minutes. At Ontario Business Central, our business is to help you start and grow your business.

How To Register or Renew A Business in Ontario >>>

Registering a business in Ontario is simple with the help of Ontario Business Central. Whether starting a small business or adding a trade name to your corporation, we make it easy to get your business up and running quickly. Completing your Ontario business registration using our online form only takes a few simple steps.

Which Business Type to Choose

Sole Proprietorship

Sole Proprietorship

  • Owned by 1 individual
  • Valid for 5 years
  • Taxation included in individuals' tax return filing
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Viewed as a small organization by other businesses and suppliers
  • Personal Liability for the business by the sole owner
  • Renewal available every 5 years

General Partnership

General Partnership

  • Owned by 2 or more individuals or corporations
  • Valid 5 years
  • Taxation included in each partner's tax filings
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Viewed as a small organization by other businesses and suppliers
  • Personal Liability for the business by the individual owners
  • Renewal available every 5 years

Trade Name

Trade Name

  • Owned by an existing corporation
  • Valid 5 years
  • Taxation included under the corporate tax filing
  • Easy to establish and cancel
  • Inexpensive to start
  • No name protection for the business name
  • Viewed as part of a larger organization by other businesses and suppliers
  • Liability for the business falls under the corporation
  • Renewal available every 5 years

Registration vs. Incorporation

Here are a few key differences between business name registration and Incorporation to help you determine which is best suited to your needs.

weighing options between incorporation and registration
Use of a Business Name
Ability to Hire Employees
HST/Payroll Set Up
Set Up Business Bank Account
Sole Foreign Ownership
Continual Existence
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

Steps of the Registration Process

step 1

Ordering Page

  • Choose Between New Registration & Renewal
  • Select Your Time frame. Same-Day Rush Available
  • Choose Your Business Type
  • Select Optional Name Search to Check the Availability of Your Name
  • Choose .ca or .com Domain if Required
  • Add Tax Accounts if Required
step 2

Provide Registration Details

  • Provide Name and Address of Owner/Director
  • Provide Business Name
  • Provide Corporate Details if Applicable
  • Provide Add-on Details if Applicable
  • Click to Agree With the Terms and Conditions
  • Enter the Business Address
  • Enter a Description of Your Business Activity
step 3

Payment Information

  • Review Order Details
  • Enter Billing & Contact Information
  • Credit Card Payment Including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Visa Debit, MasterCard Debit
  • Click on Box “I Am Not a Robot”
  • Select “Complete Order”


That's It! We Make Registering a Business as Easy as 1 2 3!

standard delivery of 3-7 days. $60 plus disbursements
rush delivery - same day for additional $49.99

What our clients say about us

Google Ratings - Ontario Business Central

donald wingell

4 months ago

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.

Kelly White -Testimonials - Ontario Business Central

Kelly White

7 months ago

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.


Gazelle Ghajar

6 months ago

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.

Business Registration Learning Centre

Choosing a Business Name +

Choosing the right name for your new business name registration in Ontario is a very important decision. You want a name to 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 quickly understand your product or service.

To register a business in Ontario, it 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 trademark. 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.

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 a 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 displayed at the place of business.

Business Name Search

You want to choose a business name tailored to you and your business. It is challenging 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 in, 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 database searches for exact name matches against existing business names 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's name or trademark within the province of Ontario or other provinces.

NUANS Name Search (new updated automated name search)
The NUANS database contains records throughout most of Canada. It displays corporations and business registrations with the same or similar names to those 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 actual search printout.

Finalizing a Business Registration+

The next step to complete the Business Registration is to begin the company registration in Ontario for 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 the street address is unavailable.
  • The person authorizing the registration (usually the business owner) if other than yourself.

Do You Require an Ontario Business Name Search?

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 clarity to any conflicts with your proposed business name. In addition, if there is a conflicting name already registered or incorporated, you can provide a new business name choice at no additional cost.

Do You Require a NUANS Name Search?

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.

Is This a New Business, Renewal Amendment or Cancellation?

With our service, you can complete either a new registration or the business license renewal of a current registration.

You can change(amend) or cancel your current registration including updating an address or changing the business activity.You can also cancel a current registration, which 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 five years, as indicated on the completed form. Within those five years, if you want to amend or cancel the registration the BIN number is required. If you do not have it, we can look up the BIN number as part of the change or cancellation request. After five years, you are required to renew your business license in Ontario. If the original registration was completed with Ontario Business Central, we will notify you by email of the renewal requirement.

After You Have Registered Your Company +

Renewal of Business Name

Your business registration must be renewed every five years. You must renew your Business Name Registration formerly a Master Business License in Ontario within 60 days of the expiry date of your registration. On your present registration, the registration will provide two dates, one with when the business commenced in Ontario and when it will expire. If this time has lapsed, you must register your business as new. If you are within the timeframe to renew, the business BIN number 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. If the business information has changed, an amendment to the expiring registration must be completed to update the information either before or after the renewal of the registration to update any changed information.

Amendment of Business Name

When amending or changing your Business Name Registration, the business BIN number is required. In this circumstance, if you do not have the BIN number, we can look it up for you and provide it as part of the amendment to your registration. 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
  • Adding or removing a partner as long as 2 always remain

You may not change the name of the individuals or business name by amending. If you require these changes, the current registration whether a Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership or Trade Name must be canceled. A new Business Name Registration must be completed with the new business name or new ownership.

When completing the business registration form, you must 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.

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 you originally registered with the government. Your (BIN) number is listed on your original registration.

Once you have completed the cancellation filing, the Ontario Business Name Registration cancellation document will be the last document on file for that registered business and the registration becomes a historic business and therefore document.

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 by completing a corporate search with the Ontario government to find the registration including all details. An additional fee will be required.

What is a Registered Business? +

  1. Legal Recognition:

    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.

  2. Taxation:

    Registered businesses are typically assigned a tax identification number, which they use for all tax-related purposes, from reporting income to claiming deductions.

  3. Protection of Business Name:

    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.

  4. Types of Business Entities:

    There are various forms of business entities that can be registered, such as:
  5. Business Licensing:

    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.

  6. Benefits of Registration:

    Beyond legal recognition, registering a business often provides the owner with various benefits, such as:

    • Validity and Compliance with Provincial Requirements of Registering the Business
    • Increased credibility in the marketplace
    • Easier access to capital and business loans
  7. Ongoing Compliance:

    Once registered, the business is required to:

    • File business revenues as part of personal tax return submission to Canada Revenue Agency
    • Renew business every 5 years

Do I Have to Register a Business in Ontario? +

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.

How Does an Ontario Registered Business Work For Taxation? +

Personal Tax in Ontario:

  1. Federal and Provincial Taxes: Residents of Ontario pay both federal and provincial income taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers both. Taxpayers submit a single tax return, but the taxes are calculated separately based on distinct federal and provincial tax rates.
  2. Tax Rates: Ontario has multiple tax brackets, with progressive rates. The more you earn, the higher the percentage you'll pay on the income within each bracket.
  3. Tax Credits: Ontario offers various tax credits for residents, which can reduce the amount of tax owed. These credits might include the Ontario Trillium Benefit (combining the Ontario Sales Tax Credit, Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit, and Northern Ontario Energy Credit) and the Children's Activity Tax Credit.
  4. Property Tax: This is a municipal tax, not a provincial one. However, it's worth noting that homeowners in Ontario will pay property tax to their respective municipalities. The rate and assessment approach can vary from one municipality to another.
  5. Health Premium: Ontario has a health premium that's levied on residents based on their taxable income. It's not a separate tax but is instead deducted from earned income, ensuring the sustainability of the province's health services.

Do I Need to Register My Business Name if My Business is Online Only? +

Even if your business operates solely online in Ontario, you are required to register. The Business Name Registration as an Ontario business license ensures your business is legally established and recognized. 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 registries.

When operating an online business, it's crucial to remember that the Business Name Registration formerly the Master Business License renewal process is just as essential as the initial registration. Ensuring that your current master license keeps your online business compliant with Ontario's regulations and allows you to continue operating smoothly.

What Business Expenses Can I Use? +

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:

Common Business Expense Write-offs:

  1. Rent or Lease: Payments for property used in the business.
  2. Utilities: Costs for electricity, water, internet, and telephone services related to business operations.
  3. Salaries and Wages: Payments to employees, including salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, and taxable fringe benefits.
  4. Office Supplies and Expenses: Everyday office items like pens, paper, and other necessary supplies.
  5. Professional Fees: Fees paid to professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and consultants.
  6. Travel: Business-related travel expenses like flights, hotel stays, and daily travel allowances.
  7. Meals and Entertainment: The cost of meals and entertainment can sometimes be deducted, but often there are restrictions, and only a percentage might be deductible.
  8. Insurance: Premiums for business insurance policies.
  9. Depreciation: Depreciation of assets like machinery, buildings, and other equipment. There are specific methods and rules for calculating depreciation.
  10. Advertising and Marketing: Costs related to promoting your business.
  11. Interest: Interest on business loans or credit.
  12. Taxes: Certain taxes directly related to your business.
  13. Employee Benefits: Costs of benefits provided to employees like health plans, retirement plans, and educational assistance.
  14. Home Office: If you use part of your home exclusively for business, you may be able to write off a portion of your home expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes, and utilities. There are specific criteria to meet.
  15. Vehicle Expenses: If you use your vehicle for business, you can write off the business-use portion of expenses such as gas, repairs, insurance, and even depreciation.
  16. Education and Training: Costs for training or educating yourself or your employees to improve skills directly related to the business.
  17. Bank Fees: Charges related to your business bank accounts or credit cards.
  18. Licenses and Permits: Costs associated with obtaining and maintaining business licenses and permits.

Important Considerations:

  1. Ordinary and Necessary: For an expense to be deductible, it usually needs to be both ordinary (common and accepted in your trade or business) and necessary (helpful and appropriate for your trade or business).
  2. Documentation: It's crucial to keep accurate records of all business expenses, including receipts, bills, and invoices, to validate the write-offs in case of an audit.
  3. Personal vs. Business: Only business-related portions of expenses can be written off. If an expense is split between personal and business use, only the business portion can be deducted.
  4. Limits and Caps: Some expenses have caps or limits on the amount that can be deducted.
  5. Changing Regulations: Tax laws and regulations can change. It's always a good idea to consult with a tax professional to understand the latest rules and maximize deductions while remaining compliant.

Do I Need a Separate Bank Account For My Registered Business? +

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.

Startup Resources +

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.

Business Opportunities

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.

Market Research

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.

Business Plan

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.

Finding Investors

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.

Brand Awareness

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.

Social Media setup

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.

Revenue Canada

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.


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.

Permits and Licenes

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.

Business Insurance

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.

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


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