Register/Renew Your Trade Name in Ontario

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An Official Intermediary for the Province of Ontario

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Are you ready to add a secondary business name under your existing Ontario Corporation? Registering a trade name provides access to operate a secondary business, also known as a DBA business name, under your Ontario-incorporated company.This goes beyond just legal compliance. It's a strategic advantage that allows you to distinguish your brand in a competitive marketplace and establish a unique identity for your secondary business.

Registering or renewing your trade name is fundamental to establishing your brand identity and protecting your business interests in Ontario. Ontario Business Central offers a streamlined process to complete your registration or renewal quickly and efficiently. Complete the online order form today to unlock your business's full potential in the province.

  • 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 ?


Initiating the registration of your Tradename in Ontario marks the first official step towards your business journey, setting the foundation for future success.

Business Registration Online Today

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.

How To Register And Renew Your Ontario Business >>>
weighing options between incorporation and registration

Tradename vs. Incorporation:
A Quick Comparison

Feature Tradename Incorporation
Number of Owners 1 Owner Multiple Owners (1 or more)
Liability Unlimited Liability Limited Liability
Taxes Pass-through Taxation Separate Business Tax Filing
Formation Process Simple & Inexpensive More Complex & Costlier
Management & control Owner has full control Shareholders elect Board & appoint officers
Raising Capital May be challenging Easier to attract investors
Fringe Benefits Owner cannot offer benefits Corporation can offer benefits
weighing options between incorporation and registration

The following information might be required depending on the chosen registration method and business activities:

  • Business Name (if different from your legal name): This is the official name under which you will operate your business.
  • Business Address: This can be your home address if your business operates from there, or a separate business location address.
  • Individual Legal Name and Address: This is your personal information as the Sole owner of the business.
  • Business Activity: A brief description of the goods or services you will be offering.

Step-By-Step Guide to Register a Trade Name in Ontario

step 1

Step 1: Start Your Application

  • Go to the Ordering Page
  • Choose New Registration or Renewal for your trade name registration.
  • Select how quickly you need the service, with options for Same-Day Rush.
  • Identify your Business Type.
  • Opt for an Optional Name Search to ensure your trade name is available in Ontario or Canada.
  • Pick a .ca or .com Domain if you need one.
  • Add Tax Accounts if necessary for your business trade name registration.
  • 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

Step 2: Provide Your Details

  • Enter the Owner/Director's Name and Address.
  • Specify your Business Trade Name.
  • If registering a corporation, include Corporate Details.
  • Add any extra details needed for your application.
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  • Give your Business Address and describe your Business Activity.
step 3

Step 3: Payment and Confirmation

  • Check your Order Details.
  • Fill in your Billing & Contact Information.
  • For payment, Credit Card options include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Visa Debit, and MasterCard Debit.
  • Verify that you're not a robot by checking the box.
  • Click “Complete Order” to finish your trade name registration in Ontario.


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

Register Your Trade Name in Ontario Today!

Ontario is a prime destination for entrepreneurs looking to register a trade name, including those starting a sole proprietorship, general partnership, or nonprofit corporation. As Canada's economic hub, Ontario gives business owners access to a vast market, innovative sectors, and skilled talent. The province's business-friendly atmosphere is further supported by beneficial tax conditions, financial incentives, and resources tailored to assist in trade name registration in Ontario. For those looking to establish a distinctive presence with a trade name in Ontario, the province offers financial support, expert advice, and networking opportunities to empower your business. Seize the chance to enhance your business by registering your trade name in Ontario and accessing a range of resources to nurture the expansion of your enterprise.



What is a Trade Name For Business?

A trade name for a business, often referred to as “operation --as names” or "doing business as" name. It is the name under which a company operates that differs from its legal registered name. Trade name registration allows businesses to market themselves using a name that best reflects their brand or services without creating a new legal entity. This is especially useful for branding and marketing purposes, allowing businesses to present a name that's easily recognizable by customers. Registering a trade name in places like Ontario is a straightforward process, essential for distinguishing your business and ensuring legal compliance within the local business sector.

Can a Company Have a Different Trade Name?

Yes, a company can operate under a trade name, which permits conducting business under a name distinct from its legal name. A trade name enables companies to market their products or services under a brand that resonates more with their target audience without forming a new legal entity. Trade name registration is common among companies looking to expand their brand's reach and differentiate themselves in the market. It's an effective strategy for aligning a company's operational identity with its marketing efforts.

What is an Example of a Trade Name?

An example of a trade name involves a company operating under a name that differs from its legal corporate name, often for branding or marketing convenience.

Here are a few scenarios where businesses commonly use trade names:

  • Numbered Corporations Using Descriptive Names:
    • Example: "789012 Ontario Ltd." might use "Elite Home Improvements" for operational purposes to provide a clear, marketable identity.
  • Omitting Legal Suffixes for Marketing:
    • Example: "B & J Tools Corp." could be marketed simply as "B & J Tools," making the name simpler and more attractive for signs and advertisements.
  • Operating Multiple Locations Under Different Names:
    • Example: "Great North Apparel Co." might use "Toronto Fashion Outlet" and "Vancouver Style Hub" to differentiate services in various locations.
  • Different Names for Different Services:
    • Example: "Lopez Utility Services Inc." could use "Lopez Waterworks" to distinctly market its flooring services apart from its general renovations.

How Long Does it Take to Register a Trade Name For a Business?

The duration to register a trade name for a business varies by jurisdiction but is typically swift, especially with streamlined online processes. In Ontario, for instance, the process for trade name registration can be expedited, with digital platforms such as Ontario Business Central offering fast-track options, including same-day service. Typically, the completion of a standard trade name registration for businesses or nonprofit corporations may span a few business days, influenced by the application's processing time and selected service speed. It's crucial for businesses and nonprofit corporations to schedule this step wisely, ensuring their trade name is officially registered before initiating their full-scale operations.

How to Check Trade Name Availability?

Conducting a name search before registering a trade name is essential to verify that the desired name has not already been taken. This verification process typically involves using an online name search tool the business registry provides in the applicable jurisdiction. Across Canada, provinces and territories maintain online databases that allow for searching registered trade names and trademarks. A comprehensive name search helps avoid potential legal issues and ensures adherence to naming rules, guaranteeing that your chosen trade name is distinctive. This step is vital for maintaining brand integrity and meeting legal requirements. For added certainty, seeking advice from a legal professional can further validate your trade name choice.

What Are The Essential Steps For Trade Name Registration in Ontario?

Here are the essential steps and requirements for trade name registration in Ontario. Adhering to these guidelines ensures your trade name is legally recognized and aligns with provincial regulations, setting a solid groundwork for your business's identity in Ontario.

  • Trade Name Selection: Pick a unique name that reflects your business's essence. It should comply with Ontario's naming rules, avoiding conflicts with existing trade names or trademarks. A well-chosen name boosts your business's visibility and brand recognition.
  • Business Address: Provide a physical and mailing address for your trade name registration. This address is crucial for official communications and should accurately represent your business's operational location.
  • Description of Business Activities:Describe your business activities clearly. This description helps classify your business correctly and facilitates the trade name registration process in Ontario by identifying the industry in which your trade name will operate.
  • Owner Information:Include complete information about the business owner who is registering the trade name, whether an individual or a corporation. Provide corporate details and a director's authorization if a corporation is involved.
  • Industry Classification:Choose the correct North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code that matches your business activities. This classification is important for statistical purposes and meeting industry-specific regulations.
  • Official Email Address:Provide an email address to receive necessary notifications and communications about your trade name registration in Ontario. This ensures you stay informed about any updates or requirements related to your trade name.

What is Required to Register a Trade Name in Ontario?

To register a trade name in Ontario, the process involves several key steps and the submission of specific information to ensure compliance and protection of your business identity:

Required Steps and Information:

  • Business Name Report: Before registration, conduct a Nuans name search report if registering a named corporation to ensure the name is unique and not deceptively similar to existing names.
  • Registration Form: Complete the Business Name Registration form, available through Service Ontario, online platforms like Ontario Business Central, or in-person methods.
  • Details to Provide:
    • Business Name: The trade name you intend to use.
    • Business Activity: A brief description of what the business will do.
    • Owner Information: Names and addresses of the business owner(s) or directors if the business is a corporation.
    • Physical Address: The principal place of business (cannot be a P.O. Box).
  • Filing Fee:Pay the required fee, which varies depending on the registration method (online or offline).
  • Duration:Trade name registration in Ontario is valid for five years from the registration date, after which it can be renewed.

Additional Considerations:

  • Legal Advice: It’s recommended to get legal advice to understand the full implications of using a trade name in relation to trademark law and business operations.
  • Multiple Businesses: If you are operating multiple businesses under one corporation, each trade name must be registered separately.

Registering a trade name does not provide trademark protection. To safeguard your brand comprehensively, consider registering a trademark for the business name, logo, or other distinctive signs.

Why is Business Name Registration Necessary in Ontario?

In Ontario, registering your business name is a statutory requirement for identifying your business within the province. This registration formally acknowledges your business’s presence and prevents other entities from using the same business name in Ontario. It plays a vital role in establishing your business's legal identity, which is essential for lawful operations and financial dealings under the registered name. Additionally, having a registered business name boosts your brand's credibility with consumers and suppliers alike, positioning it as an integral part of your strategic business planning.

Why Should You Consider Registering a Trade Name?

Registering a trade name offers several advantages, particularly for corporations that wish to operate under a name other than their incorporated name. Here are some scenarios where registering a trade name would be beneficial:

  • Distinctive Identity for Numbered Companies:
    • Example: If your corporate name is "67890 Ontario Inc.," you can operate under the more recognizable name "Pinecrest Construction."
  • Usage Flexibility for Marketing:
    • Example: "Baker's Goods Inc." can simply use "Baker's Goods" for signage and branding purposes, omitting the legal corporate suffix.
  • Localized Brand Names for Different Locations:
    • Example: Utilize location-specific trade names such as "Cityscape Painting Toronto," "Cityscape Painting Ottawa," or "Cityscape Painting Hamilton" to cater to different markets.
  • Expansion Beyond Current Name Scope:
    • Example: "Franklin Tech Solutions Inc." could offer nutritional products under the name "Franklin Apps."
  • Professional Corporations Using Alternate Names:
    • Example: A professional corporation like "Doe Engineering Professional Corporation" might use "Advanced Engineering Consultants" to broaden its market appeal without the professional designation.
  • Simplified Names for Transactions:
    • Example: "Complex Devices Electronics, Inc." might use "CDE Electronics" to ease transactions and marketing.

When you register a trade name, it is linked directly to the corporation rather than to the individual owners, differentiating it from sole proprietorships or partnerships where the owner’s personal name is used.

What Types of Businesses Need to Register Their Names in Ontario?

In Ontario, various types of businesses are required to register their names, ensuring compliance with provincial regulations. Sole proprietorships operating under a name other than the individual's full name must register. General partnerships and any form of business collaboration that operates under a specific name must also complete business name registration. Corporations looking to conduct business under a name different from their corporate name must register this as a trade name. Essentially, any business intending to operate in Ontario with a name that does not include the legal names of the owner or corporation needs to undergo the trade name registration process for legal operation and brand identity establishment.

What is the purpose of registering a trade name?

Registering a trade name serves several key purposes for a business. Primarily, it legally establishes the name under which a company chooses to operate, which is different from its legal corporate name. This registration is crucial for legal recognition, allowing a business to officially conduct transactions, market, and communicate under its trade name. It also prevents other businesses within the same jurisdiction from registering a similar or identical name, protecting its brand identity and reducing confusion in the marketplace. Furthermore, a registered trade name enhances the credibility and professionalism of a business, fostering trust among customers, suppliers, and partners.

How Does a Province Conduct Trade Name Registration?

The process for registering a trade name in Canada varies from province to territory but generally involves submitting an application to the respective provincial or territorial business registry. Fees and specific requirements differ, but the fundamental purpose remains: to legally endorse the business's operational name, ensuring it's unique and not misleading or infringing on other trademarks. This nationwide framework supports businesses in establishing their brand identity and legal footing in Canada's diverse market. Here’s how the registration process works in a few provinces:

  • Trade Name Registration Ontario: To ensure legal operation and brand recognition in Ontario's vibrant business market, registering your trade name is a critical step. The process is streamlined for efficiency, allowing you to submit an application electronically through the Ontario Business Registry. However, remember to verify your chosen trade name doesn't infringe on existing trademarks or business names before proceeding.
  • Trade Name Registration Alberta: Alberta's vibrant economy presents a flourishing business environment. Securing a trade name through the Alberta Corporate Registry is an essential step to carve out a unique position and establish a strong brand presence within this competitive landscape. This registration process safeguards your brand identity and fosters market differentiation, ensuring your business stands out from the crowd.
  • Trade Name Registration British Columbia: British Columbia mandates trade name registration through BC Registry Services. The procedure ensures that businesses can legally operate under their chosen trade name within the province. With BC's diverse economy, registering a trade name is essential for establishing a business's presence and legal identity.

What is the Difference Between a Trade Name and Trademark?

A trade name, also referred to as a "doing business as" name, signifies the name a company uses for its operations, distinct from its legal registered name. Its main role is branding, without extending legal protection to the name. On the other hand, trademarks, including registered trademarks, offer legal protection to a company's name, logo, or slogan that symbolizes its products or services, defending against unauthorized exploitation. While a trade name contributes to forming a business's identity, registered trademarks confer the exclusive legal right to utilize that identity in commercial activities, ensuring a safeguard for the brand in the marketplace.

What is the Renewal Process For Trade Names?

The renewal process for trade names varies by jurisdiction but typically involves submitting a renewal application to the corporate registry before the expiry of the current registration period. In many regions, trade name registrations are valid for a set term, often five years, after which they must be renewed to maintain legal protection and use of the name. Business owners should check local regulations for specific renewal requirements and deadlines to ensure continuous operation under their trade name. Timely renewal prevents the trade name from being available for others to register.

What Are the Advantages of Registering a Trade Name?

Registering your business name brings numerous benefits to businesses, streamlining their operations and enhancing their market presence:

  • Legal Recognition: It grants legal status to the business name, allowing for official financial transactions and contracts under the trade name.
  • Exclusive Rights: Ensures exclusive use of the name within the jurisdiction, preventing others from registering similar or identical names.
  • Brand Protection: Safeguards the business's brand identity, minimizing confusion in the marketplace.
  • Enhanced Credibility: Increases trust and credibility among customers, suppliers, and partners, fostering a professional image.
  • Marketing and Branding: Supports effective marketing strategies, helping to establish a recognizable and resonant brand presence with the target audience, thereby enhancing customer engagement and loyalty.

What Happens When You Don't Register a Trade Name?

Failing to register a trade name can lead to several significant issues for a business. Without registration, there's no legal protection for your business name, meaning another entity could register it, forcing you to rebrand or face legal challenges. This lack of protection can lead to confusion among customers and potentially harm your business reputation if another entity with the same or a similar name offers inferior products or services. Additionally, you may encounter limitations in legal actions, as unregistered businesses might face challenges in enforcing contracts or dealing with disputes under the unregistered trade name. Not registering a trade name compromises your brand's identity and legal standing.

Embark on Your Business Journey with Ontario Business Central!

Are you ready to carve out a unique space for your business in Ontario? Ontario Business Central is your trusted partner in this crucial step, whether you're starting fresh or aiming to renew your trade name. With a quick and easy registration process, you can launch your trade name in minutes, backed by our status as an official intermediary for the Province of Ontario. Explore our YouTube channel for an in-depth tutorial on renewing or registering your trade name through Ontario Business Central. Gain valuable tips and insights into the essentials of business ownership.

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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.

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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.