Ontario is a great place to start a business in CanadaFirst, Ontario is the wealthiest market in Canada, with a population of 13.5 million people and the highest personal income in Canada
In Ontario, on the other hand, you can easily find and access the information you need to register your Ontario business registrationWhen registering a company in Canada, it can be divided into sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability company (Corporation).
Register a sole proprietorship or partnership in Ontario
First of all, we will introduce to you the steps to register a business name for a sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability partnership in Ontario.(Currently, only CPAs and law firms can form limited liability partnerships)
Step 1: Choose a name for your business
You can use your own name to operate a sole proprietorship without registering your company name.
However, if you name your sole proprietorship something other than your own name, your business name must be registered with the Consumer Business Service Division of Corporate Affairs
For example, if William Lee wanted to open a sole proprietorship and conduct business under the name "William Lee", he would not need to registerIf you wish to use the name "Williamlee & Wilson" or "William Lee Consulting" you will need to complete the business registration process
Under Ontario’s Business Names Act, fines of up to CAD$2,000 can be levied on individuals and up to CAD$25,000 on businesses for failing to register or registering false or misleading information.
Therefore, even though registering your business name does not guarantee you exclusive rights to use the name, it is worth registeringIn addition to making sure you choose a name for your sole proprietorship that sounds good and attracts customers, you also need to choose a business name that is acceptable to official authorities
Some words and expressions are prohibitedFor example, you cannot use words that imply a merger, such as Limited or Inc., or that imply that the business is associated with any government agency
For details, you can check the requirements on the official website of Ontario, or you can consult a consultant at the Golden Key Business Development Center
Step 2. Check whether the name can be used
Search for the company name of your choice and view similar names to see if other companies are using the name of your choice
Note:Business name registration does not guarantee exclusivity (registering a company name does not protect the business name, Only a registered trademark (trademark) can protect your exclusivity
The Business Names Act does not prohibit registering the same name, so you can register a business name that is already in use by another companyIf you do this, or if you register a name that's confusing, it could lead to litigation, so it's a good idea to do a name search to see if anyone else is using the business name you want.There are several different ways to perform a name search:
- Service Ontario Integrated Business Services Application (Ontario only – costs $8 basic/$16 detailed report)
- Canadian Government Nuans Company Name Search Website NUANS is the Canada-wide registration authority for company and business names. A NUANS search will display companies, trade names and trademarks similar to the name you search forThe current fee per report is $13.80
- NUANS reports for service providers, fees vary for each service provider
Now that you have selected your business name and conducted a name search, you can go through the actual business registration process to register your sole proprietorship or partnershipContinue with the business registration steps, then:
Step 3. Register the company name and obtain a business license
To register your company name you will need to provide:
- Business name and address
- Description of the scope of the company’s business activities
- Your name and home address(You must have an address where legal documents can be served; POBox is not accepted) If you are registering a partnership with less than 10 partners, you must include the names and home addresses of all partners
After completing the business registration, you will receive a business license (MasterBusiness License) as proof of the financial institution’s business name registration
There are many options for registering your business name in Ontario:
- Via Service Ontario
- Through the Canada Revenue Agency’s Business Registration Online (BRO) service
- A company that provides company registration services
- Go to the company to register a branch in person or by mailIf you register in person, you will receive your main business license (certificate of business name registration) immediately; if you register by post, you will receive it within 20 working days
Please note that the Master Business License must be renewed every five years
Step 4. Register other business-related licenses
In addition to your business license, you will also need to register for other licenses under provincial and federal laws
For example, register for a GST/HST tax ID, go to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board to apply for work-related injury insurance, etc.
Every industry has its own particularities. If you are not sure which licenses and certifications you need to register for, please contact the consultants at the Golden Key Business Development Center
There are many steps to register a company, and it is quite complicated. If you don’t want to do the errands yourself, or don’t have the time and energy to study how to register online, you can also ask the Golden Key Business Development Center to help you register.