Set Up And Register A Business In Ontario With Ease

Photo of author

By CraigNewby

Entrepreneurs who are looking for a place to set up and grow their businesses would probably find Ontario, Canada the best venue not just because of its ever-booming economy, but also because of the easy business registration.

Why is it so easy?

For one, business registration centers are set up in all parts of the region so the public does not have to travel long hours. Applicants can also take the Business Registration Online (BRO) or by mail if they are allergic to the outdoors or just plain busy to do the legwork. Each method though has its own advantages.

Personal Registration

An applicant may personally visit the Companies Branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services to submit the required forms and documents for a fee of $60. This is the best option for those who want to obtain their Master Business License (MBL) immediately.

To find a specific location, ServiceOntario’s website can also help you. You just have to type in the service and then the ZIP code. The site will give you the exact location with a map, phone numbers, and business hours.

Registering Online

Online registration, on the other hand, is the most convenient. One may simply log in to ServiceOntario, the province’s official website, Cyberbahn Inc., or OnCorp Direct Inc.’s website to download and submit the forms. These websites can also be accessed at the Companies Branch offices.

The best thing about online registration is that applicants can also generate a business name report or register for other necessary licenses simultaneously. Such licenses may include Employer Health Tax, Retail Sales Tax Vendor Permit, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), and/or GST/HST (Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax).

Usually, it takes only less than a week for the electronic Master Business License (eMBL) to be delivered through the business email address provided by the applicant. The fee for online registration is $80.

Registration By Mail
Meanwhile, registration by mail is obviously the least favorable option because an applicant would have to wait up to eight weeks to obtain the MBL.

The registration fee is also $80 just the same price as the renewal. Cancellation of business name is free. An enclose money order or check is accepted by the Ministry of Government Services. If you want to know whether the office has received your application, you can provide an email address in the ‘acknowledge receipt’ form so that ServiceOntario can send you a notification email within two days.

Some Things To Remember

In registering a business, it is important to specify under what type of entity one would like to register. There are several types of business entities: the sole proprietorship, partnerships (limited, limited liability, general), cooperative, and corporations.

The business owner may or may not use a different business name other than his or her own. Using the real name to represent the company does not require registration while using a different business name does.

When registering a business name, one has to make sure that no violation would be committed. Under the Business Names Act (BNA), it is prohibited to use names that suggest connection with the Canadian Government, the Crown, a province, municipality, or burrough.

It is, of course, not allowed to acquire a business name that resembles another especially if the same services or products are offered. Intentional or unintentional, this will incur a penalty of at least $500.

To avoid any legal implications, generating a business name report beforehand is highly recommended. The NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) is an independent service that offers business name report generation. You can have a list of all existing companies and firms in your preferred jurisdiction for about $21 if you create your own report and $8-$12 if you call for online assistance.

Once the business name is settled, you can go personally to the Companies Branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services to file all the documents, pay the fee, and wait for your license to be handed to you. Remember to bring every document that you could refer to in case additional information is requested. This will save you a great amount of time.

With all the self-service centers and business registration offices available, not to mention online portals, you will not be lost. Each town in Ontario will make business registration as easy as possible at very reasonable fees. Nevertheless, take my advice. Get an attorney. Although, business registration is easy, an expert should handle all legal matters as safety precaution.

Benjamin Lashar is an entrepreneur who moved to Canada years ago to set up his own business, which has become successful in just a few years. He is also the author of Ontario Business Registration [], a website that contains details about the registration process in Ontario. Check out his website at [] for more information.