As one of Canada’s richest and most populated provinces, Ontario is a wonderful place to start a business. More and more Ontarians are going into business for themselves every day. However, there are still procedures and regulations which must be followed. Proper Ontario business registration is a necessity to have a business which is fully legal and recognized by the province.
We’ve put together a quick guide to the most important steps you need to follow.
Ontario Business Registration Made (Relatively) Simple
- Think up, research, then register your business name
Unless you plan on having a sole-proprietorship business operating under your own name, you need to register your unique business name with the Ontario government. This also means ensuring you have a unique name to begin with.
Fortunately, the government has a set of webpages devoted to walking you through the process of researching existing names, then registering your own.
- Register with the Canada Revenue Agency
Paying taxes, as well as properly deducting taxes from your employees’ payroll, is another bureaucratic necessity. For starters, you’ll need to register with the CRA, then enroll in the programs which are relevant for your business. For example, businesses which make more than $30K a year will need to register for GST/HST.
- Get all the relevant permits and licenses
Depending on the type of business you plan on starting, you’re almost certain to need one or more permits to operate it legally. Of course, the requirements for each permit\license will vary depending on the type of business you’re starting.
Look to the government’s BizPal service, which allows you to research what permits you’ll need and how to get them.
- Remember to re-register as needed
Your business name registration must be renewed every five years for you to continue to operate legally and ensure no one else can take your name. The tricky thing here is that the government does not send out reminders. It’s entirely on you to keep your registration up-to-date. Likewise, if your business changes names or owners, you must re-register.
The legal procedures for Ontario business registration and startup can be quite complicated. If you need help and you live in the greater Leeds-Grenville area, you can get plenty of advice for free! Just contact the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Center for a free one-on-one consultation.