Are you properly registered to do business in Ontario?
Under the Business Names Act, nearly all businesses in Ontario must register their corporate name with the government and receive a Master Business License. The only significant exception is if business is being conducted exclusively under the full real name(s) of the business owner(s). Otherwise, Ontario business registration is necessary for legal recognition of your operation.
This is not a difficult process, and thousands of new businesses are registered every year. However, it’s still important to understand it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ontario Business Registration
When do I need to register for a Master Business License?
As soon as possible. Ideally, it should be done before you officially open the doors to your business or make your website publicly accessible.
How long does a Master Business License last?
Five years. After that, registration must be renewed.
Does the government remind me when my License will expire?
No. Unfortunately, it is solely your responsibility to remember to renew it every five years.
What does Ontario business registration cost?
The basic cost for either a new or renewed License is $60, if you are registering online. If you do it by mail, the cost is $80.
Additionally, while it is optional, you will almost certainly want to run a title search to verify that no existing businesses are registered under the name you wish to use. The cost of this is an additional $8-$26 depending on which report type you request.
How long does it take to receive my Master Business License?
If you register online, you can print your Master Business License immediately and an official copy is emailed to you and then mailed within two business days. If you are registering by mail, it can be 10-20 business days.
Do I receive anything besides the License?
Yes. In total, you will receive the Master Business License, a Profile Summary, and a receipt of payment. If you requested a records search, that will be included as well. Additionally, you will be assigned a Business Identification Number.
What do I need to begin the registration process?
A valid email address, and a credit card – either VISA, MasterCard, or American Express.
Can I get help with the registration process?
Absolutely! The Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC) can help Leeds-Grenville area businesses through the process at no additional charge.