Are you an entrepreneur looking to open a business in Ontario? It’s quite commendable as running a business is all about taking risks. Although risky, it doesn’t mean you can’t run a successful business and watch it grow each year.
One of the ways to ensure your business grows is by taking the right protocols when opening your business. Most countries, including Canada, require you to register your business. So, how will you register your business in Ontario?
Here’s a guide to assist you:
Find A Business Name
The first step in business registration in Ontario is finding a suitable business name. It’ll be the business’ identifier. An ideal business name is unique. No other business should be using it. The aim is to eliminate confusion among customers, which might negatively affect your business.
As you find a suitable business name, it’s crucial to adhere to the guidelines on its formation. For instance, the Canadian government doesn’t allow using obscene names or phrases. Also, you can’t use a name connected with the government.
With your perfect name in mind, proceed with a database search to confirm its uniqueness. You can use the Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search (NUANS) database or the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO.) The CIPO is highly ideal for checking trademarked names. It’s important to note that these searches will cost you between CAD$ 8 to CAD$ 26. It depends on the report you seek.
Once you’ve confirmed the uniqueness of your business name, register it through the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. Should you find the process confusing, seek expert help. Some services specialize in assisting with business registration in Ontario.
Choose A Business Structure
There are many business structures from which you can choose your ideal option. These structures depict how you’ll run your business. The common business structures are sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, or incorporations.
A sole proprietorship is ideal if you plan on running operations independently. You’ll be liable for all business debts and other liabilities with this structure. You can have two or more partners for a general or a limited partnership. The difference lies with liability. You’ll incur business liabilities under a general partnership, unlike a limited one, where the business is liable for its debts.
The choice of business structure depends on your preference. Weigh the pros and cons of each option before proceeding with your business registration in Ontario.
Register Your Business
Before registering your business, there’s information you need to gather. You need to know your business’ area of operation, the names and addresses of the partners, and a description of the nature of your business. Ensure you have the correct data to ensure a successful registration process.
That said, there are three options for business registration in Ontario. The first option is online through the Integrated Business Service portal. You’ll require a valid email address and a Mastercard or Visa to process payments. This service will cost you CAD$ 60. Once you’ve finished the registration process, the system will issue you a temporary Business Identification Number (BIN.) The temporary BIN allows you to start your business as you wait to get the final one within two days.
The other option is through the mail, where you’ll fill up Form 1. You’ll then address it to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Central Production and Verification Services branch in Toronto. This option requires you to attach a CAD$ 80 check for the services. The registration process will take six to eight weeks.
Last but not least, you can register your business physically at the offices. Like the mail option, you’ll part with CAD$ 80 for the services. The registration process will be complete within 20 days.
Of the three options, the choice highly depends on preference. What works for you, and what terms are more favorable? It’s the question you need to answer when deciding.
A successful registration process will give you a BIN and a Master Business License (MBL.)
Points To Note
- A successful registration process usually doesn’t mean you can open shop immediately. You’ll require permits and licenses. The ones to get depend on your business operations. Safe food for Canadians license is mandatory if you’re in the food business. Find out the permits and licenses you need to acquire for your operations.
- The Business Identification Number you’ll get after registering your business requires renewal after five years. You should get the renewal within sixty days of the expiry date.
- It’s important to be keen when filling out any form associated with business registration, whether online or physically. Mistakes are interpreted as giving false information, which attracts a fine of CAD$ 2000.
From the discussion above, business registration in Ontario is straightforward. All you require is the right guidance as this article provides. Consider implementing the tips herein for your registration process. You’ll have a fast and easy time.