If you didn’t know, Ontario is the richest market in Canada. That’s why every business-minded person from all over the world dreams of launching a business in this great place.
The use of modern technologies and the high population in Ontario province make it perfect to start and run a business there, whether online or offline. However, before you open your business in Ontario, you may first want to register it. This is because the government won’t allow you to operate an unregistered business.
This article walks you through the main steps to register a business in Ontario, Canada. If you find the registration process overwhelming, you can always consider working with company registration agencies. Such agencies will guide you and provide you with advice to ensure you don’t get it wrong on your way.
What Steps To Follow When Registering A Business In Ontario?
Here are the following steps to follow.
Choose A Business Structure
Choosing a structure is the first step in business registration. Another term for a business structure is a business entity. Taking your time to decide on the best structure that suits you is crucial because it affects how you operate your business, how you file taxes, and how you can secure your personal assets if your business fails.
That said, there are four main types of business structures which include sole proprietorship, partnerships, limited liability corporation, and c-corporations. Doing thorough research on the different structures will help you make the right decision, thus making your registration process smooth.
After deciding on your business structure, the next step is to find a location. Location is vital because you’ll be using the location address to file your business taxes. Also, banks and other government agencies will use your location address to send important documents to your business.
Select A Name For Your Business
Whichever business structure you’ve opted for, you must choose a name that’ll be associated with your business. This means that the name you choose should be unique from all other businesses in the industry. Also, your business name should fully describe or reflect the business you want to start.
Conduct A Name Search
Before you register your business name, it’s advisable to do a name search to ensure that the name you’ve chosen isn’t registered with another business. Though the Ontario Business Names Act doesn’t prohibit the registration of similar names, it’s crucial to have a different name from others to help eliminate confusion with other businesses especially when you want to own a trademark.
You can conduct a business name search either through the NUANS corporate name search website or the Integrated Business Services Application, both of which are available online.
Register Your Business Name
After conducting a search and securing your business name, it’s now time to register your business. This can be done either online or in-person in the office of the registrar of companies. Under the Ontario Business Names Act, it’s illegal to operate an unregistered business. So, to ensure you’re not fined, it would be beneficial to register your business name before you can consider opening it.
When registering your business name, the registrar of companies will require you to provide some crucial details such as the name, address, location, and a brief description of your business. Once the registrar of companies is satisfied with all these details, they’ll give you a Master Business License, which acts as proof of your business registration.
Appy For Other Licenses And Certifications
Registering your business name and getting a Master Business License isn’t enough. Depending on provincial and federal laws and the business type, products, or services you intend to offer, you’ll be required to apply for other licenses and certifications. For instance, some laws might require you to have a certificate that shows that your workers are insured against any risk they might encounter while on your business premises.
Renew Your Business Name As Required By The Law
Now, after registering your business name and applying for the necessary licenses and certification, your business should be running. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t renew your business license.
The Companies Act requires any registered business to be renewed after every five years. Though the government doesn’t send reminders to business owners about the business license expiration date, it prints the business expiration date on an individual business’ Master Business License. So, it’s your responsibility to keep checking to ensure you renew your business license on time.
While you might think that complying with federal and provincial regulations when registering your business is overwhelming, the process can be simple if you’ve got the right information. What’s important to note is that you won’t be allowed to operate a business in Ontario until you register it. So, to be on the safe side, follow the above steps and register your business.