Register your Business
Looking to Register a Business? We can help!
Business name registration applies to entrepreneurs who want to register a business in the Province of Ontario and receive a Master Busines License. The name of a new business must be registered if it’s different than the business-owner’s legal name and if you want to use that for your business as opposed to your own name. You can do a name search to see if the business name is already being used
Before registering your business, you should consider the different options available to you. From a legal point of view, there are three common types of businesses:
Each structure has different and important implications for liability, taxation, and succession. We suggest that if you are unsure which type of business structure will meet your needs, that you contact a lawyer or accountant.
If you would like help in registering a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, we can help you register for a $25 fee (on top of Service Ontario’s and name search fees)
Contact us to find out more, (905) 668-4949 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Name Search – For Incorporated Orgs
Unless you choose to have your company given a numbered name (e.g. 123456789 Ontario Ltd.) or use your legal name (e.g. Jane Doe) you will need to conduct an Ontario NUANS name search for an incorporated company or a name search with the Province. A list of online NUANS name search service providers can be found here at Nuans Search
The cost of a name search can range from $8-$26, as but the price may vary as service providers add their own fees on top of the government’s fees for providing this service. To read more, click here.
**Please note that sole proprietorship and partnership names have no statutory name protection. If name protection is important to you, you may wish to incorporate your business or to register for a trademark at Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Starting a sole proprietorship is the simplest way to set up a business, as the sole proprietor is said to be self-employed. As a sole proprietor, you would be fully responsible for all debts and obligations related to your business.
- Low start-up Costs
- Greatest Freedom from regulation
- Owner in direct control of decision-making
- Minimal working capital required
- Tax advantages to owner
- All profits to owner
- Unlimited Liability
- Business slows down when owner absent
- Difficulty in raising capital
- No name protection **
A partnership is an agreement in which you and one or more people combine resources in a business with a goal of making a profit. In a General Partnership, you and one or more other owners would share the management of a business, and each partner would be personally liable for all debts and obligations. We recommend creating a Partnership Agreement so as to establish terms and protect each partner.
- Ease of Formation
- Low Start-up costs
- Additional sources of investment capital
- Possible tax advantages
- Limited regulation
- Broader management base
- Divided authority
- Difficulty in raising additional capital
- Hard to find suitable partners
- Potential for conflict between partners
- Unlimited Liability
A corporation, also known as a limited company, is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its members (shareholders). The act of Incorporation gives life to a legal entity known as the corporation, and commonly referred to as a company. A company can acquire assets, go into debt, enter into contracts, sue or be sued. Ownership interests in a corporation are usually easily changed. Shares may be transferred without affecting the corporation’s existence or continued operation.
- Limited Liability
- Specialized Management
- Ownership is transferable
- Possible tax advantage
- Continuous existence
- Easier to raise capital
- Name protection
- Closely regulated
- Most expensive form of business to organize
- Extensive record keeping is necessary
- Possible double taxation of profits
- Shareholders may be held legally responsible
- Charter restrictions
If you decide to start a business in Ontario and you choose a corporation as your legal form of ownership, you can either incorporate your company federally or provincially. Click here for more information.
Useful Links for more information
- Evaluating Different Business Structures
- Service Ontario – Business Name Registration
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
- NUANS name search
- Expert Network – Lawyers