Business Registration Ontario

Launching and running a company in Canada can be a gratifying venture. As a business owner, you’ll have more flexibility in terms of your time since you essentially become your own boss.

There are several steps to take when starting a business in Ontario. One of them is registering your company with the state. And for a good reason, it’s a legal requirement to register your business with the government before you launch it.

Registering your company also lets you obtain the necessary licenses and permits to sell your products or services. Furthermore, clients expect your business to be registered with the government. Sans registration, it’d be impossible to operate your company, let alone connect with the target customers.

Business Registration In Ontario

Every state and province has established procedures entrepreneurs should follow when starting their companies. You must follow all the guidelines outlined in the region where you’re starting your company. Here are the key steps for business registration Ontario.

1. Choose Your Legal Entity


The first step when registering your business in Ontario is to choose a legal entity. It refers to an organizational structure or framework within which your business will operate.

Be careful when choosing your business’ legal entity since it’ll affect your personal liability for company debts, options to raise funds, tax obligations, and how you share returns, among many other things.

Below are the four major business entity options available when registering your business in Ontario:

2. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the simplest business entity to consider for your Ontario business. It’s a business structure where a single person owns, operates, and manages the company.

When you register a business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll retain full control and assume the company’s liabilities.  One advantage of a sole proprietorship is that you’ll share all the income. Yet a sole proprietorship company is considered the same as the owner, meaning you can personally be held liable for the company’s debts.

3. Partnership


A partnership is another simple structure to consider when registering your business in Ontario. As the name implies, a partnership is where two or more partners own the business.

In a partnership, people contribute capital to start and run the business through shared decisions and responsibilities. From there, the partners will share the profits and losses of the company according to their ratio of capital contributions or any other agreed ratios. Like in a sole proprietorship, owners are responsible for the debts of the partnership company.

4. Corporation

A corporation is another common business entity in Ontario. It’s an entity separate and district from its owners. In other words, it offers its owners or shareholders limited liability protection while doing business in one of the world’s most stable economies. Owners of a corporation contribute capital and get returns in the form of dividends.

While a corporation is the most complex business structure, it presents numerous benefits. For instance, corporations have perpetual existence and flexibility to raise funds. They can enjoy certain tax benefits, too, such as tax-allowable expenses and capital gains exemptions.

5. Limited Liability Company (LLC)


An LLC is a business structure that features characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership. For example, it offers limited liability protection to its members, just like a corporation. At the same time, members of an LLC share incomes, which is a characteristic of a partnership.

As you’ve seen, every business entity has pros and cons; choose one that works for your objectives. To simplify the process, consider hiring a business lawyer to assist you with the selection. They possess the right expertise in the business world and can help select the most suitable entity for your Ontario-based company.

6. Create A Business Name

Create A Business Name

Once you’ve chosen your business entity, the next step is to create a name for your company. It’s an official title under which your business will operate and conduct its activities. Also, it’s a title that potential customers can identify with your products or services.

When creating a business name, follow the Ontario business naming guidelines. For instance, the name should be unique and not infringe on existing trademarks. Also, ensure your selected name complies with any specific regulations related to your industry or the type of your business.

To ensure you create a unique business name, visit the Ontario government’s official website or business name search to check for its availability. If the name is available, you can preserve it and register it for your company. You can also search for your preferred name on online platforms such as social media to ensure that no other person has already registered their business with it.

7. Register The Business Name

Once you’ve created a unique name for your business, the next thing is to register it with the Ontario provincial government. You can skip this step if you’re registering the business as a sole proprietorship and you’re using your personal name to register the company. But if you’re using any other title besides your personal name as a business name, you’ll have to register it.

Registering your business’ name in Ontario can cost you a few tens of dollars. Nonetheless, these charges are subject to change, so contact the relevant authorities for accurate information.

8. Obtain Necessary Licenses And Permits

Another important step when registering a business in Ontario is to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. As noted earlier, the government requires you to have a license and permits to operate your Ontario business.

Depending on your business, below are common types of licenses and permits you may require to run a business in Ontario:

  • General business license;
  • Professional license;
  • Health and safety permit;
  • Environmental permit; and the like.

After obtaining all the necessary licenses and permits, launch your company. From there, invest in marketing to promote your company’s visibility and connect with target customers.

Keep in mind the abovementioned steps in setting up a startup company in Canada’s Ontario area.


Just like in other areas around the world, in order to be allowed to do business in Ontario, Canada, you’ll have to register it with the authorities. But how do you do this? Check out the insights listed above for guidance. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the designated authorities if you have any queries regarding the business registration Ontario process.