"Registering" a business most often refers to registering the name of a business. In Ontario, it is a legal requirement to register your business name if you are operating a sole proprietorship (1 owner) or partnership (more than 1 owner) under a business name other than your exact legal name (i.e.: your first and last name).
There are 4 ways to register your business name:
i) via any Enterprise Toronto location. In partnership with ESC Corporate Services Ltd., Enterprise Toronto offers expert staff assisted Ontario Business Registrations, Incorporations (Ontario and Federal) and NUANS name searches. In addition, they also offer Corporate Supplies such as minute books and corporate seals. You may also register your business or incorporate from the comfort of your home by visiting www.eseservicecorp.ca/
ii) access an OBC (Ontario Business Connects) computer terminal. Registering at an OBC computer takes about 30 minutes and costs $60 for the registration and $8 per name search. Find out the location of an OBC terminal near you by calling (416) 314-9151 or 1-800-565-1921.
- Ontario Business Name Registration/Renewal - $99.61
- Ontario Business Name Registration with Enhanced Business name search - $118.87
- Ontario NUANS Name Search - $53.45
- Incorportions from $253.00
- Corporate Supply Packages from $120.72
iii) via the Internet at the following URL: www.cbs.gov.on.ca/obc/english/4TJTBS.htm and costs $60 (payment by credit card only).
iv) by mail: Mail registration requires "Form 1" (Registration under the Business names Act - Sole Proprietorship/Partnership), takes 4 - 6 weeks and costs $80. This form is available at the Ministry of Government Services located at 375 University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Toronto (walk in) or 393 University Avenue, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M5G 2M2 (mailing address) (416) 314-8880. Registering a business name does not give you exclusive rights to the use of the name. You can conduct a name search of existing sole proprietorships and partnerships in Ontario, however this name search is optional as sole proprietorship and partnership names are not protected. You can conduct name searches at an OBC computer ($8 per name) or by mail ($12 per name). (To protect a business name you must incorporate or apply for a trademark.)
Incorporation is another way to register a business. If you want to operate your business as a corporation (a separate legal entity), you must incorporate your business. You can incorporate provincially or federally. If you wish to name your corporation you must first conduct a NUANS name search to verify if the name is available because corporate names are protected. To conduct a NUANS search contact a search company (consult the Yellow Pages under the heading "Searches of Records"), visit ESC Corporate Services Ltd. online at URL: http://www.eservicecorp.ca/ , or visit any Enterprise Toronto location.
Provincial incorporation costs $360 plus the cost of the article of incorporation forms, to be filed at the Ministry of Government Services at 375 University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Toronto (416) 314-8880. You may also incorporate on-line through service providers such as ESC Corporate Services Ltd. or by visiting an Enterprise Toronto location.
Federal incorporation costs $250 and the forms are to be filed at Industry Canada's Corporations Directorate. Federal incorporation can also be done online through service providers such as ESC Corporate Services Ltd. or visiting an Enterprise Toronto location.
Note: Each service provider charges an extra fee for its services.