Business Name Registration In Ontario: 5 Steps And 3 Advantages

Business Name Registration In Ontario

Canada is an excellent place for entrepreneurs who want to run their businesses. Its strategic position makes companies connect with both local and international customers. Hence, it’s one of the reasons why several companies get launched in Canada every year.  

Before launching a business in Canada, it’s necessary to register it with the government. However, not every company needs to be registered on a national level. For instance, if your company is located in Ontario, you can register it there.  

Steps For Business Name Registration In Ontario

Business name registration in Ontario takes time and effort. If you want to achieve success, it’s best to follow these steps:

1. Choose Your Business Structure

One of the major decisions to make when registering a business in Ontario is selecting a suitable structure. This will describe the legal structure of your business and will influence your daily operations.

You can choose from four business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability. Your choice will directly affect how you share returns and pay taxes.

In addition, the structure of your business will determine how you can be personally liable for company debts. Therefore, you need to choose wisely. Alternatively, you can hire a lawyer to help you select the proper business structure for your company.  

2. Select A Business Name

Once you’ve decided on a structure for your business, the next step is to come up with a name. Ideally, it should refer to a title your business will be identified with. You can also use your name to run a sole proprietorship. And in such a case, business registration in Ontario isn’t a legal requirement.

On the other hand, if you select something else that isn’t your name, you must register the business with the government. There are thousands of businesses in Ontario. So, you’ll likely find many other firms like yours.

For that reason, choosing a unique name for your business is best. It’ll help customers identify your business so that you can stand out from the competition.  

3. Conduct A Name Search

Once you’ve decided on a business name, you need to search for your chosen name. This step will help confirm its availability. The government doesn’t prohibit two or more people from registering their businesses using a similar name.

However, using a similar name might be risky, especially in the event of lawsuits. To avoid this, it’s necessary to search whether there’s someone else already using your preferred business name.  

There are several ways to conduct business name searches in Ontario. You can physically visit the state secretary’s office, utilise the government’s name search website, or opt for other online business services. If your preferred name is available, you can preserve it to ensure no other business can use it. Consequently, you must pay a preservation fee.  

4. Register Your Business

After you’ve preserved the name, the next step is to register your business. However, there are important documents you need to provide. For instance, the type of documents to prepare depends on your company’s business structure. These include operating agreements and articles of incorporation. Also, you must provide a brief description of your business objectives.  

5. Apply For Additional Licenses, certificates, And Permits

Registering your business enables you to obtain a master’s license. But since you’ll be operating under provincial regulations, local licenses, certificates, and permits may be required. There are different permits for various kinds of business. The list of requirements will depend on your business type.

On the other hand, it’s a good idea to register for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to protect your business against possible lawsuits from your employees.

Advantages Of Business Name Registration In Ontario

There are several benefits of business name registration in Ontario. Here are some of them:  

  • Helps Save Money

As earlier noted, registering your business is a legal requirement unless it bears your name. You’ll be penalised by the government if you fail to comply. So, by registering your business name in Ontario, you can save money.

  • Ensures You Get Access To Capital

You may start a business with your own savings. However, at some point, you may need to find external funding, like applying for loans. Most financial lending institutions will determine whether your business is registered before approving your loan application. So, you’ll get better access to financial resources if your business is registered.  

  • Enables You To Establish Credibility With Clients

Today, customers are more concerned with business experience than ever before. They research a company to know its established date before purchasing from it. When you do your business name registration in Ontario, customers will see when it started or how long it has been on the market. As such, customers will trust you, which helps establish a credible brand.  


Starting a business in Ontario can be a great way to build and enhance wealth. It allows you to connect with clients globally. But it pays to register your business name. Doing so can help you save money, access financial resources, and establish credibility