How To Register A Business Name in Ontario

New Ontario Business Registry - October 18, 2021

Notice – Business Names Act – Registering a Business Name Effective Date: This Notice is effective on October 19, 2021.

1. How to Register, Renew, Amend or Cancel Online
2. Required Documents and Information
3. Documents Issued by the Ministry
4. Person Authorizing Registration
5. Name Requirements
6. General Information
7. Register, Renew, Amend or Cancel by Mail
8. Related Legislation

Business names must be registered under the Business Names Act (BNA) with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (Ministry). and are placed on the public record for public disclosure. Anyone may search business name information maintained in the Ministry records for a fee to find the owners or principals behind a business name. Filings must be made in the required form and format, and meet all requirements and technical specifications established by the Registrar. Who must register: • Sole proprietorships (one owner) carrying on business under a name other than the individual’s full name; • General partnerships carrying on business under a firm name other than the full names of all the partners • General partnerships or limited partnerships (Ontario or extra-provincial) carrying on business under a business name other than their registered firm name • Corporations (Ontario or extra-provincial) carrying on business under a business name other than their corporate name • Limited liability partnerships (Ontario or extra-provincial) - firm name • Extra-provincial limited liability companies - company name

Under the BNA, a registration is effective for 5 years from the date it is accepted by the Registrar for registration. A registrant may renew a registration before it expires. If the registrant has not filed a renewal within sixty days after it expires, the registrant must file a new registration, and will be assigned a new Business Identification Number (BIN). If any of the information set out in the registration changes, the registrant must file an amended registration within 15 days after the change: The registrant may request cancellation of a registration.

  1. How to Register, Renew, Amend or Cancel Online

You can register a business, firm or company name online if you received a company key giving you authority over the registrant (not applicable for new registrants). You can also renew, amend or cancel online if you received a company key (see Notice – Company Key):

1) Directly with the Ministry through ServiceOntario at our website www.ontario.ca/businessregistry. You must use a valid and up-to-date ServiceOntario online account to complete and file this application electronically with ServiceOntario. You may save drafts prepared online for up to 90 days before filing. ServiceOntario has no access to your drafts until the application is filed.

OR

2) Through private sector service providers under contract with the Ministry if you are registering or renewing a business name for a sole proprietorship, a firm name for a general partnership or a business name for a corporation. The service providers charge an additional fee.

To file through a service provider visit:

Search

Before you register a new business name, you can search the Ministry’s records of existing registrations to see if the name of your business is already being used by another business and where that business is located. Please see Notice – Searching the Public Record.

2. Required Documents and Information

Initial Registration

To register online, have the following documents and information ready:

1. Business, firm or company name to be registered

2. Administrative Information (not shown on public record): • Contact information: name, email address • An official email address for the business

3. Address of the principal place of business If there is a place of business in Ontario, you must provide the address of the principal place of business in 3 Ontario. If there is no place of business in Ontario, you must provide the address of the principal place of business outside Ontario

For complete details download the attached file: Business Name Act - Registering a Business Name or visit: Ontario Central Form Repository