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How to Register a Business in Ontario

Ontario is one of the best destinations for entrepreneurs who want to expand their businesses. Ontario’s strategic location makes it easier to have business relations with other provinces in Canada and other nations worldwide.

How to Register a Business in Ontario

In addition, the availability of skilled labor and natural resources are other factors that motivate business-minded people around the world to establish their businesses in Ontario.

So, if you want to establish a business in the said province, and connect to the global market, it’d be a good idea to stick to this article for a few minutes.

You’re going to learn all you need to know about starting a business, including the types of businesses you can establish, and the steps you need to follow to register a business in Ontario. Read on to get enlightened.

What Are the Major Types of Businesses You Can Establish in Ontario?

There are different types of businesses to choose from when establishing one in Ontario, each with its own structure. Ideally, there are four major business structures, as explained below:

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1. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship, also known as a sole trader, is an unincorporated business owned and controlled by one person. This means its decisions are entirely dependent on the owner.

Though the sole proprietorship is the most common form of business in Ontario, it provides the least legal and financial protection to the owners.

2. Partnership

A partnership is a business relationship between two or more people who come together and start a business with the aim of sharing profits. Just like a sole trader, a partnership business is also easy to establish.

3. Corporations

Corporations are legal entities, separate from the owners. This means that owners or the shareholders aren’t personally liable for the possible loss of the company, including debts and legal disputes.

4. Limited Liability Business

Limited liability is the most flexible business to establish in Ontario. These businesses combine both features of the partnerships and corporations.

For instance, they retain the tax advantage of individual partners and the limited liability of corporations.

What Are the Steps to Follow When Registering a Business in Ontario?

Now, after you’ve decided on the best type of your business, you must register it before you commence operations. Without proper registration, you won’t be allowed to operate any business in Ontario, unfortunately.

With that said, here are the steps to follow when registering your business:

1. Select a Business Name

Selecting a business name is the first step in registering your enterprise. You need to choose a unique name that can be identified with your business brand.

So, it’s a good idea to do a name search to ensure no other business has been registered with a similar name to yours.

While the registrar of companies in Ontario can allow companies to share names, it’s essential to select a unique title. Registering your business with a unique name helps eliminate confusion, especially in case of any legal liabilities.

2. Assemble All the Details Required to Register Your Business

There are several details and information you’re required to present to the registrar of companies before they can register your business. Some of these details include the business name, registered office address, share capital details, company directors, shareholders details, if any, and what your business aims to achieve.

3. Draft Memorandum and Articles of Association

The memorandum and articles of association are two essential constitutive documents of a business. In, other words they form the constitution of the company.

While articles of association allow a business to communicate internally with its employees, a memorandum of association communicates externally to shareholders and other stakeholders.

In, addition a memorandum of association must indicate the names of the shareholders and their shareholdings, which should be presented to the registrar of companies.  

4. Name and Business Approval

After you’ve organized all the required details and documents and clearly stated what your business ought to do, the registrar of companies can either approve your business or reject it. If they approve your business, you need to go ahead and register it.

5. Register Your Business

Once your business has been approved, the final step is to register it. You can register your business online or personally go to the registrar of companies’ office. Once you’ve fully registered your business, you’ll be given a permit to operate your business.


Ontario is one of the destinations for most entrepreneurs. That’s why any business-minded person is dreaming of establishing a business there. However, the government will require such people to first register their businesses before operating them.

As you’ve seen above, you can register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability business.

However, whichever type of business, they all have a standard procedure of registration.

For that reason, you’re required to search a name for your business, organize the necessary documents, then register your business with the registrar of companies.


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