How to Register a Business in Ontario Online: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to start a business in Ontario, registering online can be a great option for those looking to save time and money.

But before you begin the registration process, it’s important to understand the steps involved and the requirements you’ll need to meet. In this step-by-step guide on how to register a business in Ontario online, we not only cover the steps, we also cover the pros & cons of registering online, what you’ll need before registering, and we also give you a handy checklist.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Registering your business online can save you time and money.
  • Before registering, you need to conduct market research, prepare a business plan, and decide on the ownership structure for your business.
  • When registering online, you’ll need to check if you need any licenses or permits, understand your tax obligations, and consider business insurance.

Summary of Online Business Registration in Ontario

The process of registering an Ontario business online can be broken down into pre-registration, registration, and post-registration:

  1. Pre-registration is when you gather the information necessary for registration (this will make registration quicker and easier)
  2. Registration is when you actually register your business online
  3. Post-registration is when you take care of the (legally) necessary things to set up your business, like applying for licenses and permits

We cover each step of the process below. But first, let’s cover the pros & cons of registering your Ontario business online:

Pros & Cons of Online Business Registration in Ontario

When it comes to registering a business in Ontario, you have the option to do it online. Here are some pros and cons to consider before making your decision:

Pros of Registering Online

  1. Convenience: Online business registration is convenient because you can do it from anywhere with an internet connection. You don’t have to visit a physical location or mail in paperwork.
  2. Speed: Online registration is often faster than other methods. You can complete the process in a matter of minutes, and you’ll receive your business registration number and other necessary documents via email.
  3. Ease of use: The online registration process is straightforward and user-friendly. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge to complete it.
  4. Cost-effective: While registering online costs the same as the other two registration methods (email and in-person), online registration is the fastest method, so there a cost savings in terms of time saved.

Cons of Registering Online

  1. Limited assistance: If you have questions or need help with the registration process, you may not be able to get the same level of assistance as you would through other methods.
  2. Technical issues: Online registration requires a stable internet connection and a compatible device. Technical issues can arise, such as website downtime or compatibility issues with your device.
  3. Security concerns: Online registration requires you to provide sensitive information, such as your personal and business details. While the Ontario government takes measures to protect your information, there is always a risk of cyber threats.

Overall, online business registration in Ontario is a convenient, speedy, and cost-effective option. However, it may not be the best choice for everyone, especially if you require extensive assistance or are concerned about security risks.

Pre-Registration Checklist

Before registering your business online in Ontario, it’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary information and documents. Here are some things you should consider before starting the registration process:

Choose a Business Structure

Deciding on the right business structure is an important step in the registration process. You can choose to register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or cooperative.

Each business structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs. In addition to our guide on business structures, check out the Ontario government brief guide on deciding on a business structure.

Choose a Business Name

Your business name is an important aspect of your brand and identity. Make sure to choose a name that is unique, easy to remember, and relevant to your business. You can check the availability of your desired business name by searching the Ontario Business Registry. Keep in mind that your business name must not infringe on any existing trademarks or registered business names.

Step-by-Step Guide to Online Registration

Now let’s get into the registration process! Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

1. Access the Ontario Government Website

To begin the registration process, you’ll need to access the Ontario government website. You can do this by visiting and navigating to the business section. From there, you’ll be able to find the registration page and begin the process.

2. Complete the Registration Form

Once you’ve accessed the registration page, you’ll be prompted to complete a registration form. This form will ask for basic information about your business, including its name, address, and contact information. You’ll also need to provide information about the owners and directors of the business.

Be sure to double-check all the information you provide on the form, as any errors could cause delays in the registration process.

3. Pay the Registration Fee

After you’ve completed the registration form, you’ll need to pay the registration fee. The fee varies depending on the type of business you’re registering and can be paid online using a credit card or other payment method.

4. Receive Your Business Number

Once you’ve completed the registration form and paid the fee, you’ll receive a business number from the Ontario government. This number is unique to your business and will be used for tax and other purposes.


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    Be sure to keep this number in a safe place, as you’ll need it to conduct business in Ontario.

    And that’s it for registration! By following these simple steps, you can register your business in Ontario online and get started on your entrepreneurial journey.

    Post-Registration Steps

    Congratulations, you have successfully registered your business in Ontario! But the process doesn’t end there. There are a few more steps you need to take to ensure your business is set up for success.

    Acquiring Necessary Licenses and Permits

    Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to acquire certain licenses and permits to operate legally in Ontario. This can include federal, provincial, or municipal licenses and permits.

    To determine which licenses and permits you need, you can use the BizPaL tool, which provides a comprehensive list of all the permits and licenses required for your specific business type and location.

    Setting Up Your Business Taxes

    As a business owner in Ontario, you are required to pay taxes on your business income. The type of taxes you need to pay will depend on your business structure and the nature of your business activities.

    If you are a sole proprietor, you will report your business income on your personal income tax return using a T2125 form. If you have incorporated your business, you will need to file a separate corporate tax return using a T2 form.

    In addition to income taxes, you may also need to collect and remit HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) if your business sells taxable goods or services.

    Consider Business Insurance

    Business insurance can help protect your business from unexpected events such as theft, fire, or liability claims. It is important to consider the type of insurance you need and the coverage amount.

    Wrapping Up

    Congratulations! You have successfully registered your business in Ontario online. By following the steps outlined in this article, you have taken a big step towards starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur.

    Starting a business can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but with the right tools and resources, you can succeed. Remember to stay focused, stay organized, and stay committed to your goals. With hard work and dedication, you can build a successful business that will provide you with financial independence and personal fulfillment!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can I search for an available business name in Ontario?

    Before registering your business in Ontario, you need to ensure that your business name is available. You can search for an available business name two ways:

    1. A provincial business name search using the online Ontario Business Registry name search
    2. A federal business name search using the NUANS (Newly Updated Automated Name Search) system.

    Is it necessary to renew my business license in Ontario, and if so, how?

    Yes, it is necessary to renew your business license in Ontario. It is important to renew your business license before it expires to avoid any penalties or legal issues. You can renew your business license online through the Ontario Business Registry. To renew your business license, you need to log in to your account, select your business, and follow the instructions provided.

    What is a Business Number in Ontario, and how do I obtain one?

    A Business Number (BN) is a nine-digit number assigned by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to identify your business for tax purposes. You can obtain a Business Number in Ontario by registering your business with the CRA. You can register your business by phone, online, or by mail. Once you have registered your business, you will receive your Business Number along with other important information about your tax obligations.

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