As one of North America’s major business hubs, Toronto is a great place to start and grow a business. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established company looking to expand, formally registering your business with the Toronto and Ontario government should be one of your first steps.
But the registration process can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. This article will break down the steps required to successfully register your business. We’ll outline all the requirements, while also providing tips to make sure the process goes smoothly. By clearly understanding what’s required and setting aside the necessary time and resources, you can ensure your Toronto business registration is completed accurately and efficiently.
- Toronto Business Registry doesn’t exist anymore and all businesses have to register with Ontario Business Registry.
- Registering your business with the is a necessary step for operating legally within the city.
- The registry provides access to important resources and support, including business licenses and permits, tax registration, and information on Toronto business bylaws.
- Registering can help establish credibility with potential customers, suppliers, and investors.
1. Why Register Your Business in Toronto
If you’re starting a business in Toronto, registering with the Ontario Business Registry is an important step. By registering your business, you’ll gain access to a range of benefits that can help your business grow. Here are some reasons why you should consider registering your business in Toronto:
Registering your business provides your business with legitimacy. It shows that you are serious about your business and that you are committed to complying with the laws and regulations in place. This can help you build trust with customers, partners, and investors.
Registering your business can also help protect your personal assets. By registering your business as a separate legal entity, you can limit your personal liability for any debts or legal issues that may arise. This can help protect your personal assets, such as your home or car, from being seized to pay for any business-related debts. For this, you have to choose the proper legal structure. As an example, sole proprietorship doesn’t provide any protection as the owner is personally liable for all the business loses and debts.
Access to Funding
Registering your business can also make it easier to access funding. Many lenders and investors prefer to work with registered businesses, as they are seen as more legitimate and less risky. By registering your business, you may be able to access loans, grants, and other forms of funding that can help you grow your business.
Registering your business can also provide you with tax benefits. By registering as a corporation, for example, you may be able to take advantage of lower tax rates and other tax benefits. This can help you save money and reinvest it back into your business.
2. Steps to Register Your Business in Toronto
If you are looking to start a business in Toronto, you will need to register your business with the Ontario Business Registry. Here are the steps you need to follow to register your business in Toronto.
Choosing a Business Name
The first step in registering your business is choosing a name. Your business name should be unique and not already in use by another business. You can check the availability of business names on the Ontario Business Registry website. Once you have chosen a name, you will need to register it with the Ontario Business Registry.
Choosing a business structure
The next step is to choose a business structure. You can choose to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or cooperative. Each business structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Filling Out the Registration Form
Once you have chosen a business name and structure, you will need to fill out the registration form. The registration form can be completed online by Creating a ONe-key account. Log in to your ONe-key account and register for a ServiceOntario account. Log in to your ServiceOntario Account to register your business as a
- Sole Proprietorship – $60
- General Partnership – $60
- Ontario Limited Liability Partnership – $60
- Extra-Provincial Limited Liability Partnership – $60
- Limited Partnership – $210
- Business Corporation – $300
3. Understanding Toronto Business Bylaws
Bylaws are laws that have been passed by the City of Toronto and are enforced by the city. They cover a wide range of topics, including zoning, licensing, and health and safety requirements.
One of the first things you should do when starting a business in Toronto is to check the City’s By-law Status Registry. This registry tracks the status and history of by-laws dating back to 1834. You can use the registry to look up the status of by-laws, view the amendment history, and other enactment details. Most of the by-laws are still in force today.
In addition to the By-law Status Registry, the City of Toronto provides a Business Regulations, Licences & Permits page. This page provides information on the various licenses and permits required to operate a business in Toronto. For example, if you plan to operate a restaurant, you will need a food handler’s permit, a business license, and a building permit.
It’s important to note that the requirements for licenses and permits can vary depending on the type of business you plan to operate. For example, if you plan to operate a home-based business, you may need to obtain a home occupation permit.
4. Common Challenges in Business Registration
Registering a business in Toronto can be a daunting task, especially for new business owners. Here are some common challenges you may face when registering your business:
Understanding the Requirements
Before registering your business, it is important to understand the requirements and regulations that apply to your specific business type. This can be a challenge for new business owners who are not familiar with the legal and regulatory framework. To help you understand the requirements, the City of Toronto has provided a comprehensive list that outlines the licensing and permit requirements for different types of businesses.
Completing the Application
Completing the application for business registration can be a time-consuming process. The application requires you to provide detailed information about your business, including its legal structure, location, and ownership. It is important to ensure that all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays in the registration process.
Dealing with Technical Issues
The new Ontario Business Registry has been reported to have technical glitches and system shutdowns, causing significant disruption and delays in the registration process. While the OBR is still new, it is important to be aware of the potential issues you may face when using the system.
Once you have submitted your application, it is important to meet the deadlines. Failure to meet these deadlines can result in fines and penalties. It is recommended to keep track of the deadlines and ensure that all required documents are submitted on time.
By being aware of these common challenges, you can prepare yourself and take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth registration process for your business.
6. Maintaining Your Business Registration
Once you have registered your business with the Ontario Business Registry, it is essential to keep your registration up-to-date. This ensures that your business information is accurate and that you are complying with all legal requirements. Here are some tips on how to maintain your business registration:
Update Your Information
If there are any changes to your business, such as a change in address, phone number, or ownership, you must update your registration. You can do this online through the Ontario Business Registry. It is important to keep your information up-to-date to ensure that you receive any important notifications from the government.
Renew Your Registration
Your business registration must be renewed every three or five years, depending on the type of business you have registered. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail or by email, reminding you to renew your registration. You can renew your registration online through the Ontario Business Registry.
Keep Your Business Records
It is important to keep accurate records of your business activities, including financial records, contracts, and agreements. This will help you to comply with any legal requirements and to manage your business effectively. You should also keep copies of any documents related to your business registration, such as your registration certificate and renewal notices.
Comply with Legal Requirements
As a business owner, you are responsible for complying with all legal requirements, such as filing tax returns and obtaining any necessary permits or licenses. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines or other penalties. You should also be aware of any changes to the laws or regulations that may affect your business.