How To Perform A Business Name Registration In Ontario


Starting a business can be exciting, but taking the right steps before getting started is important. One of those steps is registering your business name in Ontario. Doing so ensures that other businesses can’t use your name and helps protect your branding and reputation. This article will discuss how to perform a business name registration in Ontario. It may seem daunting initially, but anyone can register their business quickly and easily with the right information and resources. 

Importance Of Registering A Business Name In Ontario

Submitting a business name registration Ontario is essential if you want to operate a business under any other name than the legal one of its owners. Registering your business name ensures no other company can use it and protects you from lawsuits.

It also makes it easier for customers, vendors, and suppliers to find your business when they search online or offline. Plus, registering your name gives you exclusive rights to use the name throughout Canada. So even if another company already uses the same business name somewhere else, you won’t infringe on their trademark by operating with that same name in Ontario. Doing this simple task will give you peace of mind knowing that all future transactions made under your registered business name are legally recognized.

Types Of Business Structures In Ontario

When registering a business in Ontario, you must understand the business structure you plan to use. The province has two main types of structures: sole proprietorship and corporation. A sole proprietorship is owned by one individual who assumes all responsibility for debts or losses incurred during operation. In contrast, a corporation is a separate legal entity that multiple people can own and may have limited liability for its owners.   

It’s important to consider how each structure will affect taxes, ownership regulations, potential investors, and other factors before deciding. Ultimately, the best option depends on an individual’s unique needs and goals when starting a business.

Guidelines For Selecting A Business Name

Choosing the right name for your business is important for creating a successful venture. After all, it will be something you and your customers identify with and associate with what you do. That’s why registering your business name in Ontario should be done carefully to ensure that the name meets all requirements set out by the province and any trademark or copyright laws that may apply.

When selecting a suitable business name, there are several things to consider: Does the name reflect the type of business you’re running? Is there already another registered company using a similar-sounding or identical name? These questions will guide your search for an appropriate business name. 

Preparing For Business Name Registration

Starting a business can be exciting and rewarding but ensuring you’re taking all the necessary steps is important. One of those is registering your business name in Ontario. Before you begin the process, there are several things to think about that will help ensure a smooth registration experience. 

Doing so can give you peace of mind, knowing that you’ve taken this important step toward getting your business up and running. So, let’s look at what must be done before submitting your business name registration application in Ontario. Below are some steps to guide you properly:  

  • Required Documents

Once you have registered a business name in Ontario, some documents must be provided. These include a completed and signed application form, proof of identity for all individuals listed on the form, and any supporting documents relevant to the type of organization being registered. 

Additionally, other documents may be required if you require extra-provincial registration in another Canadian province or territory. All forms must be submitted with payment before your request is processed. It’s important to ensure that all information provided is accurate and up to date so that the process runs smoothly and quickly.  

  • Reservation Of A Business Name

Ontario’s entities must be registered with the provincial government before legally operating. One of the first steps is to reserve a business name, which involves submitting an application and paying a fee to ensure the chosen name still needs to be created.   

This process also verifies that all necessary words or phrases are included in their business name, such as ‘Limited’ for corporations or ‘Incorporated’ for non-profit organizations. Once submitted, applicants will receive confirmation of their reservation within ten days or less. Business owners can then proceed with other registration requirements like filing Articles of Incorporation, registering trade names, and obtaining federal and provincially required permits and licenses.  

  • Choosing A Name For Registration

When choosing a name for registration in Ontario, one must meet the following criteria:  

  • The name should accurately reflect the products and services offered.  
  • It should not infringe on any existing trademarks or copyrights.  
  • It must contain an acceptable suffix such as ‘Limited,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Corporation.’  

To ensure your business name is compliant, you must:

  • Research both registered names and trademarks to avoid infringement issues.  
  • Make sure the name reflects the business you’re running.  
  • Ensure that all necessary suffixes are included.  

Before submitting your application, double-check to ensure everything is accurate and legally sound.  

  • Submitting Registration Forms

Registering a business in Ontario is quite straightforward. All you need to do is submit the appropriate registration forms and pay any applicable fees. The process usually takes no more than five days, so it’s great if you want to start your new venture quickly.

Submitting the necessary documents can be done either online or through paper submission – whichever method works best for you. Once the government receives and approves all the required documentation, your business will officially exist.

  • Payment Of Fees

It is important to remember that all businesses must pay the appropriate fees before they are legally allowed to operate. The Government of Ontario charges a $60 fee for registering a business name with ServiceOntario, and this cost needs to be paid upon submitting your registration application.

Applicants must know how much money they need to cover these costs to avoid delays or problems. Additionally, anyone who has already registered their business should remember that they may have to renew their registration after five years, at which point another fee will apply.

Timeline For Registration

To register a business name in Ontario, you must first determine if the desired business name is available by searching it on Canada’s NUANS database. Suppose your chosen business name has yet to be taken and meets other legal requirements. In that case, you may apply with ServiceOntario or online using their e-registration system.   

After submitting your application and paying the applicable fees, approval for your business registration can take up to five days; however, some applications may be approved within two days. Once registered, the new business will receive a Master Business License, which indicates that all necessary government regulations have been met.  

Post-Registration Requirements

Once you have successfully registered your business name in Ontario, all businesses must submit annual returns and report any changes to the information provided during registration within 15 days of such changes. Additionally, all businesses must display their corporate name on any documents or letterhead used for official purposes.   

It is also important to remember that an existing business can’t use a name that’s too similar to another registered company, which could lead to legal issues. Lastly, all businesses operating under a trading name must identify who owns the business using words like ‘operating as’ or ‘doing business as.’

Changing A Business Name

Changing a business name in Ontario requires an updated registration with the province. You must file Form 2: Change of Business Name and provide any supporting documents required by law. Once done, you can use your new name for all future business activities within the province.   

It’s important to remember that changing your business name keeps your business’s legal structure and status the same. It only changes how it appears on government records. Ensure you inform customers, suppliers, and stakeholders about your new name so they can update their records accordingly.  

Business Name Registration For Non-Residents

For those wishing to conduct business in Ontario but not residents, registering a name is straightforward. First, they must register with ServiceOntario and obtain a business license. They will need to provide proof of identity, such as their driver’s license or passport, along with other documentation depending on their type of business.   

Once approved for a license, applicants can register their names through the same ServiceOntario portal. After providing information about the business’ structure and activities, they’ll be ready to start trading under their new registration.  


The process of registering a business name in Ontario is vital to the success of any venture. You must understand all the details, from the types of structures available and the timeline for registration to post-registration requirements and changing your business name.

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Meet Waleed Tariq, the seasoned entrepreneur and visionary behind the blog. Get ready for valuable business insights, practical tips, and a fresh perspective that resonates with all – from aspiring entrepreneurs to seasoned professionals. With a passion for empowering others, Waleed's engaging writing style and real-world experiences simplify complex business concepts.


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