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Registering Your Business

Step 1 - Choose a Name for Your Business.

Besides being sure that you choose a business name for your business that sounds good, you also need to choose a business name that is acceptable to Companies Branch. Certain words or expressions are prohibited. Be sure to check the details about which words or expressions can't be part of the name.

Step 2 - Conduct a Search for Your Chosen Business Name to see if Any Other Business is Using the Name You've Chosen.

The Enhanced Business Name Search allows you to search for a business name registered with the Ontario Ministry of Government Services. Searches can be done on exact business names, words in a business name or by the Ontario Business Identification Number.

*Business name registration is no guarantee of exclusivity. (Business name protection is provided by a trademark, not by name registration.).

Step 3 - Register Your Business Name. Online, by Canada Post or In Person.

Register your business online through www.serviceontario.ca. The online registration fee is $60. Besides the $20 savings, an advantage to doing your business registration through the ServiceOntario website is that you can also complete other necessary business forms electronically while you're at it, such as the Retail Sales Tax Vendor Permit, Employer Health Tax, and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. 

*If you register through ServiceOntario, you should receive your Master Business License via email in two days
You may also register your business name through the Canada Revenue Agency's Business Registration Online. The advantage to doing this is that you can also register for other CRA accounts you may need, such as GST/HST registration or Payroll Deductions.

Alternatively, you can register your business name through the public office of the Companies Branch in person or by mail at 590 Rossland Road East Whitby. The fee for registering a business name by mail or in person at the Companies Branch is $80. 

*If you register in person, you'll receive your Master Business License (proof of business name registration) immediately; if you register by mail, you'll receive it in 6 to 8 weeks.

Step 4 - Register for Whatever Other Licenses, Registrations, or Certifications You Require to Legally Operate Your Business.

You may also need a business license, depending on the type of business you're running. Use our BizPaL service show you exactly what licenses and permits you need.

Step 5 - Register for the Ajax Business Network!

A local business to business connection network that provides free networking events, newsletters and connections to help you launch and grow your business.  Free to join!  priority@ajax.ca.