Step 8: Determine Your Business Structure


Register Your Business.

business name registration refers to a registration under the Business Names Act. It applies to small business owners who want to register a sole proprietorship, a partnership or an operating name (trade name) for a corporation. The name of a new business must be registered if it is different than the business owner’s legal name.

It is important to note that the Master Business License, received at the time of registration, expires after 5 years and must be renewed. The Companies and Personal Property Security Branch, Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (MCBS) does not send reminder notices. There are two types of business name registration in Ontario.

Types of Business Structure:

  • Sole Proprietorship is an unincorporated business that is owned by one person. The owner of a sole proprietorship has sole responsibility for making decisions, receives all of the profits, claims all losses, and does not have separate legal status from the business.
  • Partnership is an association between two or more people who join together to carry on a trade or business. Each partner contributes money, labour, property, or skills to the partnership.
  • Corporation is an incorporated entity with its own rights and responsibilities as a distinct person under the law. A corporation is owned by the shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders. The owners of a corporation are not personally responsible for the debts of the corporation. The corporation is responsible for its debts.

To learn more about business structures, view Step 8 here.


We have identified and answered the most commonly asked questions about this topic:

Registration of a business name for a sole proprietorship or partnership is administered by ServiceOntario. Registering a business name can be done in person at a ServiceOntario centre office or online on the ServiceOntario website.

The cost to register a sole proprietorship or partnership online is $60 plus $8 per name search. The cost to register a business name by mail or in person is $80 plus $8 per name search.

To register online, visit:

For information on how to register by mail or in-person, visit:

To incorporate a business:

Your Business Number is your single account number for dealing with the federal government regarding taxes, payroll, import/export and other activities. If you plan to hire employees, or if you will be importing and/or exporting products or services, you will need to get a business number. If you sell goods and services in Ontario, you may need a business number to charge and remit the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

Learn more> How to register a Business Number in Canada

Changes/updates to Business Activity and/or Business address through using the Change of Business Information (COBI) tool online.

How to change your business information

Access Change of Business Information (COBI) online tool at and select 8. You can also change other business information online.


We have identified the following resources to assist you in this topic:



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