Register Your Business Online Today

Business Name Registration ( also known as a “Form1” or “Master Business Licence” in Ontario) is a simple and inexpensive way to start-up your business.

Information Required:

  • The business name
  • Business Address (Post Office Box is not acceptable)
  • Mailing Address of Registrant
  • Individual/s name and address
  • Activity being carried out under the business

Choosing a Business Name:

It is very important to choose an unique name. As there are no name protection for small businesses, any name will be accepted by the Government, however if the name deceptively similar to an existing name, you risk legal action being taken by the other party.

Sole
Proprietorship

An unincorporated business owned by one individual, making it the simplest and least expensive form of business to start and operate.
Advantages:

  • Full decision-making authority
  • All of the profits are yours
  • Simple tax filing

Things to consider:

  • Responsible for all liabilities
  • Difficulty raising capital
  • Income is taxable at your personal rate

General
Partnership

Two or more partners to manage and operate a business and share its profits. It can register quickly and easily.
Advantages:

  • Generally easy and inexpensive to establish
  • Start-up costs are shared
  • Receive all of the profits directly

Things to consider:

  • Partners are personally liable
  • Income is taxed at the personal level
  • Decision-making can be cumbersome

Tradename Under a Corporation

A business under a name other than its corporate name. If you would like to use any name other than your corporate name you must register a trade name.
Advantages:

  • Build brand loyalty
  • Protect your products and services
  • Maximize Commercial potential

Things to consider:

  • Business name is not protected
  • No personal liability protection
  • Business names expire every five years

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Legal Smart do?

Registering a business can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Legal Smart makes it easy and inexpensive by filling out our 5-10 minutes simple online registration form. All you need is the business name, business address and owner’s information.

What is a NUANS report and why do I need one?

The NUANS® (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) provides a list of existing corporate names, business names and trademarks that are similar to the one being proposed.

A NUANS report is required when you incorporate a named company but not mandatory for small business registrations, however i t is recommended to ensure that you are not infringing on another business name and get a distinctive name which separate from the competitors.

How do I name a Non-Incorporated Businesses?

A small business name should contain distinctive and descriptive elements, but no legal ending such as Inc. Ltd or Corp.

Example: Premium Bakery

  • “Premium” is the distinctive element which promotes your business name.
  • “Bakery” is the descriptive element, as it describes the nature of your business.

Please note that you can have more than one word for the distinctive/ Descriptive element.

Can I open a business bank account without registering my business

You will need proof of the business registration before opening a business bank account. For a Sole Proprietorship, this would be a Master Business Licence in Ontario.

Should I register a business name or incorporate a company?

It depends on how you want to do business. Business Name Registration is a simple and inexpensive way to start -up your business. You have the full decision making authority and all profits or liabilities are yours. A business corporation is a more complex structure that can be owned by one or more shareholders and managed by directors chosen by the shareholders. It is distinct legal entity and limits the liability.