How to Register Your Business in Ontario

May 13, 2020
7 minute read

Being an entrepreneur is a feeling. It’s something you have within you that says you want to take control of your career. While that aspirational emotion is the magic dust to being a successful entrepreneur, there are also logistical steps that must be taken to give your business the best chance to succeed. Registering your business is one of the first steps.

Types of business registrations in Ontario

There are a number of business structures for registering your business in Ontario. These include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). You have to be a lawyer, accountant, or another regulated profession to form an LLP.  For a more comprehensive understanding of all business types, read our article on how to choose a business structure. Before proceeding any further with any type of business registration we strongly encourage you to seek independent legal advice and not rely solely on the link above or this article.  With this said, the majority of the businesses fall into either sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, so we’ll focus on these three types.

How to register a sole proprietorship or partnership in Ontario

Registering a sole proprietorship and partnership have many commonalities. The difference is that you are the only owner in a sole proprietorship. Registering as a sole proprietor is the simplest and least expensive form of business registration. It also offers the least amount of legal protection. 

Registering a partnership is nearly as simple as a sole proprietorship, and the costs are also comparable. You will have to make a choice to either register as a general or limited partnership. The difference? General partnership usually involves a fair split between all partners. A limited partnership acknowledges that some partners are not equally as involved and therefore don’t get compensated in the same way.

There are several similar steps to both registering a sole proprietorship and a partnership. Most of those steps involve registering a name for your business. You don’t have any legal obligation past registering your business name when forming a partnership or sole proprietorship. However, it’s important to note that in a partnership or sole proprietorship, there is no distinction between you and your business in terms of legal and financial liabilities. For examp