Most Ontario businesses need to register with both the Canadian and Ontario governments before beginning operations, or within 60 days of start-up.

Registering a business involves following specific steps and filling out forms – it may take some time and effort, but it’s an essential part of becoming a successful entrepreneur in Ontario.

T2inc.ca tax accountants walk you through what you need to know and do to register your small business.

Getting ready to register your business

You’ll need to make sure you have the right information and that you’ve chosen a business name before you get started. Let’s look at exactly what you need.

Business information

Before you can register your business, you will need to have figured out a few important details:

  • The location of your main office (current or projected)
  • Where in Canada you plan to operate (provinces and/ or territories)
  • Your proposed business name
  • The legal structure of your business

Business structure

Choosing the right structure for your business is an important step which will affect your tax rates and legal responsibilities no matter where you operate in Canada. There are four types of possible business structure:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Cooperative
  • Corporation

All types of business except sole proprietorships must be registered with the Ontario government.

Who can register a business

To register a small business in Canada you need to be one of the following:

  • The owner of the business
  • A third party requester
  • A person who employs a caregiver, domestic worker or babysitter
  • A representative with a RepID or a GroupID

The person registering the business will also need a valid social insurance number (SIN) and to have filed their tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

You can register your business online with the Business Registration Online. Keep in mind that other business duties such as filing corporate taxes can also be completed online.

Why register a business?

Owners of small businesses may wonder why they need to register. There are several benefits to registering your business which will affect your ability to operate successfully, including making it possible to calculate and pay appropriate GST and HST amounts.

Your business number

When you register your business with the Canada Revenue Agency you are given a unique 9-digit business number that identifies your business as a legal entity. This number cannot be acquired from the Ontario government.

However, before applying for a federal business number, you will first need to register for a 9-digit Ontario Business Identification Number (BIN) from Service Ontario. These two numbers are not the same.

Your bank accounts, loans, and employees

Having a legal business number means you can have a business account which allows you to apply for permits and licenses. It also makes your business eligible to receive specific government allowances such as grants and loans. Registering your business also affects your ability to hire employees.

How much will it cost to register my business in Ontario?

The cost of business registration varies according to the type of business and the specific registration parameters. Keep in mind that some registration services are not available online. If you need help registering your small business in Ontario, ask our team of experienced corporate accountants!

T2inc.ca can help you register a small business in Ontario

If you are the owner of a small business that is not a sole proprietorship, you are legally obliged to register that business with the Ontario government. Depending on where you intend to operate, you may also need to register with the Canadian government.

Figuring out the best way to register to receive the maximum number of financial and operational benefits can take time and effort, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Our small business tax accountants can help you get the job done, and we can also help you when it comes to figuring out Ontario corporate tax rates.

Start your business off on the right foot! Contact us today for efficient online service.

Frédéric Roy-Gobeil


As President of T2inc.ca and an entrepreneur at heart, I have founded many start-ups such as delve Labs and T2inc.ca. A former tax specialist at Ernst & Young, I am also a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés CPA and have a master's degree in taxation from the Université de Sherbrooke. With a passion for the world of entrepreneurship and the growth mindset, I have authored numerous articles and videos on the industry and the business world, as well as on accounting, taxation, financial statements and financial independence.

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