Register a Sole Proprietorship Business in Ontario Canada

In this article I will discuss how to incorporate in Ontario for sole proprietor businesses, specifically how to incorporate your business in Ontario online for the quickest and most economical route.There are three steps to incorporate in Ontario:1) Researching and selecting a business name2) Going through the Ontario business registration process3) Obtaining the additional licenses and certifications needed to do business in OntarioPart of the third requirement is to obtain certain tax related material, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), payroll tax account, import and export tax account numbers, etc. Before I get into incorporating your business online, let’s spend some time discussing sole proprietorships.Many business registrants choose to register a sole proprietorship because it is the easiest to register and typically owned and operated by only one person, the owner (most business owners are individual operators). A sole proprietorship can be discontinued or ended just as easily it is formed. The registration fees are not as steep as they are for corporations.However, as an owner, your assets and liabilities can be construed as being part of the business in the event the business is sued. Therefore, you as an owner have no limited liability. You are personally responsible for all implications resulting from your business. As you can imagine, many are willing to go through a more extensive Ontario business registration process and pay higher fees to limit their liability exposure.Ontario Business Registration OnlineWhen you incorporate in Ontario, you may do so in person or online. I prefer the online method because it is simple and convenient in that you can do it anytime you want. Because the Ontario business registration system is mature and well developed, the online business registration platform is quite comprehensive and can be used to not only obtain your business number but also your tax account number, as well as other similar accounts such as the GST, Payroll, import and export.It will typically cost you around $60 to register or renew a business name and around $12 for a business name search. With this function you can search all business names that are already registered to avoid exposure to any lawsuits and trademark infringements.How to Incorporate in OntarioWhether you do it online or in person, the same set of procedures have to be followed when you incorporate in Ontario, which starts with registering with the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, the legal entity that is responsible for all business incorporation in Ontario.As an entrepreneur, you cannot start conducting your business operations without first registering your business name. The specific branch of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services that you will want to register with is the Companies Branch, the sub entity responsible for business incorporation. The registration process costs $60 as stated above if done online, however this fee is $80 if you were to register in person, yet another reason to opt for online services instead.Also as stated above, you must conduct a business name search prior to registering your business as the search paperwork is needed to be filed as well. Business searches typically cost between $8 to $12, though some service providers charge a higher amount. The amount you are charged depends on how extensive your search is.Ready to incorporate in Ontario? Start by visiting the Ontario Government ServiceOntario website. Once there select the Register option and scroll down the page to click on “Do It Online Now” to start the process. You will start by conducting a business name search and subsequently registering it. If you are not comfortable completing the search and application online and would rather do it in person, simply print the forms available on the website and take it to the local office to file in person.Once you are finished with the business name search, go ahead and populate the information asked in the various fields. You will have to specify the type of business operations, the type of entity you are registering and where your business will operate out of. You will also need to indicate whether you will hire employees. You must provide a business address (not a PO Box), as well as your name and the business name under which you wish to operate.Once done that’s it. You just need to provide your payment details by entering your credit card information and you are done. Your card will be charged $60 and you have your business registered. If you choose to register via mail, print the forms from the website and send it to the stated address (also available online) along with a check for $80.This article was a brief guide to incorporate in Ontario. To read a more detailed, step by step guide, visit my home page on Ontario business registration to learn more. Also read my section on why incorporate in Canada for a better understanding of the reasons behind incorporating a business.