4 Ways To Prepare For A Business Name Registration Ontario

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Registering your business is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your company. It establishes your company as a reputable business while allowing you to avoid legal problems with government institutions. Depending on what kind of business you’re running, you may also enjoy other benefits, such as tax reductions, more secure assets, and easier recruitments. 

However, as always, the process can be a bit of a hassle, especially if it hasn’t been long since you started your business. After all, most of your requirements are most likely not yet available. Furthermore, requirements vary from region to region. But if your business operates in Ontario, this article can help provide 4 top tips on preparing for a business name registration: 

1. Come Up With A Name That Complies With Your State’s Rules 

Before proceeding to any business name registration Ontario websites, make sure you already have a name in mind for your business. You want a name that can catch the attention of both potential clients and investors. It’ll also help if the name consists of words or terms that may imply what your business does or what its product or services are or will be all about. But more importantly, you must comply with your state’s rules when coming up with a name. 

In Ontario, for example, you have to abide by the following business naming rules: 

• You must not include obscene or inappropriate expressions or words in any language. 

• You must not include any words that go against your business structure. For example, you may not use ‘institute’ or ‘partnership’ if you’re running a for-profit corporation. 

• You must not include the names of individuals who aren’t involved in the business. 

• You must not include any other words prohibited under Ontario laws. (1) 

The most important rule of all—you must not use a name that another business already uses. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to this. For example, if you chose a name that a business without a Master Business License is already using, it should come with no repercussions. That’s also one of the reasons why experts would advise you to register your business as soon as possible—to make sure your name can belong to your establishment and no other company. 

2. Decide On Your Business Structure 

Another way to speed up the business registration process is deciding on a business structure prior to registration. The available options for business structure vary from region to region. 

In Ontario, these options include: 

Sole Proprietorship: In this structure, the business owner owns all assets, is responsible for any debts, and receives all the profits. 

Partnership: There are two types of partnership: general and limited partnership. A general partnership is where two or more people share the assets, responsibilities, and profits. On the other hand, a limited partnership is where two or more people share these elements, not equally, but according to their investment or contribution. 

Corporation: In a corporation, there are no fixed business owners. It’s an entity that can make loans, receive profits, and own assets without holding an individual liable. 

Each type of business entity carries varying benefits. Hence, deciding on a business structure often takes a lot of time, and making a decision before registration can streamline the process. (2)

how to register business name

3. Prepare The Necessary Paperwork 

As always, you’ll have to prepare a ton of paperwork to register your business. The documents needed may vary depending on the business structure of your establishment, which is why deciding on your structure entity is always an essential step of the process. 

In the case of a sole proprietorship or partnership, you typically don’t have to prepare and provide any paperwork, but that may not be the case in other states. However, if you’re registering as a corporation, you must prepare your articles of incorporation—a set of documents that includes various information about the business, such as its name and address. (3)

They may also require you to prepare documents that would show the names and addresses of your shareholders or board of directors. 

4. Gather The Necessary Information 

Much like any other transaction, you may be required to provide all sorts of information before you can register your business. Here is a look at some of the details you may need to prepare: 

• Business structure/entity 
• Business address 
• Name of the owner or partners 
• A brief description of what the business is about 

Final Words On Ontario Business Name Registrations

Registering a business is typically a relatively straightforward process, but that may not be the case for business owners who have yet to tackle this aspect of business management. Nevertheless, it is an essential part of starting a business since some provinces in Canada impose fines on establishments that have yet to register their organization. It is also important to note that misinformation would also result in a fine, so make sure you provide the correct information and documents. 


1. “O. Reg. 122/91: Restrictions Respecting Names”, Source: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/910122 

2. “The 3 Most Common Types of Business Entities in Ontario”, Source: https://www.investottawa.ca/blog/the-3-most-common-types-of-business-entities-in-ontario/ 

3. “Incorporating a business corporation”, Source: https://www.ontario.ca/page/incorporating-business-corporation

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