Registering for a master business license is necessary for businesses that intend to use a business name other than the owner’s name in Ontario, Canada.
The Business Names Act of Ontario requires business registrations for sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations using a title different from their corporate name. Enterprises, whether owned by Canadian residents or foreigners, are covered by the regulation.
Here’s a guide on the simple steps involved in registering for a master business license.
1. Know What You Need
Before you register your master business license, get yourself familiar with the form to find out which types of information you need. The registration document is straightforward and requires an applicant to supply the business name and address, the business owner’s name, the owner’s address, and the business type.
Each new registration will provide a business owner with a business identification number consisting of nine digits. The form will also indicate the five-year expiry date. New registrants must take note of the date so that they can file a renewal before the registration becomes void.
For online registrations, it’s best to have a credit or debit card ready for payments, as the portal won’t accept any other payment mode. Applicants must also have a valid e-mail address to receive announcements, updates, and other related documents.
2. Check If You Have A Unique Business Name
Make sure that your business name is unique by using online search engines for free or via the Service Ontario website for a fee. In deciding on a business name, it may be better to have at least three choices so you’ll have other options if your name isn’t available.
3. Discover The Benefits
The master business license, also known as MBL, or doing business as (DBA), is valid for five years. For an affordable payment of CAD$60, registered companies can run their operations legally in Ontario. An MBL also allows enterprises to open bank and tax accounts, get cheques and other related financial transactions. Fully registered businesses can also massively promote their business and get discounted rates from suppliers.
4. Find Out How Much It Costs
Getting a master business license for different types of business set-ups requires minimal costs. Either registration and renewal cost CAD$60, while searches for records need you to pay anywhere from CAD$8 to CAD$26, depending on the types of records included in the search. Applications sent via mail require a CAD$80 payment.
5. Choose How To File An Application
There are four ways to initiate your application for business license registration. Choose which method is most convenient for you:
Whether tech-savvy or not, you can file an application from the comfort of your home. Log on to www.serviceontario.ca any time of the day and follow the instructions on your computer. Get your credit card ready for online payments. This online portal is open to registrations daily.
- Seek An Appointment with The Nearest Small Business Enterprise Centre
There are about 57 small business centers strewn across the province of Ontario. These offices provide business services to entrepreneurs who want to expand their ventures. Business owners can access tools, consultations, and other forms of assistance for free, including master business license registration.
All Small Business Enterprise Centres have computers specially assigned for this purpose. If you need help, seek assistance from any staff eager to help you from Monday to Friday, starting 8:30 am up to 4:30 pm. Registrants can pay with their credit cards, too.
Besides registration, these centers can help business owners grow their network through referrals, staging events, and business workshops. With the pandemic, operations are temporarily done remotely to prevent the spread of the virus. You may contact the nearest business center by checking their website or official social media channel.
- Visit Service Ontario
You can also register through multiple Service Ontario office locations. Online transactions are a priority in the meantime, but they also cater to urgent face-to-face transactions such as driver’s license renewals and registrations, vehicle transfers, and so on. Check the website for a list of open offices to accommodate business registrations and follow health protocols.
- Through Mail
Access the website to get an application form and print it. Otherwise, you can visit any Service Ontario office near you. Fill in the form and send it to the following address:Ministry of Government Services
Central Production and Verification Services Branch
393 University Avenue, Suite 200
Wait for up to six weeks before receiving a response containing your master business license.
Applying for a master business license registration is relatively easy and affordable and comes with numerous benefits. Have your business registered now to start operating and expanding it without worries.