Ten Common Questions Asked About Business Registration

1.What programs can I apply for with the Business Name Search, Registration and Renewal application?

You can use this application to perform a business name search, register or renew your business name, apply to the Ontario Ministry of Revenue for Employer Health Tax (EHT), and apply to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).


2. Are there any changes to the business name registration process as a result of the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)?

As of July 1, 2010 Retail Sales Tax (RST) registration is only required for specific types of insurance companies. All businesses in Ontario must apply for Employer Health Tax (EHT) and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) when applicable, as well as apply for an HST number with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The Integrated Business Services Application can no longer be used for RST application.

If you have questions related to RST and/or EHT please contact 1 866 ONT TAXS (1 866 668 8297). To apply for CRA programs including Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), payroll deductions, corporate income tax and import/export accounts visit Business Registration Online.


3. What is a Master Business licence?

A Master Business Licence confirms that a business name has been submitted to the Ministry of Government Services, Companies and Personal Property Security Branch for registration on the public record. It includes the registration and expiry dates, as well as the Business Identification Number. It can also be used as proof of registration for a business name at financial institutions. A Business Name registration is required to be renewed every five years and a new Master Business Licence will be issued.

When the Master Business Licence is presented to any Ontario business program, the client is not required to repeat information contained on this licence.


4. How do I apply for a Master Business Licence?

You can apply for a business name registration and receive a Master Business licence in any one of the following ways:

  • Online from your home or office
  • Online at a public location (includes ServiceOntario Centres)
  • Private sector assisted services
  • Print and mail your registration form
  • In person registration


5. What is the Service Guarantee?

ServiceOntario guarantees that an electronic copy of your Master Business Licence (eMBL) will be sent to you by email within two (2) business days after the date you registered a new business name. If you do not receive your eMBL within two (2) business days, upon your request ServiceOntario will refund your business name registration fee if the terms and conditions for a refund have been met.


6. What is an electronic Master Business Licence (eMBL)?

An eMBL is an electronic copy of the Master Business Licence delivered in PDF format via email. The eMBL is a copy of the immediate MBL received during a new business name registration. If an immediate MBL is not received during a business name registration and a valid email address is provided, the eMBL will replace the mailed paper copy.


7. How do I obtain an electronic Master Business Licence and become eligible for the Service Guarantee?

You will obtain and become eligible for the Service Guarantee if you provide a valid email address and successfully register a new business name via the Integrated Business Services Application.


8. What forms of payments are accepted?

Online registrations will only accept VISA, MasterCard or American Express payments. You can make payment by cash, cheque or money order at ServiceOntario Centres.


9. How long does it take to register a business name and receive a Master Business Licence (MBL)?

The Integrated Business Service Application is available through the ServiceOntario website 24/7. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the registration.

If you complete your registration between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm, an MBL is produced for printing immediately. In addition, if you provide a valid email address you will be sent an eMBL within 2 business days, regardless of when the registration was completed. If no valid e-mail address is provided and the registration is completed outside of these hours, the MBL will be sent through regular mail within ten business days.


10.Does this service apply to business name renewals or any other services associated with IBSA?

No, the delivery of the electronic copy of the MBL within two (2) business days applies only to new business name registrations.

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