So, you are in the process of starting a businessâ€¦ congratulations on this endeavor! You have also settled on a name for the business, but have you checked to see if you can use it and register it? The name of a business and what it represents is a huge factor when operating a business. Obtaining a master business licence is a key step if you plan on using a business name other than your personal name or a corporation name.
Before you register, it may be a good idea to do an enhanced business name search via Service Ontarioâ€™s website. You can check multiple variations of your business name to ensure that it is not registered in Ontario. It literally only takes a few minutes to complete and is inexpensive.
There are a few questions that you will need to answer when filling out the online application. A couple important questions asked are with respect to workers compensation and the employer health tax (EHT). If you have payroll over $450,000 in a year, you are required to pay EHT in Ontario. You may be required to pay workers compensation depending on your industry. It will also ask if you are operating as a partnership, and if yes, list the names and contact information of the partners.
Lastly, a business licence is good for 5 years and the cost is $60. This licence is also important if you are opening a business bank account as the bank will ask for a copy. As I have expressed previously, you want to keep your personal affairs separate from your business. I highly recommend getting a business bank account and credit card.