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Ontario Making Life Easier With New Business Registry

[ONTARIO NEWS RELEASE]

TORONTO — Today, Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, joined by Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, launched the new Ontario Business Registry, making it easier, simpler, and more affordable for millions of businesses and not-for-profit corporations to access government services.

The new Ontario Business Registry replaces an out-dated and inefficient process, providing business owners and not-for-profit operators with direct access to government services, available online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Registrations or filings that were previously submitted by mail or fax, taking four to six weeks to complete, can now be done instantly through the online registry. Annual returns can also be completed in the registry, which means corporations can keep all their important filings in one place. Additionally, the new Ontario Business Registry is integrated with the Canada Revenue Agency, enabling the identification of a business or not-for-profit corporation by a single business number, further streamlining administrative processes.

“Ontario’s previous three-decade old business registry system was cumbersome and complex, demanding significant time and energy from business owners and not-for-profit operators. Our government’s new business registry will help ensure they are equipped to meet the needs of our modern economy and rapidly expanding digital world,” said Minister Romano. “By providing quick and easy access to critical services online, we’re leveraging our advanced digital capabilities to remove unnecessary hurdles and make it easier for Ontarians to operate in our province.”

For the first time ever, whether starting, maintaining, or dissolving a business, the new registry will support businesses and not-for-profit corporations at every stage of their lifecycle with quick and easy access to over 90 transactions online.

“The Ontario Business Registry is an important step forward for small businesses in Ontario. We know how much time and sacrifice it takes to run a business and by digitizing services we are helping to lighten the load for owners and operators,” said Minister Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “Modernizing government services will reduce unnecessary burdens and help to accelerate business growth across the province.”

In line with the launch of the new Ontario Business Registry, the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 came into force today. This legislative framework modernizes governance for Ontario’s not-for-profit corporations and significantly reduces the bureaucratic burden on them, moving from paper-based filings to digital services and providing enhanced flexibility. Not previously available in our province, Ontario not-for-profit corporations will be able to access an online government system, eliminating the duplication of paperwork and other redundancies. It will also empower not-for-profit corporations with features like pre-defined text that will support their operations, helping users submit information error-free and reduce legal costs.

BACKGROUNDER

Today, the new Ontario Business Registry launched, giving businesses and not-for-profit corporations direct access to online transactions, including:

  • Incorporating a business corporation (filing articles of incorporation) under the Business Corporations Act
  • Incorporating a not-for-profit corporation (filing articles of incorporation) under the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act
  • Searching for or registering a business name, for a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, under the Business Names Act
  • Renewing, amending, or canceling a business name under the Business Names Act
  • Filing an initial return or a notice of change, for an Ontario corporation or an extra-provincial corporation, under the Corporations Information Act
  • Filing an annual return, for an Ontario corporation or an extra-provincial corporation, under the Corporations Information Act
  • Filing articles of continuance, to transfer an extra-provincial corporation into Ontario, under the Business Corporations Act
  • Searching the public record and ordering a search product (for example, a business’ profile report)

Transactions can be performed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making it easier for millions of businesses and not-for-profit corporations to interact with the Ontario government. For example:

Madalitso is a small business owner looking to incorporate on his own. To avoid the weeks-long wait time of a mail-in process, he takes time off work – during business hours – to travel to Toronto to complete registration in person.

When the new Ontario Business Registry is launched, Madalitso can register online, at his convenience, and receive immediate confirmation by email. Madalitso can choose to complete annual filings, change his business address, or complete over 90 other transactions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without leaving the office and taking time away from his work.

Gee is setting up a yoga studio and is looking to ensure that there are no other businesses operating with the name she has chosen. Gee is unsure of the difference between five report options and, to cover all her bases, orders and pays for multiple certificates.

With the new Ontario Business Registry, Gee will be able to order one certified document at 40% of the cost: the Certificate of No Match, which consolidates five documents offered previously. Gee can receive the document instantly via email, saving time and money.

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