To sum up part one of Register Your Business, first you decide on your legal structure, then pick a business name, possibly do a name search and then finally register your business.
If you are forming a partnership for your business then you must register your business. If you are a sole proprietor then you may not have to register. Those of you living in Newfoundland and Labrador can operate under any name as a sole proprietor without registering. The rest of Canada can operate as a sole proprietor without registering if they operate under their own name only. Mary Smith may operate as Mary Smith only, the moment Mary wants to be Mary Smith Crafts then she must register.
Even if you do not have to legally register I do recommend that you do. The cost is reasonable (less than $100) and you will receive a Master Business License. This allows you to buy supplies at wholesale costs and more importantly, you have an official piece of paper proving you are in business.
The Corporate Registry is here. Click the tab Forms, click the Forms for Business Names.
Ready to register in Nova Scotia? Go to the Joint Stock Companies.
In PEI you must complete a name search (NUANS search). Click here to ensure your name is unique within the province. Once your name is cleared, you can register your business.
If you are starting a sole proprietorship under your own first name and last name, you may register it, but are not required by law to do so. For example, Henry Jenkins does not have to register his Henry Jenkins Travel Agency but may choose to do so. You can register your business using the online service provided by the Registaire Des Enterprises, or in person at one of the Services Québec offices in Québec City or Montréal that provide services related to the enterprise register.
ServiceOntario’s Integrated Business Services Application allows you to:
· Search for business names that have been registered
· Register or renew your business name, get a Master Business Licence and, if eligible, apply for additional accounts with different government bodies
To register online, Service Ontario is here.
To find out if the name you have chosen is available, you must file a Request for Name Reservation with the Companies Office. Reserve your name here, Manitoba Companies Office. Register your business here, also at the Manitoba Companies Office.
Before a business name can be registered, the proposed name must be searched against all other registered names in Saskatchewan. The Business Registrations Saskatchewan website streamlines all the steps required to register a business with the Corporate Registry, obtain a Provincial Sales Tax vendor's license. https://business.isc.ca/Pages/default.aspx
Registration in Alberta is done by authorized Service Providers. A list of these can be found here. Note that there is a government provided list of prices however a service provider can charge service fees so you must shop around for a good service provider.
If you choose to operate a sole proprietorship under any other name other than your own, or want to set up a partnership or corporation, you need to have your name approved by the provincial Corporate Registry before you can register your business. In BC, this means you have to fill out a Name Approval Request Form.
To register a sole proprietorship or partnership, you must fill out a Declaration for Proprietorship or Partnership Registration Form. Instructions and forms are here.
The Business Names Registration forms, maintained by Corporate Affairs, are here.
All forms are here, the Department of Justice
Now you know.