How to Start a Business in Ontario

Starting a business can be exciting, but it can be hard to know where to begin. The following steps will help you get started on creating your business in Ontario.

The information provided in each step is a guide. It is not a substitute for legal or financial advice.

 1. Conduct market research

You need to conduct market research to help you understand the industry and market that you will be operating in.

For example, you should conduct market research on the following:

  • Industry — read Business Development Canada’s (BDC) free analysis and research
  • Customer demographics and target markets — get data from Statistics Canada
  • Competitors — find out where people buy your product or service right now
  • Location — contact local Business Improvement Association (BIAs)
  • Financing — learn about the costs of starting up your business, which may include business registration, marketing, advertising, licensing, insurance, rent, utilities, product development and a web site
  • Business name and online presence — What business name would help your customers find you? Find out if your business name is already taken. Search online if a domain name (website address) of your business name is available.

For more information on market research, visit the Government of Canada’s small business services’ Introduction to Market Research.

2. Prepare a Business Plan

A business plan explains your business idea, short and long-term business goals and what resources are available to start and operate your business. If you need help writing a business plan:

  • Contact your local TAR Team or connect with a Small Business Enterprise Centre or, if you are a technology or innovation company, a Regional Innovation Centre
  • Check available online resources, such as BDC, Futurpreneur, or BPlans for sample business plans talk to your TAR members about Qardan Hasana requirements and investors who would be interested in funding and see what options they have to help you start your business

3. Get Aqa Maula (TUS) Raza Mubarak

You’re on the right track. You have a plan put together on what you are going to do and you have an idea about your market by now. Next best step is to get Aqa Maula (TUS) Raza mubarak in your new journey.

4. Decide on the Ownership Structure of your Business

Sole proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person. It is the easiest and most common way to start a business. As your business grows, you can choose to incorporate later.


  • You have full control of your company
  • It is easy and more affordable to set up
  • You can deduct losses and expenses from your personal income
  • You earn all the profits


  • You are responsible for all debts and losses
  • Creditors can take your personal assets and your business to pay debts
  • Your business name is not protected
  • Your income is taxable at your personal rate

You will need to register your sole proprietorship if you are not using your own name as your business name. If your business has employees, facilities, or offices in Ontario, you must register provincially.


A partnership is a business owned by two or more people.


  • It is easy and more affordable to set up
  • Partners can contribute to costs and provide different skills to the business
  • Debts and losses are shared between partners
  • Expenses and losses can be included on your tax returns


  • All partners are responsible for all debts and losses
  • Finding the right partner and agreeing on business decisions can be harder


A corporation is a legal entity that keeps the business separate from the business owner. You can choose to incorporate federally or provincially, and each option comes with its own pros and cons. If you choose to register your business provincially, you can always change to federal incorporation later.

Before you incorporate, consult a lawyer or professional accountant. We have professionals business advisors who would help connect with the person.


  • You have limited liability
  • You can transfer ownership
  • You have more access to capital and grants
  • Your business name is protected (if you register federally)


  • It costs more to set up a corporation
  • The tax rules for corporations are more complex
  • You will need to provide annual filings and corporate records


A co-operative is a corporation that is organized and controlled by its members. It can be set up to operate for profit or as a not-for-profit. Just like a corporation, it can be registered provincially or federally, and each option comes with pros and cons.


  • You are not responsible for all debts and losses
  • Decision making is democratic (one member, one vote)


  • It takes longer to make decisions
  • All members need to participate to succeed

5. Register your Business Online

If your business has employees, facilities, or offices in Ontario, you must register using the Ontario Business Registry.

If your business has employees, facilities, or offices in Ontario, you must register using the Ontario Business Registry.

You will need a working email address for online registration and a valid debit or credit card for payment. The registration fee depends on the type of business you are registering.

  1. Search the Ontario Business Registry for free to find out if your business name is already taken.
  2. Create a ONe-key account (it is a secure login and password)
  3. Log in to your ONe-key account and register for a ServiceOntario account (they maintain business registration records)
  4. Log in to your ServiceOntario Account to register your business as a:

You can visit the Ontario Business Registry for a full list of ownership structures and their filing requirements.

  1. You will be registered for a 9-digit Ontario Business Identification Number (BIN) from Service Ontario. You will need this number to:
    • incorporate
    • create an import/export account
    • register for an account with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA)

Please note, your Ontario Business Identification Number (BIN) from Service Ontario is different than a Business Number (BN) that is provided by the CRA.

6. Check if you need Licences and Permits

You may need licences and permits to run your business according to federal, provincial, or municipal regulations. Go to BizPaL, a free online tool to find the licences and permits you need for your business. BizPaL filters permits based on your location, industry, and business activities.

7. Confirm if you need to charge HST

Most businesses in Ontario are required to register with the federal government for a GST/HST account and collect GST/HST on taxable sales. If your business makes $30,000 gross or more in four consecutive calendar quarters (a period of three months beginning on the first day of January, April, July, or October in each calendar year), you may need to charge GST/HST.

Learn more about the GST/HST from Canada Revenue Agency, including whether you have to register for a GST/HST account.

8. Understand your tax obligations

If you are self-employed, an unincorporated business or in a partnership, you must report your personal income and contribute to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) every year.

  1. It is important for mumineen to adha Wajeebat and Khamos on your income. (Wajebaat is 40:1 ratio | On Every 40 you earn, 1 goes to wajebaat)
  2. Learn about the different taxes collected in Ontario, including corporations tax.
  3. Find out if you need to register and pay Employer Health Tax.
  4. Learn what items are subject to HST.
  5. Find out if you’re eligible for business tax credits.

9. Understand your regulations

Learn the regulations that may apply to your business.

Here are some regulations that may apply to your business. Learn more about:

10. Get Funding or more help

In Ontario, there are a lot of support system for your business along with the team of TAR Toronto

You can refer to a full list of all funding opportunities in Ontario.

For Students

Summer Company is a program for students that offers start-up money to kick off a new summer business, as well as advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running.