The Waterloo Region Small Business Centre's small business advisors are available to meet with you to confidentially discuss your business idea or plan. This meeting can be used to help you through any roadblocks in the planning process, to develop specific areas of your plan, or as a review prior to talking to lenders or investors. This service is confidential and free of charge. Appointments are preferred, and consultations typically last for one hour and can be made in advance by phone or e-mail. Choose the advisor at the location most convenient to you to set up a consultation. Contact a Business Advisor at any of our 3 locations.
Our business consultations are meant solely as a form of advice and direction with the concept of self-help present throughout all discussions. However, the Waterloo Region SBC encourages you to seek professional advice on legal, tax and accounting matters where necessary.
If you've incorporated your business, you've already registered your business name. If you've chosen not to incorporate, you'll need to register your business name with the province of Ontario, unless you're operating a sole proprietorship under your legal name. (Adding even one word to your legal name, e.g., Enterprises or And Company, requires registration.)
For more information on sole proprietor and incorporation, contact us.
How to Register
Before registering your business, you must think about what form of business you want to start and what you want to call your business. Find out which type of business structure is right for your business: a partnership, a sole proprietorship : incorporation, or a co-operative. Search the name for your business before registering. Please be advised we do not provide legal advice. This information is intended as a general guide only. For further assistance or legal information, please consult private legal counsel.
For more information about the form of business you want to register attend a Startup Business Basics session.
Register an Ontario Sole Proprietor or General Partnership
Register a business name. ServiceOntario allows you to do a business name search, renew or register your sole proprietor, general partnership or corporate trade name.
The fee for each name search is $8, the registration fee is $60. It takes about 30 minutes to complete your registration. When you are finished, print the Master Business License (MBL) you can also provide your email address to have the MBL sent to you. The online services accepts Credit Cards only. The Master Business License is valid for 5 years, after which you’ll need renew at the above link. If your license expired you have up to 60 days to renew, when renewing you keep the same BIM number. If the license has expired beyond 60 days you will register as a new business, when asked if you have registered this business in the past 5 years select NO, be aware you will receive a new BIN number with the new registration.
Self-service public computers are available at any Service Ontario location to find a location where you can register a business name. The cost is $60, plus $8 if you include the name search. Business name searches and registrations are processed and can be printed immediately for your records. Service Ontario locations will accept cash, debit or credit card located at 30 Duke Street, 2nd floor.