One of the many services we provide is assistance with registering a business. Contact our team for help. There are three types of business classification: sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. Each offers its own advantages and disadvantages.
Types of Businesses
A business owned by one person is called a "proprietor."
Advantages of Sole Proprietorship:
- Simplest and least expensive to set up
- Minimal registration requirements
- The owner is in direct control
- Possible tax benefits (losses can be applied against other income of proprietor)
Disadvantages of Sole Proprietorship:
- Owner assumes all risk of business; responsible for payment of all business debts. Creditors can seize your personal assets.
- Lack of continuity (ownership not transferable)
- Difficult to raise capital
- Possible tax disadvantages (profits must be added to personal income)
A business owned by two or more individuals or corporations is called a "partnership."
Advantages of Partnership:
- Easy to set up and very flexible
- Limited regulation
- Partners provide sources of additional capital and skills
Disadvantages of Partnership:
- Partners assume personal liability for debts of the business
- If disagreements arise, the business can suffer
- More complex record-keeping and tax returns
A separate legal entity that can enter into contracts and own property separately and distinctly from its owners who are the shareholders is called a "corporation."
Advantages of Corporation:
- Limited liability (generally limited to individual's personal investment in the business)
- Continuous existence (ownership transferable)
- Easier to raise capital (i.e. money for the business can be raised by selling shares)
- Possible tax advantages
Disadvantages of Corporation:
- More expensive and complicated to set up and maintain
- Extensive record-keeping and complex taxation
- Closely regulated
*Please seek the advice of a lawyer and/or accountant
Registering your business
You're ready to start your business, you've got the perfect name, and now it's time to make the business official – it's time to register your business. Registering your business is important for many reasons including:
- Get a Master Business License
- Securing your business name
- Receiving a Business Number
- Tax opportunities
- Applying for permits and licenses
Cost to Register
The Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre does not charge for assisting with registering your business. However, Service Ontario charges a small fee for both name search and business registrations
- Name search: $8
- Business registration: $60
How to Register
At the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre there are two options for registering your business:
- Option 1 – Get help with a Small Business Consultant: We realize that the process of registering a business can be both exciting and also intimidating. For these reasons, we offer free one-on-one consultation to help you register your business through the Service Ontario website. Contact us today to arrange an appointment.
- Option 2 – Register your business now online: You can perform a business name search and register your business online through the Service Ontario website. There are several steps to the process:
- Go to Service Ontario website
- Click Business (under Topics)
- Scroll down and click "Search, register or renew your business and get a Master Business Licence" under Featured Online Services
- Click the red button to "Start Online Service"
- Licenses or permits:
Complete your business registration
- To find out if you require other licenses or permits for your business contact the Municipal Licensing Department
- Go to
BizPaL, an Online Business Permits and Licenses Service is the result of collaboration between the federal, provincial/territorial, regional, and local participating governments. All of the information you provide is anonymous. Simply answer a short series of questions about your current or proposed business to create a customized list of the permits and licenses you may need from all levels of government.
NOTE: For new business name registrations, if you provide a valid email address an electronic Master Business Licence will be sent via email within two business days. Additionally, if you complete registration during regular business hours Monday thru Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm you will be able to print a copy of your Master Business Licence immediately for new registrations only. If you are completing a renewal, you will receive a copy of your MBL in the mail within ten business days.
Registering a trademark
Even if your business name is registered federally (Corporations Canada), provincially or territorially, you may also wish to register a trademark to better protect your brand.
Advantages of registering a trademark:
- The registration provides proof of ownership
- It provides you with exclusive rights across Canada for 15 years and can be renewed indefinitely
- It helps you protect your products and services from imitation and misuse
- It allows you to flag an infringement under the Trade-marks Act
- It provides you with licensing opportunities to maximize your trademark's commercial potential
- It protects your trademark's value
Learn more about and register for a trademark on the Government of Canada website.