Business Licensing

Business Name Registration

If you operate a business under a name other than your own personal name you must register this name with the Province of Ontario.  "John Smith" would not have to register, "John Smith & Sons" would.  Registering can be done online for a $60 credit card fee.  You will get your Master Business License after this process that will take you about 15 minutes to complete.

Municipal Licensing

Depending on the type of business you plan to operate you might require additional annual licensing through your municipality.  Most businesses do not.  Some businesses that are often required to obtain municipal licensing are hair stylists, general contractors and restaurants.  Contact your municipality to find out more.

Do you need more licensing?  Find out with BizPaL

Hiring Employees

If you are an employer, you must register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) within the first ten days of hiring. Some industries, such as banks, insurance, hair salons and private day cares, do not have to register.

Contact the Timmins office to register with the WSIB if you are not registering your business online: 5520 Highway 101 East, Ontario Government Complex P0 Bag 4020 South Porcupine, ON P0N 1H0 Phone: (705) 235-6130Fax: (705) 235-6140
Employers who have an annual payroll of greater than $400,000 pay the Employers Health Tax (EHT).  For more information about EHT call 1-800-461-1564. 

As an employer, you are also responsible for deducting Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) contributions from your employees and remitting these to the Canada Revenue Agency.  To register for payroll, you complete the same form as you would for GST and then submit this information to the same tax centre.  Note that this is also the same form you would complete for importing/ exporting and setting up a corporate income tax account.

You can register for WSIB during the online business name registration process. The Busines Enterprise Centre can assist you with this and it can be completed within 20 minutes.

Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) Registration

The HST came into effect July 1, 2010.  Basically, the HST is a 13% "GST" tax and the Retail Sales Tax (RST) has been eliminated.  Like the GST, the HST is part of Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Business Number (BN) accounts.  If you already had a GST number it will automatically have become your HST number. 

The BN is a numbering system that simplifies and streamlines the way businesses deal with the federal and Ontario government. It is based on the idea of one business, one number.  You only need a BN if you require any one of the following business accounts:

  • HST
  • Payroll
  • Corporate income tax
  • Import/Export

To obtain a HST/ BN:

By Internet:

Telephone:  1-800-959-5525

Mail and fax: Complete the form found at the link below, and mail or fax it to the CRA address indicated on the form:

Request for a BN:

How does the HST differ from the previous GST and PST?

Like the GST, the HST is a value-added tax.  Previously to this new tax, businesses would pay the 8% PST and 5% GST on their supplies and other inputs.  If the business was the "end user" of the product then only the GST portion could be recuperated from government tax credits.  This often led to the PST being charged multiple times throughout the supply chain. Now with the HST businesses can claim the entire 13%, reducing the tax on businesses.

Businesses do not have to register for HST until they reach $30,000 in gross revenue in their last four quarter periods (1 year).  Before retailers would have had to charge the 8% PST at the start of operations; this is now not the case. For smaller operations that are more like hobbies- people who sell at craft shows during Christmas and other peak times- they now do not have to worry about charging or remitting taxes.

Even if you have not reached $30,000 in annual sales there are still benefits to registering for HST. You can get HST credits for any equipment/ supplies you purchase. As well, if other businesses are your main clientele they might prefer that you can demonstrate you are registered with the CRA. You just have to assess the pros/ cons in making a decision. Note that once you register for the HST, you have to collect and remit to the government.

The 13% HST must be applied to most products and services.  At, you can find further information on HST for your business.