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Business Regulation Reform Act, 1994

S.O. 1994, chapter 32

Consolidation Period: From March 22, 2017 to the e-Laws currency date.

Last amendment: 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2.

Legislative History: 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 136 (1); 2006, c. 33, Sched. C; 2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10; 2007, c. 7, Sched. 7, s. 182; 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5; 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2.

Purpose

1 The purpose of this Act is to assist the formation and operation of businesses in Ontario by simplifying government regulatory requirements, eliminating duplication in procedures and improving government organizational arrangements.  1994, c. 32, s. 1.

Definitions

2 In this Act,

“business” means a person within the meaning of the Business Names Act authorized or entitled to carry on business in Ontario; (“entreprise”)

“business information” means,

(a) the business identifier, if any, assigned to a business by the system of business identifiers established under section 8 or by a system of business identifiers established by the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada or by a municipality, local board or other municipal entity,

(b) the name of the business and any operating names or other business names used by it,

(c) the legal structure of the business,

(d) the mailing and email addresses, of the business,

(e) the telephone and fax numbers, if any, of the business,

(f) if the business is a corporation,

(i) the date of its incorporation,

(ii) the jurisdiction under whose laws it is incorporated and its incorporation number in that jurisdiction,

(iii) for a business incorporated in a jurisdiction other than Ontario, a copy of its licence under the Extra-Provincial Corporations Act, if required to carry on any of its business in Ontario,

(iv) the names of its directors,

(g) if the business is a partnership, the names of the partners,

(h) if the business is an unincorporated organization other than a partnership, the name of at least one individual who alone or together with others is responsible for the management of the business or affairs of the organization, and

(i) any other prescribed information; (“renseignements commerciaux”)

“file” means to file, to register, to submit, to deposit, to make an application or to otherwise make available. (“déposer”)

“local board” has the same meaning as in the Municipal Act, 2001; (“conseil local”)

“municipality” has the same meaning as in the Municipal Act, 2001; (“municipalité”)

“municipal entity” means any authority, board, commission, corporation, office or organization of persons some or all of whose members, directors or officers are appointed or chosen by or under the authority of a municipality in Ontario, but does not include a local board. (“entité municipale”) 1994, c. 32, s. 2; 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 1.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 1 - 10/09/2013

Designation of Acts

3 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate any Act for the purpose of this Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 3.

Minister’s recommendation

4 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall not make a regulation or an order in council or approve a form under this Act that affects the administration of a designated Act except on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for the administration of the designated Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 4 (1).

Same

(2) A Minister shall not make a regulation, approve a form or enter into an agreement under this Act that affects the administration of a designated Act except on the recommendation of the Minister responsible for the administration of the designated Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 4 (2).

Conflict

5 (1) A provision of this Act or the regulations or orders in council made under this Act that is mandatory and that conflicts with a provision of a designated Act or the regulations made under that Act prevails if it expressly mentions the provision over which it prevails.  1994, c. 32, s. 5 (1).

Same, non-mandatory provision

(2) If a provision of this Act or the regulations or orders in council made under this Act conflicts with a provision of a designated Act or the regulations or orders in council made under that Act but is not mandatory, a person may elect under which provision to proceed.  1994, c. 32, s. 5 (2).

Unified requirements

6 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) unifying procedures for businesses to file information under designated Acts;

(b) unifying financial and statistical reporting requirements and procedures for businesses under designated Acts;

(c) prescribing common dates or time periods for businesses to file information or to pay fees, taxes or other charges under designated Acts;

(d) prescribing methods for allocating a payment made by a business of less than the full amount of its liability under the designated Acts in respect of which the payment was made.  1994, c. 32, s. 6 (1).

Other requirements

(2) In a regulation made under subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe all requirements that are necessary in the circumstances to achieve the objective of the regulation, including adjusting the amount of fees that businesses are required to pay under designated Acts.  1994, c. 32, s. 6 (2).

Funds

(3) Nothing in this section affects a provision in a designated Act with respect to the maintenance of separate funds or the priority of entitlement to funds under the designated Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 6 (3).

Forms

7 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may approve forms that have the same effect as forms prescribed or approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under designated Acts.  1994, c. 32, s. 7 (1).

Same, Minister

(2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may approve forms that have the same effect as forms prescribed or approved by a Minister, board or agency under designated Acts.  1994, c. 32, s. 7 (2).

Variations

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), the Minister responsible for the administration of this section may combine forms prescribed or approved under either of those subsections into a single form and may adapt the form as is necessary in the circumstances for the purposes of a designated Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 7 (3).

Use of forms

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for the use of forms that are prescribed or approved under this section.  1994, c. 32, s. 7 (4).

Business identifiers

8 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by order in council establish a system of business identifiers.  2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1.

Agreements with Canada

(2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada for the purpose of integrating a system of business identifiers established under this section with any system of business identifiers established by the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada.  2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1.

Agreements with municipalities

(2.1) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may, with the approval of the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada who has entered into an agreement under subsection (2), enter into agreements with a municipality, local board or other municipal entity in Ontario for the purpose of integrating a system of business identifiers established under this section with any system of business identifiers established by the municipality, local board or municipal entity. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 2.

Agreements re use of business identifiers

(3) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may enter into agreements with a Minister of another Ministry of the Government of Ontario or with an agency, board or commission established under an Act of Ontario respecting whether the Ministry, agency, board or commission must,

(a) assign business identifiers to businesses in accordance with the system of business identifiers established under this section; and

(b) use the system of business identifiers for any other purpose.  2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1.

Same, municipalities

(3.1) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may enter into agreements with a municipality, local board or other municipal entity respecting whether the municipality, local board or municipal entity may,

(a) assign business identifiers to businesses in accordance with the system of business identifiers established under this section; and

(b) use the system of business identifiers for any other purpose. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 2.

Same, certain corporations

(3.2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may enter into agreements with a corporation that administers a designated Act or provisions of a designated Act on behalf of the Government of Ontario or with a Crown corporation that exercises powers or performs duties under a designated Act respecting whether the corporation must,

(a) assign business identifiers to businesses in accordance with the system of business identifiers established under this section; and

(b) use the system of business identifiers for any other purpose. 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (1).

Regulations

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for the use that businesses are required to make of the system of business identifiers established under this section.  2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1.

General or particular

(5) A regulation made under subsection (4) may be general or particular.  2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1 - 01/09/2007

2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 2 - 10/09/2013

2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (1) - 22/03/2017

Business information

Minister may require business information

8.1 (1) If an agreement mentioned in subsection 8 (3) is entered into in relation to any Act, the Minister responsible for the administration of that Act may require that a person subject to that Act provide prescribed business information to him or her and update previously provided business information provided to him or her. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3; 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (2).

Disclosure of business information

(2) Business information received under subsection (1),

(a) shall be disclosed to the Minister responsible for the administration of this section, for the purposes of this Act; and

(b) may be disclosed to the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3.

Same

(3) After an agreement referred to in subsection (1) is entered into in relation to an Act, subsection (2) applies to all business information received by the Minister responsible for that Act, regardless of whether the business information was received before or after the agreement referred to in subsection (1) was entered into. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3.

Minister may require business information, municipalities

(4) If an agreement mentioned in subsection 8 (3.1) is entered into with a municipality, local board or other municipal entity, the Minister responsible for the administration of this section,

(a) may require that the municipality, local board or municipal entity provide prescribed business information to the Minister; and

(b) may receive business information from the municipality, local board or municipal entity. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3.

Minister may require business information, certain corporations

(4.1) If an agreement mentioned in subsection 8 (3.2) is entered into with a corporation, the Minister responsible for the administration of this section,

(a) may require that the corporation provide prescribed business information to the Minister; and

(b) may receive business information from the corporation. 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (3).

Disclosure of business information, municipalities and certain corporations

(5) Business information received under subsection (4) or (4.1) may be disclosed,

(a) to a municipality, local board or other municipal entity; and

(b) to the Government of Canada or an agent of the Government of Canada. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3; 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (4).

Same

(6) After an agreement referred to in subsection (4) or (4.1) is entered into, subsection (5) applies to all business information received by the Minister responsible for this section, regardless of whether the business information was received before or after the agreement referred to in subsection (4) or (4.1) was entered into. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3; 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (5).

Regulations

(7) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) prescribing business information for the purposes of subsections (1), (4) and (4.1);

(b) authorizing, for specified purposes, the collection, use and disclosure, by specified persons and entities, of specified business information received under any Act or from any municipality, local board or other municipal entity;

(c) authorizing, for specified purposes, the collection, use and disclosure, by municipalities, local boards or other municipal entities, of specified business information received by the Minister,

(i) under any Act, or

(ii) from any municipality, local board or other municipal entity. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3; 2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (6).

Confidentiality provisions do not apply

(8) Any requirement or authority under this section, or under a regulation made under clause (7) (b) or (c), to disclose business information applies despite any confidentiality provision in another Act. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3.

Same

(9) Unless it is expressly provided in any other Act that its provisions and regulations, rules or by-laws made under it apply despite subsection (8), subsection (8) prevails over the provisions of such other Act and over regulations, rules or by-laws made under such other Act which conflict with it. 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 33, Sched. C, s. 1 - 01/09/2007

2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 3 - 10/09/2013

2017, c. 2, Sched. 12, s. 2 (2-6) - 22/03/2017

Use of agents

9 (1) Information that businesses are required to file or are authorized to access under a designated Act may be filed or accessed, as the case may be, by a person who is authorized to do so by the Minister responsible for the administration of this section or by a person who is a member of a class of persons that is authorized to do so.  1994, c. 32, s. 9 (1).

Conditions

(2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may attach conditions to an authorization given under subsection (1).  1994, c. 32, s. 9 (2).

Method of filing

10 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) authorizing or requiring information, that businesses are required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be filed and maintained in an electronic or other prescribed format;

(b) authorizing or requiring information, that businesses are required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be filed by direct electronic transmission to an electronic database;

(c) authorizing or requiring forms, that businesses are required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be signed by electronic signature or by signature copied or reproduced in the prescribed manner;

(d) authorizing or requiring forms, that businesses are required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be filed without signatures;

(e) prescribing fees for filing information or forms that businesses are required to file under this Act;

(f) prescribing fees for filing information or forms that businesses are required to file under a designated Act to replace the filing fees prescribed under the designated Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 10 (1).

Time of filing

(2) If information is filed by direct electronic transmission, the time or date of filing shall be the time or date assigned in the manner prescribed under this Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 10 (2).

Effect of electronic form

(3) A form filed in electronic form has the same effect for all purposes as if it had been in writing.  1994, c. 32, s. 10 (3).

Effect of unsigned form

(4) A form filed under clause (1) (d) has the same effect for all purposes as if it had been signed by the party or parties that would have been required to sign it, but for a regulation made under that clause.  1994, c. 32, s. 10 (4).

Deduction from payment

11 (1) A financial institution described in subsection (2) that receives a payment of fees, taxes, interest, penalties or other charges under this Act or a designated Act on behalf of a Minister by the credit card of the institution, may deduct from the payment the amount of compensation that the Minister of Finance and the institution agree may be deducted.  2007, c. 7, Sched. 7, s. 182.

Financial institutions

(2) A financial institution referred to in subsection (1) is,

(a) a bank or authorized foreign bank within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act (Canada);

(b) a corporation registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act;

(c) a credit union within the meaning of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994;

(d) a retail association as defined under the Cooperative Credit Associations Act (Canada); or

(e) any other financial institution prescribed under this Act.  2007, c. 7, Sched. 7, s. 182.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2007, c. 7, Sched. 7, s. 182 - 01/10/2009

Provision of services

12 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by order in council,

(a) establish an organization in any Ministry or an agency or a corporation to provide any service under this Act or a designated Act and provide for all matters necessary to fund, staff and operate the organization, agency or corporation;

(b) if the Lieutenant Governor in Council has made a regulation under subsection 6 (1) unifying procedures for businesses to apply for licences and permits under designated Acts, establish a service to be known in English as Ontario Business Registration Access and in French as Accès à l’enregistrement des entreprises de l’Ontario or by such other name as the Lieutenant Governor in Council assigns to receive the applications and to issue the licences and permits;

(c) enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or any province or municipality to provide a service under this Act or a designated Act in co-operation with that government;

(d) enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or any province or municipality to operate a business regulation service on behalf of that government for the purpose of this Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 12 (1).

Powers of Minister

(2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section may,

(a) appoint a public servant employed under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 to perform any function or service under a designated Act for the purpose of this Act; or

(b) enter into an agreement with any other person to perform any function or service under a designated Act for the purpose of this Act.  2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (1).

Powers of person

(3) A person who, under subsection (2), is appointed or required by an agreement to perform a function or service has the power to perform the function or service mentioned in the appointment or the agreement, as the case may be.  1994, c. 32, s. 12 (3).

Not an employee of the Crown

(4) A person who, by an agreement mentioned in clause (2) (b), is required to perform a function or service is not and shall not be deemed to be an employee of the Crown for the purposes of the function or service.  2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (2).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (1, 2) - 20/08/2007

Databases

13 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by order in council,

(a) establish a unified database to be known in English as the Business Access Registry and in French as Registre d’accès aux entreprises or by such other name as the Lieutenant Governor in Council assigns for information required to be maintained under designated Acts;

(b) set conditions governing the creation of, maintenance of, access to and use of the database mentioned in clause (a);

(c) enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or any province or municipality to adopt common forms, reporting and filing processes with that government or to share databases with that government.  1994, c. 32, s. 13.

Standards

14 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing standards that persons are required to comply with, for the purpose of this Act, in the definition, collection, transmission and presentation of information under this Act or in the provision of services under designated Acts.  1994, c. 32, s. 14.

Disclosure of personal information

15 (1) The Minister responsible for the administration of this section who receives personal information under this Act or a designated Act may disclose it,

(a) to a Minister for the purpose of the administration of a designated Act, including the updating of a record or database;

(b) to the Government of Canada or any province or municipality in accordance with an agreement between that government and the Government of Ontario; or

(c) to a person,

(i) whom the Minister responsible for the administration of this section has authorized to access the information in the prescribed manner, or

(ii) with whom the Minister responsible for the administration of this section has entered into an agreement regarding the use of the information.  1994, c. 32, s. 15 (1).

Limitation

(2) Despite subsection (1), a Minister shall not disclose personal information under that subsection unless the disclosure,

(a) is authorized by the Minister responsible for the administration of the Act under which the information was collected;

(b) complies with the regulations made under this Act; and

(c) complies with the agreement mentioned in clause (1) (b) or (c), if an agreement has been made under that clause.  1994, c. 32, s. 15 (2).

Personal information received

(3) Personal information provided by the Government of Canada or any province or municipality under an agreement mentioned in clause (1) (b) shall not be used or disclosed to any person except in accordance with the terms of that agreement.  1994, c. 32, s. 15 (3).

Compensation

16 (1) Subject to subsection (5) and the regulations made under this Act, a person is entitled to compensation from the Crown for any monetary loss that the person suffers that is directly attributable to an error or omission of a public servant employed under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 who performs a duty or provides a service under this Act or a designated Act for the purpose of this Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (1); 2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (3).

Protection from liability

(2) No action or other proceeding for damages shall be instituted against the Crown for any monetary loss that a person suffers as a result of,

(a) an error or omission of a person who is not a public servant referred to in subsection (1) and who performs a duty or provides a service under this Act or a designated Act for the purpose of this Act; or

(b) any inaccuracy or incompleteness in a record maintained under this Act or a designated Act for the purpose of this Act.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (2); 2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (4).

No personal liability

(3) No action or other proceeding for damages shall be instituted against a public servant referred to in subsection (1) for an act done in good faith in the execution or intended execution of a duty or service under this Act or a designated Act for the purpose of this Act or for an alleged neglect or default in the execution in good faith of the duty or service.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (3); 2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (4).

Crown liability

(4) Despite subsections 5 (2) and (4) of the Proceedings against the Crown Act, subsection (3) does not relieve the Crown of liability in respect of a tort committed by a public servant referred to in subsection (1) to which it would otherwise be subject.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (4); 2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (4).

Exception

(5) Subsections (1) to (4) do not apply to a claim for compensation that relates to the administration of a designated Act if the designated Act contains provisions on the right to compensation and the amount of compensation that is payable to a person who suffers a monetary loss.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (5).

Regulations

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) attaching conditions to the right to receive compensation under this section, including specifying cases in which no compensation is payable;

(b) establishing a compensation fund for the purpose of subsection (1) or a designated Act;

(c) governing the right to receive compensation out of the fund and the amount of compensation payable out of the fund for a claim or a class of claims;

(d) governing procedures for making claims against the fund;

(e) providing for the appointment of persons to hear claims against the fund and governing the conditions for hearings.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (6).

Compensation fund

(7) If the regulations made under this Act have established a compensation fund, a claim for compensation under this Act or a designated Act shall be made to the fund.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (7).

Protection from liability

(8) No action or other proceeding for damages shall be instituted against the Crown with respect to any matter in relation to which a claim against a compensation fund established under this Act may be filed.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (8).

Agreements with Canada

(9) Despite clause (2) (a) or any provision in a designated Act, the Minister responsible for the administration of this section may enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or any province or municipality to pay compensation where records are maintained or duties are performed in co-operation with that government.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (9).

Payment out of fund

(10) If the Minister responsible for the administration of this section is required to pay compensation under an agreement mentioned in subsection (9) and the regulations made under this Act have established a compensation fund, the payment may be made from the compensation fund.  1994, c. 32, s. 16 (10).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 35, Sched. C, s. 10 (3, 4) - 20/08/2007

Not regulations

17 An order in council made under this Act shall not be deemed to be a regulation within the meaning of Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006.  1994, c. 32, s. 17; 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 136 (1).

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 136 (1) - 25/07/2007

General regulations

18 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

(a) prescribing any matter mentioned in this Act as prescribed;

(b) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act;

(c) prescribing information for the purpose of clause (i) of the definition of “business information” in section 2. 1994, c. 32, s. 18; 2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 4.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

2012, c. 8, Sched. 5, s. 4 - 10/09/2013

19 Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Act).  1994, c. 32, s. 19.

20 Omitted (enacts short title of this Act).  1994, c. 32, s. 20.

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