Start a business
Learn how to:
- choose your business structure
- register your business name in Ontario
- set up a business number for business tax purposes
Get a custom guide
Answer a few simple questions and get a downloadable custom guide to starting your business. For example:
- business registration
- getting an HST number
- setting up payroll and benefits
- permits, licensing and insurance
Ontario has a number of funds available for entrepreneurs. Depending on the type of business you want to run, you may be eligible for programs and funding:
- Indigenous economic development
- Start a summer businesses for students
- Advice, support and grant opportunities for small businesses
- Financing, mentoring and support for aspiring business owners aged 18-39
- Employee training
- Digital Main Street for bricks-and-mortar businesses seeking to go digital
- Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (R.A.I.S.E)
- Digitalization Competence Centre to help businesses adopt digital tools into their operations
View a full list of funding opportunities.
Programs by region
Get support to expand or bring business to your community:
Permit and licences
Find out what permits and licences are required for your business, based on your location, industry and business activities.
Find out if you need insurance for wage-loss benefits, medical coverage and support after a work-related injury or illness.
Protect against loss or damage to physical property, or the loss of your business's ability to operate and generate income.
Workplace rules and regulations
Understand your rights as a business owner, and the rights of employers and employees in Ontario.
Employment Standards Act
Learn the rules about minimum wage, hours of work limits, termination of employment, paid leaves and more.
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Before starting specialized work (work that involves a trench, diving, window cleaning, tunnelling and asbestos removal), you must file a work notice to protect the health and safety of your workers.
Learn everyone's rights and duties in the workplace, and how to deal with workplace hazards.
Laws and standards are in place to make Ontario more inclusive for everyone.
- Get free training about Ontario's accessibility laws.
- Learn about accessibility requirements and standards for your business.
- How to complete an accessibility report for a business or non-profit with 20 or more employees.
In order to file business taxes and deduct payroll, you need a Business Number (BN). If you don't have one already, learn how you can get a Business Number.
List of Ontario taxes
Learn about the different taxes that apply in Ontario, including corporations tax.
Harmonized Sales Tax
Learn more about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), see what items are subject to a point-of-sale rebate, and claim a rebate.
Employer Health Tax
You may have to pay the Employer Health Tax (EHT) if you have employees. Find out if you have to register for the EHT.
File taxes for free
Manage your tax account, returns, payments, and refunds for free online at ONT-TAXS.
Tax credits and refunds
Explore different Ontario tax credits that your business can claim.
COVID‑19 relief period
Stay up to date with changes to Ontario tax programs affected by COVID‑19.
Export and trade
Grow your business by selling products outside Ontario and Canada.
Search upcoming international trade programs and events by sector and market region. Find trade missions, exhibitions, seminars, and workshops for Ontario businesses looking to export outside Canada.
Explore resources to help grow your exporting business such as market research, funding support, and insurance.
- an export advisor to get your business ready for new markets
- an international market consultant to target specific regions
- the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre to book meeting spaces to cater events
Access the Indigenous business development toolkit for support on starting and expanding your business. In the toolkit, you can find:
- a list of Indigenous financial institutions that can help you plan your business
- instructions on how to bid on government contracts that benefit Indigenous people and communities
For practical advice, case studies and economic development resources to boost the local economy in your community, read the First Nations community economic development guide.
Close a business
Learn about how to close a business including succession planning, selling a business, closing accounts, and declaring bankruptcy.
Help us better serve entrepreneurs and businesses
We value your feedback. Please take 2 minutes to let us know how we can we can improve our business and service information to best support you.
Free legal advice
Pro Bono Ontario provides free legal advice to small business owners over the phone.
Call toll-free within Ontario:
Talk to a business consultant at Invest Ontario for your investment needs.
Technology and innovation centres
Visit a Regional Innovation Centre for programming and services to grow your innovation and technology company.
Find a Small Business Enterprise Centre near you
They provide advisory services and workshops that equip businesses with foundational entrepreneurship skills and continuing supports, including training, mentorship and grant opportunities.
See a full list of locations.