Start and run a business

Start a business

Learn how to:

  • choose your business structure
  • register your business name in Ontario
  • set up an Ontario business number for business tax purposes
Get started

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
Take our questionnaire

Check your permit or licence application status beta

Introducing a new unified experience for monitoring the progress of select provincial permits and licence applications.

Track a permit or licence

Get support

Find permits and licences beta

Find out what permits and licences are required for your business, based on your location, industry and business activities.

Close a business

Learn about how to close a business including succession planning, selling a business, closing accounts, and declaring bankruptcy.

Investment needs

Talk to a business consultant at Invest Ontario for your investment needs.

Free legal advice

Pro Bono Ontario provides free legal advice to small business owners over the phone.

Call toll-free within Ontario: 1-855-255-7256

Indigenous resources

Access the Indigenous business development toolkit for support on starting and expanding your business. In the toolkit, you can find:

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.

Technology and innovation centres

Visit a Regional Innovation Centre for programming and services to grow your innovation and technology company.

Join the “Ontario Made” program

Register as a manufacturer or retailer with Ontario Made. You’ll be listed on their business directory and get access to promotional materials, such as the “Ontario Made” logo.

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.

Funding opportunities

Ontario has a number of funds available for business and not-for-profit entrepreneurs. Depending on the type of business or not-for-profit you want to run, you may be eligible for programs and funding:

View a full list of funding opportunities available to businesses and not-for-profits.

Programs by region

Get support to expand or bring business to your community:

Workplace rules and regulations

Understand your obligations as a business owner, and the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees in Ontario.

Employment Standards Act

Learn the rules about minimum wage, hours of work limits, termination of employment, job-protected leaves of absence and more.

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Learn about everyone’s rights and duties in the workplace, and how to deal with workplace hazards.

Learn about small business health and safety responsibilities and how to get help keeping your workplace safe.

Before starting specialized work (work that involves a trench, window cleaning, tunnelling, asbestos removal or diving) you must file a work notice to protect the health and safety of your workers.

Accessibility laws

Laws and standards are in place to make Ontario more inclusive for everyone.

Consumer protection information for businesses

Learn how to comply with consumer protection laws and avoid consumer complaints.

Agriculture and food laws

Agri-food businesses must comply with food safety and agriculture laws. Meat plants must apply for a licence and follow specific acts and regulations related to meat processing.

Environmental permissions

Learn about the different types of environmental permissions you or your business may need and how to apply for each.

Animal welfare

Businesses with animals on the premises must comply with the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act.

Commercial vehicles

Learn how to get what you need to operate commercial vehicles, such as trucks or buses.

Ontario’s Building Code

Learn more about Ontario’s Building Code so your business can meet all required building regulations in Ontario.


Workplace insurance

Find out if you need insurance for wage-loss benefits, medical coverage and support after a work-related injury or illness.

Business insurance

Protect against loss or damage to physical property, or the loss of your business’s ability to operate and generate income.


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.

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.


Help us better serve entrepreneurs and businesses

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