Business Searches

Ontario Business and Corporation Name Search

Understanding different entity formations/organizations in Ontario

A different report is required depending on whether you are looking for the legal name of a corporation vs. a sole proprietorship/partnership/business name.

If you don't know what type of company it is that you require information about, then check the different available types below:


A corporation is a “person” created by law that is capable of indefinite life and is separate from its shareholders or members. It owns property in its own name, acquires rights, obligations and liabilities, enters into contracts and agreements, and has the capacity to sue or be sued, as would a natural person.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship refers to an individual who operates a business, and is generally the simplest way to set up business.


A partnership refers to an agreement in which two or more persons combine resources to carry on business with a view to making a profit. A partnership may be a general partnership, a limited partnership or a limited liability partnership.

Business or Style Name for a Corporation

When a corporation carries on business under a name other than its legal corporate name, it must register the trade or business name under the Business Names Act.

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Did you know
* If the name includes a legal element anywhere in the name (LIMITED, INCORPORATED, CORPORATION, abbreviation or French version thereof), then you require a Corporate Search product.

* COMPANY is not a legal element and may not necessarily indicate a corporation.

* A legal element in the name is not mandatory in a not-for-profit corporation.

* If the name includes the words General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, GP, LP or LLP, then you require a business names report.

Did you know:
* Business name registrations are valid for 5 years, and may be renewed.

* Corporations exist indefinitely unless cancelled or dissolved.

* If a person carries on business under his or her name only with no additional words, then it is not necessary to register the business name.

* If a corporation from another jurisdiction carries on business in Ontario, then it must register with the Ontario Government.