It has been ten months since the Ontario Business Registry (OBR) was launched in late October, 2021. The OBR was created for organizations that are registered, incorporated or licensed to do business in Ontario.

Since its inception, the OBR has aimed to streamline the process to allow businesses, corporations and not-for-profit corporations to effortlessly complete many transactions online including registering or incorporating a new business, dissolving an existing business, updating business information and filing annual returns.

If a business was registered or incorporated in Ontario prior to October 19th, 2021, the business’ information would have automatically been updated within the new OBR registry.

Accessing the Ontario Business Registry

To access the OBR, an organization must have its own unique Company Key and create a ‘One-Key’ ID for its Service Ontario account. You can Request Your Company Key on the Ontario Business Registry website. For organizations that are registered after October 19, 2021, receiving the Company Key is part of the registration process.

Just like a regular physical key that offers a measure of security, the OBR’s Company Key should be treated as confidential and should not be shared with anyone unless it is being used by a trusted agent such as Mills & Mills LLP to prepare filings on the organization’s behalf.

Filing annual information returns

Annual information returns for Ontario corporations must be filed within six months after the end of each tax year. The CRA stopped accepting these returns on May 15, 2021. Businesses whose information returns were due during the transition period—May 15, 2021 through October 18, 2021—were granted a temporary exemption and don’t need to file an annual return for 2021. Businesses with a year-end on or after April 18, 2021 will need to file their annual information return directly on the OBR platform. To file your return, you will need to access your business profile on the new registry using your company key. Failure to file could result in cancellation of the corporation.

Here to help

If you or your organization need assistance in filing your annual returns or any help with the OBR, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mills & Mills LLP. We are here to help.

At Mills & Mills LLP, our lawyers regularly help clients with a wide range of legal matters including business lawfamily lawreal estate lawestate lawemployment law, health law, and tax law. For over 130 years, we have earned a reputation amongst our peers and clients for quality of service and breadth of knowledge. Contact us online or at (416) 863-0125.

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