Registration of your business name using the Master Business License is mandatory under the Business Names Act if you operate under a name other than your own. This registration is also required to open a business bank account.
The cost is $60 and the registration is valid for five years.
It is recommended that a name search be done to ensure your name is not duplicated. This can be done in conjunction with the business registration for a fee of $8 per search.
If choosing to use your legal name (i.e. John Smith) with nothing else attached to it as the business name, then no business name registration is required.
Registration of the business name is handled by Service Ontario. Registration can be completed online or in person at the following location:
Service Ontario office inside MTO Building
301 St. Paul St., 2nd floor
St. Catharines, ON
The cost is $60 and is valid for five years.
Optional name search cost is between $8 and $24 dollars depending on the depth of the search you would like to do, and when done in conjunction with the registration.