How to Register Your Business Online (and FREE) in Canada

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Looking to start a new business or formalize your side hustle in Canada? This post is for you.

In this post, you’ll learn the steps to register or incorporate your business in minutes (not days!) and then get a full or partial refund of the registration fees you paid.

You can register your business and claim the refund by following the 3 simple steps below:

  1. Register your business on Ownr (Get 15% Off with the Ownr promo code)

  2. Open a new business account with RBC within 60 days

  3. Log in to your Ownr account and request a refund

Even if you stop at Step 1, you will get 15% off the cost of incorporating your business by using the Ownr coupon code. But why stop there when you can get more?

We’ll cover each of the steps in detail below but let’s start with a little introduction to Ownr.

Who is Ownr?

Ownr is a Toronto based company that helps Canadian entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. It was set up to simplify the process of registering a new business in Canada.

Through its online platform, you can easily register a new business: either a sole proprietorship or corporation in minutes.

Ownr was founded in 2017 and is an RBC Ventures company. Since then, it has helped over 35,000 businesses launch in Canada.

With Ownr, you can register a business in just a few easy steps and at a fraction of what you would pay a lawyer.

Unfortunately, Ownr currently operates in only Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.

You can read our full review of Ownr here.

Ownr + RBC Refund Offer

In addition to making it easy to register a new business, Ownr has also partnered with other companies to get you some exclusive offers to start growing your business.

One of such partnerships is the one with RBC. If you decide to open a business account with RBC after registering your business on Ownr, you’ll get up to $300 cash back. This is more than enough to get you a full refund of the registration fees for sole proprietorships.

Now, we’ll look at the 3 steps in details below

Steps to Register Your Business and Claim the Refund

1: Register your business on Ownr

To start registering a new business through Ownr, follow the steps below:

a. Create a new Ownr account

To begin, click on the Sign Up button at the top right side of the website. Provide your details when the page comes up – see below. Read and agree to the Terms and conditions, then click on Create Account.

Create an Ownr Account

b. Verify your Ownr account

You will receive a welcome email with a link to verify your new account.

verify your new account to start the process to register your business online.

c. Begin the process of registering your business

After verifying your account, you’re presented with a link to start the registration process.

Click on "Register your business" to start the process

But first, you’ll need to answer a few questions.

Which business structure are you setting up?

As mentioned earlier, you can only register a sole proprietorship and corporation on Ownr for now. If you’re not sure of the right structure for you, there’s a link to see the comparison between the two structures.

In which province are you registering your business?

Select one of the 3 provinces available, then click on “Next” to proceed.

select province of registration

You’ll be presented with a screen to confirm your selection. If everything looks good, confirm and continue to the next step. Otherwise, go back and make any necessary changes.

confirm province and business type selection

d. Name Search

Now it’s time to check if your proposed business name is available. Ideally, you would have a name at this stage. But if you don’t have any, Ownr will guide you through the process.

It is recommended that your business name should have 2 elements: a distinctive and a descriptive element. See the example below:

Ownr unique name guide

Once you have a name you’re happy with, it’s time to begin the search.

The search will compare your proposed name to any trademarks, registered federal & provincial corporations and business names in your province.

If the search brings up any matches that is similar to your name, come up with another one. You want your name to be as unique as possible. If there’s no match, proceed to the next step.

Note: You can search for available names in real time if you’re registering in Alberta or Ontario. For British Columbia, the business name is sent to the BC Registry for review and approval can take up to 2 weeks. Once you receive the approval, you can proceed to the next step.

e. Enter your business details

For this step, you’ll need to

  • specify the industry your business will be operating in. Simply select one from the dropdown.
  • Describe your business: a brief description of what you do, either the goods you sell or the services you provide. For example, wedding planner, pastry chef etc
  • Enter the business owner’s legal information: the name and address of the business owner
  • Provide information about the person registering the business:
  • Enter the business address and mailing address.

All of these can be entered in a minute or less.Confirm all the information you’ve provided.

Final check before registration

You can’t make changes after this point. If everything looks good, proceed to the last step

f. Make payment

Pay the total fee, less any discount. If you go through this link, you should see a 15% discount applied at this stage. The Ownr coupon code is automatically applied.

confirm payment to finish registering your business online

Note: The picture above shows a $50 discount. The flat fee discount was discontinued in exchange for the new 15% off on any its products and services.

g. Wait for your registration documents

You’re all done. You should receive the documents by email within one business day.

Congratulations! You now have a registered business. All completed online!

2: Open a new business account with RBC

With your business now registered, it is time to open the RBC business account.

Choose one of the RBC everyday operating accounts that suits your business needs. You can click on the link to open an RBC account from your Ownr dashboard or go to the RBC’s website. The digital banking package has a $5 monthly fee and should be a good starting package for most businesses.

To qualify for the refund of the Ownr fees, the business account must be opened within 60 days of registering of business.

3: Log in to your Ownr account and request for a refund

Once you’re done with opening the bank account, simply log back into your Ownr dashboard and request a refund.

The refund will be processed within 7 – 10 days. But note that the account must stay open for at least a year.

How much refund can you expect?

You’ll get a full refund for sole proprietorship registrations. For corporations, the cash back is $300.

That means you can potentially get 100% off the cost of registering your business online when you go with Ownr.

How much does Ownr Cost?

Pricing vary by business structure and the province of registration.  

Sole Proprietorship costs $89 + tax in the 3 provinces Ownr covers.

Incorporation costs $599, $599 and $699 plus tax in Alberta, Ontario and British Colombia respectively.

ProvinceSole ProprietorshipProvincial IncorporationFederal Incorporation
Alberta$89$599
British Columbia$89$699
Ontario$89$599$499

The prices are exclusive of sales tax but includes the applicable government fees. 

Conclusion

With Ownr, starting a business in Canada has never been busier. You can now register your business online from the comfort of your home.

On its own, Ownr is already a compelling offer. But with the refund offer through its partnership with RBC, it is the simplest and cheapest way to register a business in Canada.

If you know any one that’s planning on starting a new business and will also benefit from this post, please share with them.

To learn more about Ownr and the other perks (up to $3,000) you can get when you incorporate your business, check out the full Ownr review here.  

And if you want to keep all your finances organized, check out this offer from QuickBooks to get up to 55% off the subscription for the first 3 months.

With QuickBooks Online, you can:

  • Track income and expenses
  • invoice and accept payments
  • capture and organize receipts; and many more.

Related Post: Ownr Coupon Code

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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