Ownr Review – Business Registration Made Easy

Starting a new business is exciting. But as you’ll quickly find out, the process to register or incorporate a business can be very painful and complicated.

This is where Ownr comes in. They have simplified the process of starting up a new business, saving you money and giving you back more time to focus on growing your business.

In this Ownr review, we’ll cover the value proposition, pricing, how it works and some FAQs.

Meet Ownr

Ownr is a Toronto based company that helps Canadian entrepreneurs launch successful businesses.

Through its online platform, Canadian business owners can easily register their businesses as 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.

Business Types Available On Ownr

Currently, the only legal business structures that can be registered through Ownr are corporations and sole proprietorships. They are the most common business types. The other 2 main legal structures, partnerships and co-operatives, are not available for now.

With a sole proprietorship, there’s no legal distinction between the business owner and the business. It is easy to set up and has fewer legal and tax obligations compared to a corporation. However, the owner is personally liable for any financial and legal liabilities of the business.

On the other hand, a corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. So, the owners have limited responsibility for the corporations financial or legal liabilities (unless they provide personal guarantees).

Which business structure should you choose?

When you’re just starting a new business or you just want to run a simple operation, a sole proprietorship may be best.

But you should choose to incorporate if want to:

  1. operate using a business name different from your personal name
  2. keep your finances separate from that of the business
  3. protect the business name
  4. make over $30,000 in a year
  5. limit your personal liability in the business
  6. grow your team in the future
  7. raise external funding in the near future
  8. ensure the business lives beyond you

If you are still not sure or have a more complex business, it’s best to consult with your accountant or lawyer to understand the best structure for you.

How to Register A Sole Proprietorship On Ownr

The first step is to create an account on Ownr. Then search for available business names; Ownr allows you to search for available names in real time. But in British Columbia, business names are submitted to the BC Registry for review and approval can take up to 2 weeks. Ownr takes care of this and they’ll contact you once the name has been approved.

Once you have a suitable business name, you can complete the business registration process and pay the applicable fees.

By choosing to register a sole proprietorship on Ownr, you get the following:

  1. 30 business name searches
  2. The sole proprietorship business registration number
  3. The business registration documents
  4. Access to Ownr Perks and a chance to get your registration fee back in full if you open a business account with RBC

Click here for step by step instructions on how to register a sole proprietorship on Ownr

How to Incorporate A Business On Ownr

The process starts with a name search, but you can skip this step for a numbered corporation e.g. 12345678 Canada Inc.

The name search report will be available in one business day, or up to 2 weeks in British Colombia. Once you get the report, confirm your incorporation name selection and all the formation documents will be emailed to you in one business day.

The formation or incorporation documents, also called Digital minute book, include

  1. First Directors Resolution
  2. Director Consent(s)
  3. First Shareholders Resolution
  4. Notice(s) of Issuance
  5. Subscription for Shares
  6. Securities Register
  7. Directors Register
  8. Officers Register
  9. Shareholders Ledger
  10. Bylaws

Ownr allows you to incorporate provincially in any of the provinces it covers, or federally in Ontario. With a federally incorporated business, the name is protected in all the provinces so it’s the better option if you plan to do business across the country. However, you’ll need to find a name that’s available in all the provinces and have more annual filing paperwork requirement.

On the other hand, provincial incorporation protects your business name in only one province but getting your business name approved should be easier. The only drawback is you’ll have to register in the other provinces if you wish to expand.

Ownr Pricing

Ownr pricing is quite competitive and it varies depending on the province and the type of business you want to register.

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. For example, $89 fee for registering a sole proprietorship in Ontario is made up of $29 Ownr fee and $60 government fee.

With the average cost of using a lawyer at $1,500, incorporating with Ownr can save you at least $800. Plus, you can get up to $300 cash back on the fees you pay if you take advantage of the RBC offer below.

Click the button below to get an Ownr coupon code for 15% off

Ownr Perks

Ownr Perks

Ownr has partnered with several brands to help you get your new business started and running smoothly. Some of the exclusive offers from the partners include:

  1. Xero Accounting: 50% off your subscription for the first 3 months
  2. RBC: Up to $300 cash back when you register with Ownr and open an RBC business account (read more on this below)
  3. Etsy: easily setup an online store with ad credits and free listings – worth $220.

There are also offers from Staples, Geek Squad for tech support, ShipStation to streamline order fulfillment and so on.

OWNR + RBC Partnership

Ownr has a partnership with RBC that allows you to get some or all the registration fees you paid back, if you open a business account with RBC by December 31, 2020.

The full registration fees, plus the applicable tax, is refunded for sole proprietorships. That’s a value of $89 + tax.

The registration fees is partially refunded for incorporation. You can claim back $300 in all the provinces.

You can claim the refund in 3 easy steps

  1. Incorporate or register a business with Ownr
  2. Open a new RBC business account within 60 days.
  3. Log back into your Ownr account and request for a refund from the dashboard.

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

The RBC business accounts start at $5/month for the Digital Account Package.

claim up to $300 back by opening an RBC business bank account.

Limitations of Ownr

Currently, here are the cons of Ownr

  1. Limited coverage: Ownr is only available in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.
  2. Limited business structures: You can only register a sole proprietorship and corporation. Partnerships and co-operatives are not available for now.

Ownr Alternatives

1. Do it Yourself

It is possible to register your business or incorporate on your own. However, you will have to do a lot of reading and research n the process. Many people start this way, get stuck and finally decide to get some help.

The $29 Ownr fee you’ll pay for a sole proprietorship in Ontario is a good bargain considering the number of hours you’ll be saving yourself.

Besides, you can get the fees refunded if you open an RBC account.

2. Use the services of a Lawyer

Your time is valuable. And in many cases, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by using the services of professionals. But using a lawyer to register your business can cost you $1,500 on the average – a fair amount if your business structure is going to be complicated.

For most new business owners though, the Ownr package is a more cost-effective option.

Support and Customer Service

If you ever need help with the process or have any questions, you can contact Ownr through phone, email or online chat (Monday – Friday between 9.00am – 5.00pm EST).

Phone: 1-800-766-6302

Email: [email protected]

Chat: using the message icon at the bottom right corner of the website.

Ownr + Founded

In September 2020, Ownr announced its acquisition of Founded Technologies, another company that helps Canadians start and grow their businesses.

Through its platform, Founded saves businesses thousands of dollars in legal fees by automating their legal tasks such as incorporations, equity management, and legal agreements.

Already, businesses have access to many tools to help them grow their brands through the partnerships available through Ownr Perks.

With this acquisition, Ownr is now better suited to provide most of the tools that founders need to start and run their businesses with services covering:

  • Online minute books ($0 for the first year and $199/year afterwards)
  • Managed Corporation Plan ($599/year)
  • Managed Shareholders ($297/year)
  • Managed Employees and Contractors ($99/year)
  • Employee Stock Option Plan ($999/year)

FAQ

In what provinces does Ownr Operate?

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

What types of business structure can be opened on Ownr?

At the moment, only Sole proprietorships and corporations can be registered through Ownr.

How much does Ownr cost?

Pricing vary by business structure and the province of registration.  
Sole Proprietorship starts at $89 + tax in the 3 provinces Ownr currently operates in.
Incorporation costs $599, $599 and $699 plus tax in Alberta, Ontario and British Colombia respectively.

What are Ownr Perks?

Ownr Perks are exclusive offers from selected partners to help you run and grow your business. Partners include RBC, Staples, Telus, Xero, Etsy and so on.

How much does it cost to register a sole proprietorship?

The fees to register a sole proprietorship at Ownr is $89
Sales tax is only payable on Ownr fees.

How long does it take to register a sole proprietorship?

The timeline varies:
Ontario: The Master Business License will be ready within one business day
Alberta: Trade Name Declaration is emailed to you in one business day
British Colombia:  Business names approval can take up to 2 weeks. Once approved, the registration will be completed in a business day

What is a Business Registration Number?

A business registration number makes your business official. It is the proof that you have registered your sole proprietorship with the government.

Do I need a GST/HST number and how do I register for one?

If your business generates more than $30,000, you’re required by the government to collect sales taxes. To register for GST/HST, please contact the CRA

What are the legal business structures available in Canada?

The business structures available in Canada are:
1. Sole Proprietorship
2. Provincial or Territorial Corporation
3. Federal Corporation
4. Co-operative
5. Partnership

What is a NUANS report?

NUANS stands for “Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search”. NUANS is a computerized search system that compares prospective business names to a database of existing, reserved and proposed corporate names and trademarks across Canada.

How does Ownr Referral program work?

With Ownr referral program, you earn when you refer people to register a new business through Ownr: $20 for sole proprietorships and $50 for incorporation. Also, your referrals will get a $50 discount on the registration fees.
To get started, sign up on their website and share your referral link with your network.

Conclusion

From deciding on a legal structure and registering the business to setting up your accounting systems, starting a new business could be overwhelming. Ownr has you covered with the business registration part.

So, if you’re ready to take the bold step of starting your business, consider using Ownr. It is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to register or incorporate your business in Canada. In fact, you can effectively register a business for free in Canada if you take advantage of the partnership with RBC.

And if you’re ready to go online with your own website, you can get web hosting plus free domain name from Bluehost, starting at USD3.95/month.

Ownr Review
4.7

Summary

Ownr is a quick and convenient online platform that allows entrepreneurs to easily register or incorporate their business in Canada. 

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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