Businesses and not-for-profit organizations registered, incorporated, or licensed to carry on business in Ontario should be aware of recent changes which could affect them, including changes to the filing requirements of Ontario Annual Information Returns and the upcoming launch of the Ontario Business Registry.
Changes for corporations that file Ontario annual information returns
If your corporation files Ontario annual information returns, you should be aware of new filing changes which came into effect in May 2021. These changes are as follows:
- As of May 7, 2021, Ontario Corporations Information Act annual returns will no longer be available for download on Canada.ca.
- As of May 15, 2021, Ontario Corporations Information Act annual returns will no longer be filed through the Canada Revenue Agency (‘CRA’).
- Effective May 15, 2021 and until further notice, corporations are temporarily exempted from the annual return filing requirement, if the return is due during this period.
The changes apply to the following forms:
- Schedule 546, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Ontario Corporations
- Schedule 548, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Foreign Business Corporations.
- Form RC232, Corporations Information Act Annual Return for Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations.
The CRA will continue to process Corporation T2 income tax returns and T3010 Registered Charity Information Returns.
Ontario Business Registry
Later this year, Ontario will launch the Ontario Business Registry, a new digital Business Registry that will provide businesses and not-for-profits with an online tool to complete registrations, filings and other important transactions. The new online registry will be available 24 hours, 7 days a week and aims to facilitate interactions with the government. Businesses and other entities will be able to complete a range of transactions, including registering a new business and dissolving an existing business. Ontario businesses are encouraged to register with their official business email addresses to receive more information about pre-launch activities, timing of the launch and instructions on how to access the Business Registry once it goes live.
Any business (including a not-for-profit) that is registered, incorporated, or licensed to carry on business in Ontario will have an online profile in the new Ontario Business Registry. This includes all businesses filing under the Business Corporations Act, Business Names Act, Corporations Act, Corporations Information Act, Extra-Provincial Corporations Act and Limited Partnerships Act. The registry will offer a range of options to business owners and operators, including:
- registering a business name under the Business Names Act
- updating information about a business name under the Business Names Act
- filing notices and other documents under other business law statutes
As an existing business, it is important that you provide an official email address that will be used to send information on how to access your business profile when the new registry launches. When you submit the official email address, you will need to provide the Ontario Corporation Number (OCN) or Business Identification Number (BIN).
You can sign up using the following link: Sign up, or you can send the official business email when you download and send in a paper form:
- by mail:
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Central Production and Verification Services Branch
393 University Avenue, Suite 200
Toronto ON M5G 2M2
- by fax: 416-314-0102
Launch of the new registry
The Ontario Business Registry will launch later this year. Businesses and not-for-profits will use the information they received from the sign-up step to log in to the registry. More details will be available on ontario.ca/businessregistry closer to the launch, including the date users can access the new system.
This article has been written in general terms to provide broad guidance only. It should not be relied upon to cover specific situations and you should not act upon the information contained herein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact our office to discuss this information in the context of your specific circumstances. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on the information in this article.