Ontario Business Registry
Frequently Asked Questions

General

What changes should I expect with the launch of the Ontario Business Registry?

As the new registry will replace the governments outdated 30-year-old technology, we can now provide more opportunities to offer you uninterrupted access to ecore’s market leading offerings:

  • 24/7 access to an expanded array of Ontario registrations and reports 
  • Newly designed customer interface for key product offerings
  • Customizable dashboards for easy management of your current and new entities
  • Integration with market-leading Corporate Record Management solutions
  • Scannable QR codes allowing for real-time verification of businesses
  • Enhanced security and data accuracy with an audit trail of all changes

What legislative and procedural changes do I need to know about?

 Click here to learn about the legislative and procedural changes to support the OBR. As always, we recommend you do your own research to ensure you are meeting all regulatory requirements.

What kind of training resources are available to me? Is online training being offered?

Beginning in early October, Dye & Durham will offer a series of complimentary webinars and live demonstrations to introduce you to new features and to answer any questions you may have.  To best prepare, we recommend training prior to October 19th. 


Are the trainings eligible for any CPD hours?

The Electronic Due Diligence webinar contains up to 30 minutes of substantive content, while the Corporate Filings webinar contains up to 1 hour of substantive content.  All attendees will be provided with a certificate of attendance.  Participants must enter the substantive hours themselves on their LSO portal. 

Who can use the new Ontario Business Registry?

All Ontario businesses and not-for-profit corporations, who wish to self-serve direct with government, will be able to use the registry to complete business registrations, filings, and other transactions online. Ontario businesses and not-for-profits can still use a Service Provider to take advantage of the many additional features available through our solutions.


Intermediaries, such as legal professionals, are asked to use a Service Provider for immediate online fulfillment.


Dye & Durham has been working closely with the Ministry to ensure our customers’ needs are met. Dye & Durham has a direct connection with the OBR, to offer our customers all the benefits of the OBR, along with features only available through Service Providers, such as electronic Ministry Filings through our Partner Portal, and all the other services across Canada for a one-stop-shop experience. 


Are PPSA Certificates and PPSA Verification Statements available for pick-up?

Yes, Dye & Durham will pick up all PPSA work as currently scheduled. Contact our customer support team if you have not used this service before.

How do I turn on notifications for system disruptions and maintenances?

Please subscribe to the ecore System Status page to receive real-time email or SMS notifications about ecore’s status, including planned maintenance or any known issues affecting its service.  


What is the purpose of the QR codes?

The QR code is a back-up validation feature. Some banks and other jurisdictions can use the QR code to validate the information in real time.

Is the OBR integrated with CRA?

The new Ontario Business Registry is integrated with the Canada Revenue Agency, enabling the identification of a business or not-for-profit corporation by a single business number, further streamlining administrative processes.

What are the new Rules for not-for-profit and charitable corporations?

Click here to read the new rules for Not-For-Profit and Charitable corporations.

I recently transitioned from Cyberbahn to ecore, where can I find some training materials and FAQs to support my transition to ecore?

Click here to learn more about the Cyberbahn to ecore transition and read FAQs.

Corporate Searches

What changes can I expect to corporate searches (i.e. Electronic Due Diligence)?

With the launch of the new Ontario Business Registry, search products will be consolidated, reducing Ontario reports from 17 products to 4. Search products will:

  • Contain more information
  • Be available 24/7 and in real-time
  • Deemed certified or have a scannable QR code

The main four reports are:

  1. Certificate of No Match
  2. Entity Profile Report
  3. Request Document Copy
  4. Certificate of Status

Please register for the Electronic Due Diligence webinar for a full overview and demo of these changes.

Can you tell me more about the consolidated search products?

Search products have been consolidated, reducing Ontario reports from 17 products to 4. Our search products will be available 24/7 and will be certified in real-time.


The new Certificate of No Match will replace the current:

  • Certificate of Non-filing
  • Statement of No Record (Uncertified)
  • Certificate of No Record
  • Statement of No Match Found
  • Certificate of Non-registration

The new Profile Report will replace the current:

  • Corporation Profile Report (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Corporation Point in Time Report (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Corporation Document List (Certified/Uncertified)
  • List of Expired Business Names Registered by a Corporation (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Business Name Report (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Limited Partnerships Report (Certified/Uncertified)
  • BNLP Document List (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Partnership business Names Report (Certified/Uncertified)

The new Request Document Copy will replace the current:

  • Document Replica (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Microfiche Order (Certified/Uncertified)
  • Master Business Licence Reprint

The Certificate of Status will be available.

What are the government fees for the new corporate reports?

Government Fee

$8.00

$26.00

$8.00

 $26.00

 $10.00 entire file

 $36.00 entire file

 $3.00 per document

Search Product

Entity Profile

Certificate of Status

Entity Profile at a Point in Time

Certificate of No Match 

Microfiche Copies – Uncertified – pre OBR 

Microfiche Copies – Certified – pre OBR 

Copies of Documents – post OBR

Note: ecore service fees remain the same.

Is the new registry going to show new incorporations in real-time, without having to "Search for Newer Corporation" if they were registered within the week?

One of the many benefits of the Ontario Business Registry is that information is updated in real-time, meaning, as long as there is a record with the Ministry, the business you are looking for will show in the search results. You will not need to "Search for Newer Corporation" to find it. 

Certification of reports – how will the other jurisdictions understand that reports are deemed certified copies?

The reports have a certification disclaimer on the footer – for those reports that do not, i.e. copies of documents, certification will be required.

How will we obtain expired business names list if counter services are closing?

You can obtain expired business names lists by ordering the corporate (entity) profile.

Is there a charge to search a name to see if it exists in the new OBR?

No. ECI charges no longer apply, as they related to the legacy ONBIS system. Charges will only apply once the reports have been ordered for your selected names. You will see a cost summary before proceeding. 

Will the microfiche turnaround time stay the same?

For files registered prior to Oct 19, 2021, a microfiche may be required and can take up to 5 business days to retrieve. Anything registered after October 19, 2021 , you can select which charted documents you want to order under Copies of Documents and retrieve in real time.

Does the new profile report contain the CRA business number?

The CRA business number does not show up on new Profile (Entity) Report, but you can find the information prior or ordering the report. Simply select the business name and a popup will appear with the entity details.

Does the new profile report contain the BIN?

The BIN number will be included on the Entity Profile Report for business names under the Business Names Act. 

How do we order government certified copies of articles?

Please specify in the “Documents list” that you require a certified copy.

How do I order a Document Replica?

Order the Profile (Entity) Report at a point in time.

Will search reports be available in French?

Yes. All Ontario reports are automatically returned in both English and French at no extra charge. 

Will the corporate profile show location addresses for directors and officers?

Yes, locations are included in the entity profile report.

Is there something that replaces the data extract?

Data extract is no longer necessary. We automatically fetch the information from the ministry database in real-time.

On the Notice of Change, there used to be a copy button for an officer so you do not have to re-type name and address when same person has numerous officer titles. Will that be added?

With the new application, you will be able to elect multiple officer positions on the same entry.

I used to use the ONBIS functionality for Ontario Company Searches, where do I complete my searches now?

Please complete all searches in Electronic Due Diligence (EDD).  Join a live EDD webinar to learn more or select a previous date to watch the recording on demand.

How do I obtain a Master Business License (prior to OBR) or a copy of the Business Name Registration (OBR)?

Using the Document List / Copies of Documents order in electronic Due Diligence:

  • You will receive a Master Business License Reprint of existing businesses registered prior to October 19, 2021
  • For businesses registered on or after October 19, 2021, you will receive a copy of the Business Name Registration for the registration.

Company Key

What is a company key? Who has access to it?

A company key is a unique sequence of numbers assigned to a business. The company key is necessary to authorize an account to make changes to your records with the Ministry. The key-holder is responsible for keeping the key confidential. It should only be shared with an authorized Service Provider or an intermediary.  Dye & Durham is an authorized Service Provider with delegated authority to transact on filings and can bypass the company key requirement for all existing businesses, and new entities created through our solutions.

How do I get a company key?

The company key will be sent to the official email address when a new business is registered.  

If you are the owner of an existing business, you may sign up on the Ontario Business Registry website to retrieve your company key.  

If you're an intermediary, you can ask your clients for their company key. If you require a company key for a filing through Dye & Durham, our team can support you in obtaining the company key. Email us at [email protected] for support. Please note that there are many instances where you will not need a company key. See next question for more information.

When do I need to provide a company key?

In most cases, a company key is not required to proceed with your filing (see table below for further details). You can complete and submit your forms to us in electronic copy without a company key.


As a Service Provider connected to the OBR, Dye & Durham has delegated authority on filings and can bypass the company key requirement for all existing businesses, and new ones created through Dye & Durham’s solutions after October 19th (i.e., ecore, white glove services, etc.)

Explanation

Scenario

Do you need a company key?

No

Process subsequent filings for an existing business created before October 19th

Dye & Durham has blanket authority of all existing Ontario businesses currently in the Registry.

Process subsequent filings for an existing business created after October 19th that was first created using Dye & Durham.

No

Dye & Durham has regulated authority on any subsequent filings for any business created through Dye & Durham after October 19th.

Yes

If the business was not created through Dye & Durham after October 19th, a company key is required for subsequent filings.

A new entity/business created after October 19th using a different service provider or direct-through government, then using ecore for subsequent filings.

Corporate filing tip for businesses registered after October 19, 2021: To avoid having to ask clients for their company key, use the same Service Provider you used to register the business for any subsequent filings. If you first used Dye & Durham to register the business, you will not be asked for a company key for subsequent filings. You can simply leave that field blank. In cases where a company key is required, a message in ecore will appear to include the key.

Do I need to include a company key on Ministry filing forms?

In many instances, we do not require a company key to complete your requested filings. Please refer to the chart above for when a company key is necessary. Please note that forms cannot be printed where a company key has not been entered. To print your forms, you can simply enter 9 zeros in the field. By including a placeholder company key in your forms there will be no implications for your filing.

When is a new Company Key issued?

A new Company Key is issued with incorporations, sole proprietorships, general and limited partnerships, amalgamations and any initiating document.

Will company keys be automatically issued to all existing corporations and sent to their registered office address upon integration into the new system? Or do all corporations need to submit a request to obtain the company key?

No, for security reasons, company keys will NOT automatically be issued for all existing entities in the Ontario Ministry's database.

For a business group with multiple corporations, can one company key be requested to manage all related corporations?

No, each entity in the Ontario Ministry's database will be issued its own unique company key. It is recommended that you develop an internal procedure to manage the company keys for each corporation you manage.

Will a user receive a company key automatically once a new company has been incorporated? Will an intermediary receive a company key for a new corporation if they've used a service provider?

Yes, when a corporation is incorporated, a company key will automatically be generated. The company key is sent to the official email address. See FAQ on what the official email address should be for more information.

What happens if the registered office address is not current? How would they update their registered office address without a company key?

You will need to file a notice of change using Dye & Durham before you can request a company key.

What if I don’t know if I need a company key (i.e. I don't know how or when the company was registered)?

Majority of businesses in Ontario have been registered through Dye & Durham or through other vendors that use our APIs, meaning we have delegated authority on all businesses registered through us and a company key is not required. If you don’t know how or when the company was registered, you can proceed with the filings and if you receive an error asking for the company key, email us at [email protected] and we will help you retrieve the company key to complete a filing. The company key has a turnaround of 3 business days from the Ministry. At this time, there are no fees associated with this service.

Corporate Filings

What changes can I expect to corporate filings previously filed through ecore (i.e. Articles of Incorporation)?

Articles of Incorporation

Main Changes

Other Changes

  • NAICS Code
  • Official Email Address
  • Email Addresses for all Incorporators
  • Company Key (generated)
  • Canada Resident Status (July)
  • Filing Notifications
  • Change in Data Structure (i.e. addresses, share structure)

Corporation Information Act Filings

Main Changes

Other Changes

  • NAICS Code
  • Official Email Address
  • Email Addresses for all Officers and Directors
  • Company Key (generated)
  • Moved to a Different Location within ecore
  • Ability to Remove Officers and Directors (as opposed to ceasing)

Business Names Registration

Main Changes

Other Changes

  • NAICS Code
  • Official Email Address
  • Email Addresses for registrants
  • Company Key (generated)
  • New Look and Feel with a Simplified Workflow
  • POA can Authorize Registrations

What is a NAICS Code or Primary Code?

A NAICS Code, sometimes referred to as a Primary Code,  is a classification within the North American Industry Classification System. NAICS has been designed for statistical purposes. Enter the “key word” that most closely describes the primary line of business for the corporation and search for proper NAICS code. Examples of key words are technology, construction, mining, etc.  See directory here

What happens if articles are submitted on weekends? Statutory Holidays? Late at night?

The Ontario Business Register is meant to be available 24/7. Therefore, if articles are submitted on weekends, outside of normal business hours, or on a statutory holiday, and they are transactions that are fulfilled automatically by the system, the endorsement date will be the date submitted. Ecore continues to offer the ability to have documents filed at a specified date in the future.

What is the official email address?

All official correspondence for the company from the Province of Ontario will be sent to the Official Email Address. The address must be an individual with the legal duty to manage the business, which can be either the business owner or an intermediary. The official email address will not appear on public records.

Can you use a lawyer's or law firm's email address as the official email for its clients?

Yes, if that is what your clients allow you to do.  If your firm maintains many entities or has a separate corporate services department, it may be helpful to create a couple of unique email addresses to be used as the official email for your clients so that you can be certain that your firm will receive the necessary email confirmations, etc.

If a client moves to a different firm, can we remove our law firm's email address if it was used as the official email address?

It is recommended that you develop an internal process and procedure to take into consideration a change in this information as part of your file transfer procedure/checklist.

I have clients who live in rural areas and have no access to the internet and no email address. How is this issue dealt with?

It is currently unknown how this particular issue will be dealt with by the Ontario Ministry.  The OBR is designed to be a paperless and electronic system. The OBA and other external stakeholders will continue to work with the Ontario Ministry on issues like this, and other important issues.


It is recommended that you seek your client's permission to include your email address/the email address of your firm.

What is MGCS’ responsibility in regards to securing filing dates? Example, system crashes, downtime etc…

MGCS has confirmed that if systems go down, they intend to track submitted dates and endorse the articles with the submitted dates once systems are operational again.

What are the turnaround times for filings?

Turnaround times listed below are from when the filing gets submitted to when it is returned to you. Your filing requests will be submitted to the Ministry within 1-3 business days. 




SERVICE - Business Corporations Act

Dye & Durham

Email/Mail to MGCS

Incorporation, Amalgamation, Amendment Restated Articles, Winding up (1st, 2nd filing), 

Same Day, Incorporation immediate through ecore.

7 - 15 Business Days

Winding-up with court order, Dissolution, Continuation in Ontario, Authorization to Continue Out, Revival, Reorganization, Arrangement

2 Business Days

7 - 15 Business Days

Corrected Articles

2 - 3 Weeks

4 - 6 Weeks

SERVICE – Not-for-Profit Corporations Act

Incorporation

Same Day

7 - 15 Business Days

Amalgamation, Amendment Restated Articles, Dissolution, Continuation in Ontario, Authorization to Continue Out, Revival, Reorganization, Arrangement, Voluntary Winding up - Notice of Special Resolution, Voluntary Winding up - Notice of Holding Meeting, NFPCA - Court-Ordered Winding up - Liquidators Appointment, NFPCA - Court-Ordered Winding up - Dissolution Order


5 Business Days

7 - 15 Business Days

Corrected Articles

2 - 3 Weeks

4 - 6 Weeks

SERVICE - Extra-Provincial Corporations Act

Termination Extra-provincial license

Same Day

7 - 15 Business Days

Extra-provincial license, Amended Extra-provincial license

5 Business Days

7 - 15 Business Days

Corrected Extra-provincial license

2 - 3 Weeks

4 - 6 Weeks

SERVICE - Corporations Information Act

Initial Return / Notice of Change (Ontario Corporation), Annual Return (Ontario Corporation), Annual Return (Extra-Provincial Corporation)

Immediate through ecore

7 - 15 Business Days

Initial Return (Extra-Provincial Corporation) / Notice of Change (Extra-Provincial Corporation)

2 Business Days

7 - 15 Business Days

SERVICE – Business Names Act – Sole Proprietorship, General Partnership and Business Name for Corporations, Partnership/Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, Extra-Provincial Limited Liability Partnership/Limited Liability Company

New, Renewal, Amendment. Cancellation

Same Day

7 - 15 Business Days

SERVICE – Limited Partnership Act


New Filing or Renewal


Late Renewal


Change


Dissolution


Withdrawal



Same Day


Same Day


Same Day


Same Day


Same Day



7 - 15 Business Days


7 - 15 Business Days


7 - 15 Business Days


7 - 15 Business Days


7 - 15 Business Days

SERVICE - Minister of Finance (MOF) Consent

Ministry Processing

Minister of Finance Consent

Dissolution, Authorization to Continue Out

2 Days

Up to 30 Days

Who will get the confirmation of filing and other filing reminders? The "official email" or the "contact email"?

Both email addresses will receive confirmation of filing and filing reminders. The email addresses provided must be kept current.

Is there a NAICS for "Holding Company"?

Yes. Search “Holding Company” and select the NAICS code. 

Business Name Registration - Is there a cost associated with the business name search in the form?

No, there is no charge for searching the business name within the form. 

For the full set of Articles, do I have to print out each section separately (i.e. Certificate, Articles, Terms, etc.) and create my own PDF?

The ministry returns articles in seven separate documents, but our AOI solution allows you to merge them into one single document for forwarding and printing.

In the federal system, a NUANS is to be attached for Articles of Incorporation. Is this required for an Ontario incorporation?

If you file through the ecore application, the NUANS reservation number is required, but not an actual copy.

When completing a CIA filing, how do I search for a company using the corporation number?

Please input the corporation number exactly as it appears. Do not add any zeros at the beginning of the corporation number, as you previously had to using the old system.

I am having issues submitting my Initial Return or Notice of Change. What are some filing tips?

The most common issue customers are experiencing when submitting an Initial Return or Notice of Change is omitting to hit the "Add Title" button when adding an officer or director. Ensure you first select the Title and Date Appointed, and then hit "Add Title" to confirm the selection. You will see the selection appear with a light green background once it's been successfully added.


Other key CIA filings tips are as followed:

  1.  CIA filings have moved in the same area as Articles of Incorporation. Ensure you are using the Corporate Filings navigation under "Corporate" to complete CIA filings.
  2.  Ensure you are completing all mandatory fields, including the official email address and NAICS code.
  3. A Company Key is required to complete the filing when the business was registered after October 19, 2021, AND not first registered using Dye & Durham. Otherwise, you can leave it blank or input 9-zeros.

Ministry Filings

Are Minister of Finance (MOF) Consent Letters still required when filing dissolutions, continuances, and revivals?

Yes, MOF approval is still required. The consent letter that MOF currently provides today is being replaced by an electronic consent that can take up to 30 days to receive.


Upon electronic submission of filing:

  • a notification is sent out advising that the application has been sent to MOF for review
  • MOF provides electronic consent back to MGCS (can take up to 30 days)
  • MGCS provides notification that the application is being reviewed
  • MGCS reviews and approves filing (2 business days if submitted electronically)

The entire process can take up to 32 days.


Effective/Endorsement Dates:

Because it can take up to 30 days to receive MOF consent,

  • If the preferred request date is before MGCS gets consent back from MOF, the date will be the date of MOF Consent;
  • If the preferred request date is after MGCS gets consent back from MOF, the date will be the requested date

Do we need to request the Ministry of Finance consent and provide it with articles to you?

You do not request MOF consent. MOF consent is requested by the Ministry after filing.

Can you get the pre-approval before filing Articles of Arrangement/Restated articles of Incorporation?

Pre-approval is available for Articles of Arrangement only.

If I need to book an appointment with ServiceOntario,  are appointments guaranteed?

Appointments are not guaranteed; the MGCS support staff will first determine if an appointment is necessary.  An appointment can be made on the ServiceOntario website.

After Oct 19, 2021, when we file documents (i.e. Articles of Amendment) through Dye & Durham (by sending documents by email), will you still require us to provide a cover letter to the Ministry?

No. A cover letter is no longer required.

Will PDF Transaction Forms change to comply with the new OBR?

Yes. On and after October 19, 2021, the new digital Transaction Forms must be used. The Ministry will not accept the old PDF forms or incorrect forms. For Ministry forms, if a key is not needed, please input 000 000 000 (9 zeros) in place of a company key.

How do I pay fees for processing electronic Ministry filings?

For Ministry filings, we will pay disbursements on your behalf and invoice you for the service through your Legal i Link account. If you do not have a Legal i Link account, our team will create a free account for you and invoice you accordingly.

How does invoicing work for Ministry filings?

You will be emailed an order summary for each transaction within 3-5 business days (sent to the user). Your firm will receive one monthly invoice for all transactions each month (sent to the firm's finance admin user). If you note a file number or name in your email, we will use that as the matter reference which will appear on your order summaries/invoice.

Are requested filing dates guaranteed?

When you submit your filing requests, you may specify your requested filing date and in most cases, we can meet your requested filing date. We will submit your filing requests within 1-3 business days. We recommend submitting your filing requests a few days prior to your requested filing date when possible.

In what format should I submit my completed forms? Do you require a signature?

Please submit your completed forms to us in their original electronic format via email to [email protected]. We do not accept scanned PDF forms at this time.


When submitting an electronic copy, a signature is not required for filing however it is required that you retain a signed copy for your records. Please keep a signed copy for your records. Shareholder resolutions will continue to require a signature and can be submitted in any format.

What happens if there is an error in the documents (i.e. wrong incorporation date). Are the documents refused or are we able to make a correction and refile to get the same date of filing?

Just like now, if something is rejected you must refile. You can not ask for a past date when refiling

What do I do if the form's character limit prevents me from entering the full text required?

Several fields within the forms provided have character limits which can prevent you from entering the full text required. If you are unable to fit your entire block or text into a field within the required form, the text can be provided in a separate attached document. If providing text within a separate document, please indicate the following within the text field within the form: “[SEE ATTACHED]” and provide complete text in a separate document.

What is Legal i Link and how do I make an account?

Legal i Link is a web-based software used to track and prepare invoices for ministry and court filings, court searches, and process serving requests sent to Dye & Durham. It's free to open an account, and our filing team will automatically create an account for you if you send us a filing request to [email protected] and we don't already have an account for you.

Fast Company

What are the benefits of using Fast Company or CorpLink with ecore?

With the launch of the Ontario Business Registry, CorpLink and Fast Company customers can submit electronic Ontario ministry filings using our powerful ecore integration.


CorpLink:

  • One click submit to ecore, with the ability to validate data prior to submission
  • All data from CorpLink passes through to your existing ecore account and is automatically filed via CorpLink
  • Registered documents are returned to CorpLink, and the application updates the corporate name, date of incorporation, OCN number and election dates fields. The Charter documents are imported to the corresponding electronic minute book section of CorpLink

Fast Company:

  • File both AOI and CIA directly through Fast Company.
  • One click submit to ecore, with the ability to validate data prior to submission.
  • All data from Fast Company passes through to ecore fields in Forms & Registers.
  • Registered documents are returned to the matter and stored in the DP Filer and can easily be added to the Virtual Minute Book.
  • Corporate name, date of incorporation and OCN number are passed into the appropriate fields in Fast Company.

Don’t have a CorpLink or Fast Company account? Email [email protected] to enquire.


How do I enter my ecore credentials into Fast Company?

To start using ecore from within Fast Company, simply select the solicitor or law clerk with ecore credentials from the Solicitors database or Support Staff database by clicking on the magnify glass next to the Solicitor or Law Clerk field on Tab A of a record. Highlight the Solicitor or Law Clerk and click Edit. Enter the solicitor’s or law clerk’s Client ID and User ID on Tab 2 in the Personnel screen and click OK.


You are now able to file all your Incorporations and Form 1’s from within the Forms & Registers tab of Fast Company when selecting electronic registration and clicking on the ecore Validate button.

Note: If you do not know your ecore credentials, log into ecore and they will appear in the account box.

Where can I find more Fast Company FAQs?

For more Fast Company FAQs regarding the Ontario Business Registry & ecore, please click here.

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