Navigating Business Compliance in Ontario: What You Need to Know

Jul 21, 2023

Ensuring compliance with business regulations in Ontario can be a daunting task. Apart from meeting specific requirements related to your business and operations, there are ongoing compliance obligations for your corporation to maintain its good standing.

The spectrum of compliance issues includes tasks like preparing annual resolutions, updating government records with the latest corporate information, filing tax returns, managing employee remittances, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits for your business operations.

To assist you in this process, we’ve gathered some valuable ideas and resources to help you better manage your compliance responsibilities. By understanding your obligations and knowing where to find relevant information, you can make the process a bit more manageable.

Where to Access Compliance Information

Given the vast amount of compliance information available, it’s not feasible to cover it all in a concise guide. However, we’ve compiled a list of helpful links to provide you with more comprehensive insights:

1. Canada Business Ontario: This platform offers a startup guide covering various business aspects, such as hiring employees, and provides a searchable database of licenses and permits applicable to your specific business, including regulations for tobacco, accessibility, product labeling, e-business, and more. Additionally, you can find links to tax information, copyright, patent, and trademark resources.

2. Business Corporations Act (Ontario): If you prefer obtaining information directly from the official source, you can refer to the Ontario corporate statute available on this platform. Although this might be quite detailed, feel free to contact us for clarification if needed.

3. MaRS Entrepreneur Toolkit: This webpage offers free resources to support entrepreneurs in launching and growing their businesses. Additionally, you’ll find information about startup accelerators and incubators, which provide valuable support through mentorship, funding, networking, training, and office spaces for startups.

Common Compliance Pitfalls

Businesses often find themselves unintentionally violating compliance requirements. Here’s a summary of some common compliance issues to be mindful of:

Corporate Compliance

To ensure ongoing corporate compliance, it’s crucial to keep your minute book updated by holding annual meetings or passing resolutions in lieu of those meetings. Properly approving dividends or bonuses and notifying the Ministry of Government Services about any changes to directors, officers, or the registered office will help maintain your company’s good standing. The minute book serves as a comprehensive record of your company’s history.


While the thought of taxes might be unpleasant, understanding your tax requirements and applicable taxes for your scenario can alleviate some of the stress. Ensure that you prepare and file your corporate tax return annually and remit payroll deductions or HST as required. Collaborating with an accountant can help you maximize deductions and take advantage of available tax benefits, such as the “small business deduction” for the first $500K of income.

Employee Classification

As your business grows, you may need to hire employees. It’s essential to determine whether an individual should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee, as this distinction carries legal implications. Several factors, including work hours, control over work, exclusivity, and supply of tools, need consideration before making this determination.

Compliance can be overwhelming, and having a knowledgeable team on your side can be beneficial. If you have questions or need assistance with business compliance, feel free to reach out to our team for support.



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