Businesses operating in Ontario should ensure that they are aware of, and comply with, the following:
- effective 19 October 2021, Ontario corporations and non-Canadian extra-provincial corporations must register and file their annual returns using the Ontario Business Registry
- beginning 1 January 2023, privately held Ontario corporations will be required to create and maintain a register of individuals who hold significant control
- retroactive to 25 October 2021, non-competition provisions in Ontario employment agreements are prohibited and void (exceptions apply).
In October 2021, Ontario launched the Ontario Business Registry (OBR), which replaced the previous registry system that had existed for almost 30 years. Corporations must file their Corporations Information Act Annual Return (CIA) directly online using the OBR or through an authorized third-party service provider. To access the OBR, a corporation must have a company key (a unique identification number). Pre-existing corporations in Ontario must request a company key through the OBR, which will be mailed to their registered address.
Starting 1 January 2023, privately held Ontario corporations will be required to create and maintain a register of individuals with “significant control” over these corporations. This new recordkeeping requirement has already been adopted by many other Canadian jurisdictions and is meant to address concerns over Canada’s vulnerability to financial crimes and tax evasion.