A Master Business Licence, often known as MBL, is a business name registration statement provided by Service Ontario. Individuals who wish to register a small business in Ontario can apply easily online and can receive the final documents in email in 2 business hours. An MBL is an overall business set up allowing for 3 specific situations:

Sole Proprietorship

Owned by 1 individual
Agency fees $49 + govt. fees
Rush queue (2 hours) available
New registration or renewal
Option to add CRA accounts, WSIB

General Partnership

Owned by 2 or more individuals
Agency fees $49 + govt. fees
Rush queue (2 hours) available
Option to add partnership agreement
Option to add CRA accounts, WSIB

Trade Name/DBA/Operating Name

Owned by an existing corporation
Agency fees $49 + govt. fees
Used for 'doing business as name'
Rush queue (2 hours) available
New Registration or Renewal

Liability Protection for an MBL:

When an MBL is owned by an individual (sole proprietorship) or two or more individuals (general partnership), it does not provide liability protection. However, if the MBL is owned by a corporation (Trade Name/DBA/Operating Name) then it provides liability protection through the corporation. If you want to register a business that has features of limited liability protection, you must incorporate it.

MBL provides the following:

  1. Registration is valid for a 5 year period
  2. The ability to operate a business name within Ontario
  3. To open a Bank account, tax accounts, obtain cheques, business cards
  4. Advertise and promote the business name


The Master Business Licence does not provide the following:

  1. Name protection against other business names in Ontario
  2. Corporate tax benefits
  3. Continual registration
  4. Flexibility to make changes to the registration