Annual Returns and the New Ontario Business Registry

Annual Returns and the New Ontario Business Registry

By: Kaitlyn Carney

All corporations incorporated, amalgamated or continued in Ontario, including foreign corporations with a license to carry on business in Ontario, are required to file an annual return with the government of Ontario within six months after the end of each tax year (the “Annual Return”).

The requirement to file an Annual Return is in addition to a requirement to file any income tax returns and exists even where a corporation earns no taxable revenue. The Annual Return itself includes the corporation’s legal name, mailing address, taxation year end date, date of incorporation or amalgamation, corporation number, jurisdiction incorporated and information about the directors and officers of the corporation.  Failure to file the Annual Return could result in financial penalties or even dissolution of the entity.

Previously, the Annual Return was filed with the Canada Revenue Agency, as a schedule to the corporation’s income tax return, but as of May 15, 2021, the process has changed and it is no longer possible to file the Annual Return in this manner.  Entities required to file an Annual Return in Ontario will need to file it through the Ontario Business Registry (the “Registry”), unfortunately, the Registry is not yet in place.

The Registry will be launched by the Ontario government sometime later this year, and in addition to providing for the filing of Annual Returns, the Registry will provide an online platform for Ontario businesses to complete various registrations, filings and other important transactions.

Exemption for Filing the Annual Return

Because the Registry has not yet launched, as of May 15th, 2021 Ontario has instituted a temporary filing exemption until the Registry becomes available, to ensure no business will be penalized for failing to file their Annual Return through the interim period.  Once the Registry is launched, however, Ontario businesses will be required to create an online profile on the new Registry and file their Annual Returns.

How to Stay Updated

To receive updates on when the Ontario Business Registry will officially launch, businesses can sign up to receive email notifications and information here:

To register, businesses will need to provide their official email address, along with their Ontario Corporation Number or Business Identification Number.


If you have questions about filing your Annual Return, please contact us and one of our lawyers would be happy to assist you.


This blog post is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation.
Every effort has been made to ensure the contents of the blog post were accurate as of the date it was written, however, the law can change and we cannot guarantee that the information remains accurate.  In addition, because the comments above are of a general nature, they may not apply for every situation.  If you have questions, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your individual circumstances, and whether there have been any changes to the law that would affect the information presented.

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