How to Terminate a Business in Ontario, Canada

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While some business owners may think that shutting down a business is as simple as sending out a postcard to current clients and customers, it takes significantly more work to legally terminate a business. Businesses in Ontario, Canada, need to follow specific procedures before they are considered officially terminated, or “dissolved,” as the law refers to the process.

Make sure you are in compliance with current Ontario tax statutes. If you have an official accountant or bookkeeper for your business, verify that you are up-to-date on your company taxes. If you are not, work to get your paperwork in order before applying to dissolve your business.

Fax a request for “consent to dissolve” to the Ontario Ministry of Revenue, Client Accounts and Services Branch. The official number is: 905 433-5418. Wait for its confirmation.

When you receive the Letter of Consent to Voluntarily Dissolve from the ministry, make several copies and send it to the Ministry of Government Services along with the fee the Ministry of Revenue has advised that you will have to pay. Send a check and make photocopies for your records.

If your business is not originally from Ontario but is Canadian and has other branches elsewhere, you must also turn in an Initial Return/Notice of Change by an Extra Provincial Corporation -- Form 2 to the Ministry of Government Services; you do not have to send the Letter of Consent as listed above. If your company is not Canadian but foreign, you must file the Application for Termination of Extra-Provincial License – Form 4.

Wait for confirmation from the Ministry of Government Services that you have successfully terminated your corporation. This may take anywhere from several weeks to several months.