On Oct. 19, 2021, the provincial government launched the new Ontario Business Registry, an online platform. The consequence of this development to incorporated physicians using their home address as their registered office is that this address is now more accessible through this online government registry. However, it should be noted that the field name itself is “Registered or Head Office Address”, not “Home address”.
As you consider how best to proceed, there are two options to consider. One option is to change the address of your professional corporation if it is your home address, the steps of which are outlined below:
- Have a resolution prepared and signed to change the registered address consistent with your corporation’s bylaws.
- Complete an “Initial Return or Notice of Change form” (Form 1) and submit by mail, third party service, or via the new registry. (If using any of the registry services, you will need to request a “company key” from the Ontario government).
- Once a company key has been obtained, create a “one key” account to gain access to the registry, then login to update your registered address.
- Update your professional corporation’s address with the Professional Organization of which you are a member.
- Consult with your professional advisors to determine the necessity of changing this address with other parties (eg. corporation’s bank, Canada Revenue Agency).
Please note the new address may not include a PO Box.
A second option to consider is not changing your corporation’s registered office. As noted by the OMA in its Member Alert yesterday, this information has always been publicly available. However, prior to the introduction of this online registry, this information was available by written request through the mail and/or through private firms such as ESC. To confirm the exposure of your home address, you could perform a Google search of your professional corporation (recognizing that search results could change from day to day). This may serve as useful context as you decide whether to change the registered office of your corporation or not.