Register a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership with CPA Ontario

If you are interested in registering a sole proprietorship or general partnership, follow the steps below.

A general partnership is a different firm structure from a limited liability partnership. Find out more information on registering a limited liability partnership.

Sole proprietorship/partnership registration steps

Request a pre-approved firm name

The Registrar can approve or reject a firm name. It is best practice to obtain pre-approval before you move forward with other registration steps.

You may request a pre-approval by logging in to My Portal, selecting Obligations and Requests ► Applications ► Start New Application ► Firm Name Pre-Approval Application. The request must include all relevant facts such as:

  • proposed name
  • nature of the services being provided
  • practice structure
  • number of members, students and non-members involved with the practice
  • names of the member(s) involved in the practice

Responses will be sent by email. The pre-approval is valid for 180 days, but this does not mean your firm name is reserved. For guidance on firm names, you can refer to the CPA Code of Professional Conduct Rules 401/402, Regulation 10-1, our page on disclosure requirements and the Ontario Business Names Act.

Obtain professional liability insurance

When registering a firm, you must provide satisfactory proof of professional liability insurance before you can complete your firm registration and begin to practice public accounting or provide accounting services to the public. Read more about obtaining Professional Liability Insurance.

Register with CPA Ontario

Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, you can register your firm with CPA Ontario by logging in to My Portal, selecting Obligations and Requests ► Applications ► Start New Application ► Firm Registration Application. My Portal is where the Firm Representative can remit any firm-related due or fees.

Applications are usually processed within four to six weeks from the date CPA Ontario receives all required information.

Do you also require a public accounting licence (PAL)?

You will require a PAL from CPA Ontario if you practice public accounting and are the lead engagement person responsible for signing reports or statements issued or primarily produced in Ontario. Find out more on requirements and how to apply.