Who Needs to Register

In general, firms must register with the OSC if they conduct any of the following activities in Ontario:

  • are in the business of trading in, or advising on, securities. This is referred to as the “business trigger” for registration.
  • act as an underwriter or as an investment fund manager
  • conduct trading activities involving commodity futures contracts or commodity futures options.

Individuals must register if they:

  • trade, advise or underwrite on behalf of a registered dealer or adviser, or
  • act as the ultimate designated person or chief compliance officer of a registered firm.

Registration categories are based on the type of activity a firm or individual is permitted to carry out. For more information, see Registration Categories.


Exemptions from the requirement to register are available to firms and individuals in certain circumstances. For more information, see Part 8 of National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations.

Firms and individuals may apply to the OSC for discretionary relief if they are unable to comply with a specific requirement in securities law. For more information, see Asking for Relief.

If you are unsure about whether you need to register or an exemption applies, you should seek professional advice. As a regulatory agency, the OSC cannot provide legal or other professional advice.

For more information: