Corporations and partnerships that want to sell life and accident & sickness insurance in Ontario must apply for a licence, with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA).

About the licence

Designated agent required for a new licence

Before you apply for a new life and accident & sickness licence, you will need to select one person to act as the designated agent for your corporation or partnership. This person would be authorized to conduct your insurance business and act as the main point of contact for all of the agents working on behalf of your business.

  • The designated agent must hold the same type of Ontario licence that your business is applying for. In this case, the designated agent should already hold a life and accident & sickness agent licence.
  • For corporations, the designated agent does not have to be an officer, director or shareholder.
  • For partnerships, at least one of the partners must hold a life and accident & sickness agent licence.

Fee for a new application

The fee to apply for a new life and accident & sickness licence is:

  • $400 for a corporation
  • $200 for a partnership

This fee covers the first two years of your licence.

What are the requirements for a new licence?

Incorporate your business – corporations

If you are applying as a corporation, you will need to first file Articles of Incorporation with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. For details on how to incorporate a business, go to ServiceOntario.

Your application to FSRA will need to include:

  • a copy of the full set of Articles of Incorporation, including the first certificate page
  • a copy of any amendments or amalgamation documents
  • information about your directors and officers

Register your partnership – partnerships

If you are applying as a partnership, you will need to first register as a partnership with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. For details on how to register your partnership, go to ServiceOntario.

Your application to FSRA will need to include either:

  • a copy of the Declaration (Form 3 under Limited Partnerships Act); or
  • a copy of the partnership agreement

You will also need to provide a Master Business Licence with your application. See Register your trade name for more details.

Register your trade name

You must register a trade name with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services if:

  • your business is a corporation and you want to operate under a name that is not your legal name
  • your business is a partnership

You will receive a Master Business Licence as proof of the registration. For details on how to register your trade name, go to ServiceOntario.

When you apply for the life and accident & insurance licence, you will need to include the registered trade name, along with a copy of your Master Business Licence. The Master Business Licence must have an expiry date greater than one month from the date of your licence application.

If you will be using more than one trade name, you will need to register and provide a Master Business Licence for each name.

Get errors and omissions insurance

You are required to have an active errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. The policy must include:

  • at least $1 million limit for a single occurrence
  • extended coverage for loss resulting from fraudulent acts
  • the legal name of your corporation or partnership

You will need to provide the name of the coverage provider and the policy number in the application, and you will need to provide a copy of your E&O certificate. You will also need to maintain this insurance coverage throughout the term of your licence. Your E&O policy must have an expiry date greater than one month from the date of your licence application.

Applying for E&O insurance

There are several E&O insurance providers in Ontario. FSRA cannot endorse or recommend a specific provider. You must do your own research and determine which provider is best for you. Consider contacting an insurer that you have a contract with or an industry association for recommendations.

Keep your E&O insurance active

You will need to have the E&O insurance coverage for as long as you hold your licence, regardless of whether you’re actively selling insurance. FSRA conducts random audits to ensure corporations and partnerships are complying with this regulation.

Checklist for a new licence

Review this checklist to ensure you are ready to apply for a new licence.

Requirements:

  • Confirm the name of your designated agent and ensure they hold a life and accident & sickness agent licence.
  • Ensure you have the appropriate E&O insurance coverage.
  • If you are a corporation, include:
    • a copy of the Articles of Incorporation
    • a copy of any amendments and amalgamation documents
    • proof of your business address
    • a copy of the Principal Representative's government-issued identification
    • information about your directors and officers, including a unique email address for each director or officer
    • a copy of the Master Business Licence (if you have a trade name)
  • If you are a partnership, include:
    • a copy of the Declaration OR your partnership agreement
    • a Master Business Licence
    • proof of your business address
    • a copy of the Principal Representative's government-issued identification
    • information about the other partner, including their email address
  • Have an Ontario mailing address that can receive registered mail (e.g., no postal boxes).

Once you have met all of these requirements, you are ready to begin the application process.

Ready to apply for a new licence?

Who can apply?

You will need to identify a Principal Representative whose role is to own the account on the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies and submit all online applications. The Principal Representative must be a director, officer or partner.

How to apply

There is a two-step process that involves registering your business with FSRA and then applying for the licence. Each step will require approval from FSRA.

1. Register your business on the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies

a. Go to the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies and set up your Principal Representative's account.

b. Log in to the Principal Representative’s account and initiate an application to register your business.

c. You will be required to confirm or submit the following information to register your business:

  • Provide the relevant business information outlined in the checklist.
  • Upload your incorporation or partnership documents.
  • Support your application for a licence by confirming:
    • You are familiar with the laws of Ontario relating to the licensing of corporations or partnerships.
    • You will hold yourself out publicly and operate in good faith in the name in which your business is licensed.
    • You will not engage in any other conduct that would jeopardize the integrity, independence or competence of your business.
    • You are legally entitled to carry on business in Canada, and have made all the required provincial and federal government regulatory filings.
    • You have provided information about bankruptcies, lawsuits, criminal records, decisions from other regulators or licensing bodies or other employment information for your business, including its partners, directors or officers.

d. After completing the registration application, the other directors, officers, or partner will receive an email to set up their own account on the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies.

  • They are required to set up an account and complete an application confirming they are a director, officer, or partnership of the corporation
  • They will need to provide their email address and one form of government-issued identification (passport, driver's licence or birth certificate).

e. FSRA will review your application. Then, send you a message in the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies if your business registration is approved or if you need to provide additional information.

2. Submit your licence application on the Licensing Portal for Insurance Agencies

Once your business registration is approved, you can submit the online application for a new licence. You will be asked to:

  • Select which insurance type you are applying for. In this case, choose life and accident & sickness insurance.
  • Identify your designated agent and provide a copy of their Ontario licence.
  • List the names of all agents who will act on behalf of your business.
  • Submit your E&O insurance information.
  • Pay the fee with credit card (VISA, Mastercard) or select debit cards (RBC, TD, First Nations Bank of Canada, most credit unions).

If your business is looking to sell other types of insurance (e.g., general insurance), you can use the same business account, but you will need to submit an application for each licence type.

What happens after the application is submitted:

A message will be displayed in the Principal Representative's portal account to confirm FSRA has received your application.

For most applications

If the application requires additional review