Below you will find more information and relevant examples covered by our Voluntary Registration policy (14-02-15).
This is not a policy. If there is a conflict between this document and the policy, the decision maker will rely on the policy. For complete information, see our Voluntary Registration policy.
Who are non-compliant businesses with respect to registration?
Non-compliant businesses are businesses who have not registered with the WSIB but are required to do so, as set out in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 and in WSIB Policy Registration (14-02-02).
What is voluntary registration?
Voluntary registration occurs when a non-compliant business voluntarily comes forward to the WSIB and registers before the WSIB discovers that they should be registered.
If a business comes forward and contacts the WSIB to voluntarily disclose that they did not register when they were required to, the WSIB may refrain from investigating and/or laying provincial offences charges and applying interest related to premiums they owe from the effective date of registration.
In order to register, the business must provide accurate and complete information and documentation required by the WSIB. For details on what is required and how to register, see information you need to register your business.
Businesses who qualify for voluntary registration
Voluntary registration only applies to businesses registering for the first time.
Businesses who do not qualify for voluntary registration
Voluntary registration does not apply to a business who is registering and:
- already has an account with the WSIB, or
- had a WSIB account in the past and is requesting to reactivate the account
Voluntary registration does not apply to non-compliant businesses if they are identified by the WSIB before they voluntarily disclose they are registering with the WSIB. The WSIB may identify non-compliant businesses through:
- WSIB proactive registration activities
- information exchange agreements between the WSIB and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
- WSIB Stakeholder Compliance Services referrals
- WSIB Audit notifications and discoveries
- anonymous telephone calls to WSIB Classification Reviews
- Claims submitted to the WSIB where the business is not registered, etc.
- Any other means of identification
Voluntary registration does not apply to businesses who provide inaccurate or incomplete information. If the WSIB determines that inaccurate or incomplete information was provided, the WSIB will register the business under the terms of Registration policy (14-02-02), and any other relevant WSIB policies.
Effective date of voluntary registration
The effective date of registration for a qualified business who comes forward under this policy is the later of:
- the date the business hired their first employee or the date an individual came under expanded compulsory coverage in construction as outlined in the Expanded Compulsory Coverage in Construction policy (12-01-06),
- 12 months prior to the month of voluntary disclosure
To ensure that businesses who voluntarily register are meeting their WSIB obligations, WSIB decision-makers may request to review any documentation as necessary, including:
- ownership documentation (e.g., corporate minute book, Business or partnership registration)
- payroll records, such as T4s, T4As, T5s, statement of investment income and payroll journal(s)
- T5018, statement of contract payments
- clearance certificates obtained for all retained contractors
- prepared financial statements, including statement of business activities or profit and loss statement
- contractors’ invoices/contracts, etc.
- cheque registers or cash disbursement journals
Example 1: Voluntary registration applies for a non-construction business
Penelope’s Pizzeria Inc. registers with the WSIB on August 1, 2020 using the WSIB online services. The owner voluntarily discloses that the company first hired an employee on February 19, 2018. The date of registration is made effective August 13, 2019 as a result. The 12 month retroactive registration date does apply because the date of first hire is before August 1, 2019.
Example 2: Non-construction business date first hired
Card Company Inc. registers with the WSIB on March 5, 2020 using the WSIB online services. The company representative voluntarily discloses that the company first hired an employee on January 13, 2020 and the date of registration is made effective January 13, 2020 as a result. The 12-month retroactive registration date does not apply because the date of first hire is later than March 5, 2019.
Example 3: Business with multiple WSIB accounts registering a new account (same legal entity)
O’Hara Manufacturing Inc. has three WSIB accounts, one for each of their separate plant locations. They contact the WSIB to register a new account for their new plant location. O’Hara Manufacturing Inc. hired their first employee for the new plant six months ago and would like to register under the Voluntary Registration program. Their request for voluntary registration is denied because they are already registered with the WSIB but they must still register the new account.
Example 4: Date business first hired an employee if performing construction work that is considered exempt home renovation work
Mindy, the sole proprietor of Mindy’s Tiling Company, phones the WSIB on May 15, 2021 to register with the WSIB. Mindy performs exempt home renovation work, but voluntarily disclosed that she hired an employee on October 9, 2019. The date of registration is made effective October 9, 2019 because the business first hired an employee on that date. The 12-month retroactive registration date does not apply because the date of first hire is later than May 15, 2020.
Example 5: Date business started performing construction work (non-exempt home renovation work)
José’s Concrete Corporation’s written request to voluntarily disclose that they have to register with the WSIB was received by the WSIB on March 1, 2021. They began performing commercial construction work on September 28, 2020. The date of registration is made effective September 28, 2020 because the firm started performing construction work (non-exempt home renovation work) on that date. The 12-month retroactive registration date does not apply because the date the firm started performing compulsorily covered construction work is later than March 1, 2020.