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Purchase certificates

New owner(s): your liability under the law

Did you know that under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, a person who purchases, leases or acquires all or part of an employer's business is liable to pay any amounts the previous owner owes to the WSIB up to the date of disposal? The WSIB is entitled to collect all amounts owing under the Act from the purchaser of the business as if that person was the employer prior to actually acquiring the business.

What should you do if buying/leasing a business?

A purchaser may be liable for the overdue balance depending upon the value of the assets purchased. Therefore, before buying, leasing or acquiring all or part of a business, a person should contact the WSIB to determine if a purchase certificate should be requested.

Who should obtain a purchase certificate?

A person who is planning to buy or lease a business in Ontario should obtain a purchase certificate. There is no charge for the issuance of a purchase certificate

The WSIB's purchase certificate policy does not apply to share purchases. It also does not apply to trustees in bankruptcy, receivers or liquidators who obtain property in that capacity.

Validity Period

Purchase certificates are valid for a period of 30 days from the date of issue as printed on the certificate.  By issuing this certificate the WSIB waives its right to hold the purchaser liable for any amounts charged to the vendor's account (s) providing the date of disposal falls within the validity period.

It is important to note that the date of issue as printed on the certificate is always set at the current calendar date. The WSIB will not issue a purchase certificate where the date of disposal precedes the date of issue as printed on the certificate.

When will a purchase certificate be issued?

The WSIB will issue a purchase certificate providing the account is in good standing, that is, there are no amounts overdue or any outstanding payroll reporting requirements and the request is received before the date of disposal.

Where the date of disposal does not take place during the validity period of the certificate another certificate may be requested.

How to get a purchase certificate

You can request a purchase certificate by calling your nearest WSIB office. You must provide the company name, date, type of sale, the WSIB account number of the business you are buying or leasing and signed authorization from the vendor.

You should allow three to five days to receive the certificate from the WSIB. If a business is not bought or leased within the 30 day period of the certificate, the person buying/leasing the business should apply for a new certificate.

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in the province’s occupational health and safety system. Funded by employers, the WSIB is one of the top 10 disability insurers in North America. In addition to a strong prevention mandate, the WSIB provides insurance for injuries and illnesses incurred in workplaces covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and supports early and safe return to work for injured workers.

For help with workplace safety call 1-800-663-6639. To register as an employer or report a workplace injury call 1-800-387-0750/416-344-1000

Pour obtenir un exemplaire en français, composez le 1-800-387-0750.

For help in another language call 1-800-387-0750. Telephone device for the deaf – TTY: 1-800-387-0050


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