Choosing a Name

When you apply to incorporate a company under the Canada Business Corporations Act, you may choose to use a word name or have a numbered name assigned to you. Although incorporating under a word name involves additional effort and expense, it may be worth your while. An approved federal corporate name offers an extra degree of protection of your rights to that name. Specifically, federal incorporation allows your business to operate using its corporate name right across Canada, which is important if you decide to expand your business to other provinces or territories.

The steps required to secure a word name as a corporate name include:

  1. Reading material found below to familiarize yourself with the policies and the process.
  2. Corporations Canada requires a "Canada-biased NUANS Name Search Report " before it considers the corporate name you have selected. These reports can be obtained either with NUANS Real-Time System (RTS) or NUANS Registered Members. Please note that the Province of Quebec does not currently provide data to NUANS. For your own protection if you are doing, or intend to do business in the Province of Quebec, you should search the Quebec corporations database at Registraire des entreprises du Quebec.
  3. Your proposed name must be determined by the Director to meet the requirements of the CBCA name regulations and policies. In order to submit your proposed name along with your application for incorporation or you may ask for a pre-approval of your proposed name. If you choose to submit your name along with your complete application, please be aware that if Corporations Canada rejects your proposed name, the entire application will be refused. A pre-approved name can prevent this situation from happening. There is no fee for this service. Send your application through the Corporations Canada Online Filing Centre.
  4. During the incorporation process, you will be asked to attach your NUANS report. You may also choose to submit a "Corporate Name Information Form" which provides Corporations Canada with additional information about the name of your corporation. This information will often make it easier for the Director to approve your proposed corporate name.
  5. How to protect your corporate name?

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