All about business names

Corporation Names

What is a Corporation Name?

It is the name of this new virtual legal entity called a corporation.

What is a Corporation Number?

That’s the number you’ll find on your Articles of Incorporation.  Amongst other things, it is NOT your HST or tax registration number.

Corporation Name Searches

No matter where you are incorporated, you will need to do an official NUANS name search first.  The only exception is for numbered corporations.

Corporation Name Review

The different jurisdictions have different levels of review for corporate names. In some places, such as Ontario, no human being ever reviews your name. As long as it’s not an exact match for another name on the corporate name database, the computer doesn’t mind.  Almost anything can be registered.

For other jurisdictions, such as a federal incorporation, an Examiner will review both the name search and your proposed name. If the Examiner thinks it’s confusing, they will refuse registration under your proposed corporate name.

Incorporation Does Not Protect Your Name

The government’s  ‘approval’ of the name for incorporation does not mean that you necessarily have the rights to use that name!  In fact, with your incorporation, there will always come a disclaimer saying that it’s up to you to figure out if you can use the name, not the government.  See more on this.