All about business names

Choosing a Good Corporate Name

Number Name

Incorporation is permitted under a number, but the government gets to choose the number. You’ll just get the next number, whenever your application is processed.with the number being determined by the Ministry. The corporate name will be something like 5569216 Ontario Inc.. You do get to choose your corporate ending though.

Corporate Name Elements

Generally, a corporate name consists of three elements:

  • a distinctive element which helps to distinguish the corporate name from that of other businesses. Two good examples are a surname and a made-up word.
  • a descriptive element which describes the nature of the business, such as Consulting, Gardening, or Trucking
  • a mandatory legal element, such as Incorporated, Inc., Limited, Ltd. etc,

Confusing Corporate Names

In order to prevent market place confusion, the federal and provincial/territorial governments all regulate corporate names, but the degree to which they do so varies widely. The strictest standards are used by the federal government.
For an Ontario incorporation, the proposed name must not be the same as or similar to that of any known entity, if the use of that name would be likely to deceive the public. The onus for determining this rests with the applicant and not the government. The government is not saying that you have the legal right to use the corporate name.