All about business names

NUANS Overview

What Is NUANS?

NUANS (Newly Updated Automated Name Search) is a sophisticated search engine for checking whether the name you’ve chosen for your company name or trademark is already registered somewhere in Canada. The NUANS system uses the Industry Canada database of nearly 10 million trademarks, corporation names and business names from most of the provinces and territories. (Note: Quebec does not provide any company information to NUANS. You have search the Quebec government website, where you can do a free search.)

An official NUANS name search report is required for federal and most provincial and territorial incorporations.  The NUANS system has a special trademark search. You don’t have to submit this report with your trademark application, but you should do a trademark search before applying.

What Does the NUANS Search Do?

  • Name Searching: The exact characters that you specify will be searched, as well as common variants.  Built-in subroutines and algorithms within the NUANS program determine these variants, which should be considered with respect to confusion
  • Automated Proposed Name Reservation (For Incorporation): The NUANS system automatically reserves your proposed name for incorporation.  It’s added to the database of proposed names. The system assigns a number to each proposed name. This effectively reserves the name for you. This name reservation is good for 90 days. If you don’t incorporate within that time, you have to do a new search and get a new reservation.
    (N.B. There’s no name reservation for trademark searches. They’re for information only.   You can’t ‘reserve’ a trademark.
  • Ranking: The results are prioritized, listing first those records that are most likely to qualify as “confusing.”