All about business names

Types of Business Names

There is a great deal of confusion about the different types of business names. Make sure you know the differences, and what type of name(s) you are interested in.

Business Name: The name under which the business is carried on, whether the business is incorporated or unincorporated. If it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership in Ontario, the name of the business must be registered, and that usually becomes the business name, i.e., the name under which the business is carried on.

Trademark: A distinctive mark (for example a word, phrase, symbol or design, or some combination thereof) that is affixed to or accompanies an article or service which is intended for  sale.  Its purpose is to indicate that it is manufactured, selected or sold by a particular person or firm.

Domain Name: This is your “address” on the Internet.

Trade Name: The name that is used in trade to designate and/or describe a particular business. It is the name under which you carry on your business. It may or may not be the corporate name, depending on whether the business is carried out under the corporate name or under another name. If it is a registered partnership or sole proprietorship, then it is the name on the registration. It is generally not a trademark, unless it meets the technical requirements of a trademark.