Business Name Registration: General Requirements for a Corporate Name

When applying to incorporate a company, the proposed corporate name should include a distinctive term, descriptive term and corporate identifier. If a proposed name does not include all three of these elements, it may be rejected, causing delay in the incorporation process.

  • Distinctive Element: This element distinguishes your business from others. The best distinctive elements are unique or coined words.
  • Descriptive Element: This element explains the type of business you will operate. For example, ‘plumbing service’ would be a descriptive term.
  • Legal Ending: Every corporate name must include one of the following abbreviations or words at the end of the name: Ltee or Limitee; Corp or Corporation; Inc. or Incorporated; Ltd. or Limited.

If your proposed name is confusingly similar to another business name or trade-mark, or if your proposed name uses the same distinctive term as another business, it may not be a good idea to register it, even if the descriptive term is different. For instance, if John’s Delivery Service Ltd. is already incorporated, then the name John’s Courier Service Ltd. would not be recommended for business name registration due to the likelihood of confusion.

At New Business Now.com in Ontario, we have more than 15 years of experience in providing cost-effective, professional business and incorporation services, including business name registration, throughout Canada. Our skilled team is standing by to help you!

Articles on this blog are general in nature and are provided for informational purposes only. Use of this blog does not provide or replace individualized legal advice and does not create a solicitor-client relationship with our firm. Users who require legal advice on a particular matter should consult directly with Mr. Eric Cohen, Barrister & Solicitor, an Ontario lawyer or a competent lawyer in their Province or State.


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