Canada Business Name Search
Before searching the Canada Business Name Database, you can save time by making sure your business name is unique and distinguishable from other existing business entities within the Canada business name database. We suggest coming with a few name ideas in-mind incase any are unavailable, you can also download the full Canada entity name guidelines here (click here to download)
Generate Business Name Ideas
Search business name availability
Searching for existing business names is the first step towards determining whether your title idea is the right one. Luckily, online entity search options are enabled via the Government of Canada corporate database.
To complete the process, you have to go to the Government of Canada online portal and order a Nuans report. The Nuans report is valid for a period of 90 days and it contains information for all registered titles and trademarks across Canada, except for those in Quebec.
When you enter a title, you will get a free list of all the companies in the register that match your search criteria.
A more detailed report that’s valid for a period of 90 days will cost you 25 dollars.
For Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador, you will have to order a local report (provinces are not included in the national database). There are respective provincial databases but the name search will once again come at a specific fee (from 60 to 80 Canadian dollars, depending on the location).
Frequently Asked Questions
To register your business name, you will need to visit the Government of Canada website. An online form is available there and you’ll also get information about the required documentation.
– You can operate under your legal name or you can register an alternative trade name for your business.
– You can incorporate either federally or in the province of your preference.
– A list of the province online registration forms is available here. Keep in mind that Alberta does not offer an online business name registration form and you will have to complete the process in person.
To register your business name, you’ll have to complete the following steps:
– Determine what type of business entity you’re going to use. Sole proprietorships do not need a separate business name registration, unless you’re not going to be working under your own name (in which case, you’ll need to do a trade name registration).
– You will need to complete the business incorporation process before you can register a name.
– There is an online filing fee of 200 Canadian dollars for commercial entities and non-profit organizations. Doing an in-person filing is more expensive (250 Canadian dollars).
– To complete all of these processes online, you will need to create an account in the online filing center.
Your application and your business name choice will be reviewed before the registration occurs. If you’re missing documents, the application will be labelled incomplete and you’ll be asked to provide the missing forms. A name that’s too similar to a registered one could lead to the rejection of your application.
As per Canadian law, your business name cannot be the same or very similar to a corporate title that’s already on record.
A business name that isn’t distinguishable from registered entries will lead to the rejection of your application request.
It’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to register an English or a French version of the name. If one of the language options is taken, you’re free to go for the other one. Such a name will be considered distinctive enough to pass the registration process. Combined English and French versions are also possible.
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to check trademarks. Even if a title isn’t taken, a trademarked phrase could contribute to legal problems down the line.
Don’t hesitate to explore alternatives and come up with unique new phrases if the title you want is already taken by someone else.
If you’re still unable to find a business name that suits you, try using our business name generator to get unique name ideas (click here to find our business name generator).
Registering your business Domain/website
Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to check if the domain name is available for your business. The last thing you want is to register your business name and find out another competitor or company already has a website with your name! Use our domain check below to instantly check availability.
Enter your business name to check domain availability