Corporate Name Search

What is a Corporate Name Search?

A Corporate Name Search enables you to check the availability of the name you desire for your future corporation. You can search names in a specific region of Canada or do a Federal search across the whole country.

Performing a search before you land on a final name is an excellent way to avoid the hassles that come with trying to register a corporate name that isn’t legally available for you to use.

What kind of Corporate Name Searches are available to me?

The two options for Corporate Name Searches are Preliminary and Official searches. The best option for you depends on your needs and location.

Preliminary Search - $9.99

A Preliminary Search is a good option if you’re in the early stages of the naming process. It’s available for every Canadian province and territory except Quebec. You can also conduct a Federal search across the whole country.

This option is cheaper than an Official Search, and it lets you search up to three names in the NUANS database.

However, a Preliminary Search is also less accurate than an Official Search and isn’t suitable if you’re incorporating your business.

Official Search - $49.00

An Official Search through the NUANS database is the next step if you’re no longer researching names and are ready to settle on one.

This option is more accurate than the Preliminary Search and is necessary if you plan to incorporate your business. The search results are valid for 56 days in British Columbia and 90 days in the rest of Canada.

LawDepot’s Official Search is available in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • All of Canada

Do I need to perform a Corporate Name Search before incorporating my business?

Performing a Corporate Name Search before incorporating your business ensures that no other corporation in your region already goes by the same name. Receiving approval to use your chosen name also means no other corporation can use it.

Incorporation turns a business’ structure from a sole proprietorship or partnership into a distinct legal entity separate from its owners or shareholders with the benefit of limited liability.

LawDepot offers a Corporate Name Search bundled with its Incorporation Package. Our service will help you perform a Corporate Name Search and incorporate your business if you’re incorporating in:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • All of Canada (Federal corporations)

If you’re incorporating your company, you must perform your search in the same region the company will be operating. For example, if you will be incorporated in Alberta, you must conduct your name search for Alberta. Only select “All of Canada (Federal)” in the questionnaire if you plan to incorporate federally.

How do I pick a name for my corporation?

There are certain restrictions and mandatory inclusions when picking a name for your corporation. Each province has a Business Corporations Act (or an equivalent) that sets the rules for naming a corporation. The Canadian federal government sets the guidelines for businesses incorporated federally.

A province’s Business Corporations Act has some requirements you must follow. For example, your corporation’s name must:

  • Be distinguishable (from other corporations)
  • Not be misdescriptive
  • Contain a mandatory legal element (e.g., Limited, Ltd., Inc., or Corp)
  • Not contain prohibited terms (e.g., Parliament Hill, RCMP, United Nations)
  • Not contain the word “society”
  • Not cause confusion with any existing corporate names, business names, or trademarks
  • Not imply governmental or institutional sponsorship or control

Typically, your corporation's name must have a distinctive first word(s), descriptive second word(s), and a corporate suffix. The first word(s) may include a person's name, initials, or geographic location.

Words that refer to the quality of goods or services don’t usually qualify as distinctive.

The descriptive second word or phrase describes the type of business or activity the corporation will be doing. For example, accounting services, construction, enterprises, etc.

Related Documents:

  • Certificate of Incumbency: Confirm the identity of the directors, officers, or shareholders of a corporation or verify minute book contents.
  • Corporate Bylaws: Set rules that govern the internal management of a corporation, including corporate meetings, voting requirements, and responsibilities of officers.
  • Corporate Supplies: Includes a custom minute book, corporate seals, or share certificates for your company.
  • Directors' Resolution: Record decisions made or actions taken by a board of directors.
  • Federal Incorporation: Create and file the legal paperwork you require to form a corporation in Canada.
  • CSHMIN: Use this to record decisions taken by a corporation at a meeting of its shareholders.
  • Shareholders' Resolution: Record decisions made or actions taken at a shareholders' meeting.
Create your free Corporate Name Search in 5-10 minutes or less
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