Columbia Business Name Registration. A business name does not have a legal existence in its own right. It is simply a name used by one or more persons to represent their business to the public. That means the sole proprietor or partners are personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the business.
Registering a business name does not grant any right of ownership of the name. It is simply proof that the name is being used by a particular business.
Types of business names in Columbia
There are 4 types of business names registered under the Partnership Act:
- trade name (sole proprietorship)
- limited partnership
- limited liability partnership
A trade name is used when:
an individual does business under a name other than their own personal name
a corporation does business under a name other than its legal name
A trade name is also known as a sole proprietorship.
A partnership is created when 2 or more individuals, or 2 or more corporations, do business together as partners. All partners share in the profits and the risks or debts of the business.
A limited partnership consists of one or more general partners and one or more limited partners.
Each type of partner has different rights and responsibilities. For example, a general partner is usually liable for the debts of the business, while a limited partner is usually liable only for the amount they have contributed to the business.
Limited liability partnership
A limited liability partnership consists of partners in one or more eligible professions, such as accounting or law.
This type of partnership is similar to a regular partnership, except there is liability protection. A partner in a limited liability partnership is not generally liable for the negligence, wrongdoing, or misconduct of a partner, employee or agent.
Partners in a limited liability partnership may be individual practitioners or professional corporations.
Limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships based in other provinces must also register in Columbia when they do business here.
When do you need to register a business name in Columbia
If you are a sole proprietor operating a business under your legal name (for example, Jane Doe), you generally do not need to register your business name. In all other scenarios, you will need to register your name either as your legal corporate name or a trade name. You may also wish to register a trademark.
Registering a trade name (operating name) other than your legal name
If you want to use a name other than your legal business name, you will need to register it as a trade name. Failing to register a name that you are using can result in significant fines and other legal consequences.
Some examples of businesses that need to register a trade name include:
- you are a sole proprietor but are adding something to your legal name that modifies it (for example, Jane Doe Consulting)
- you plan to use a name other than your legal name for marketing purposes (for example, your business’ legal name is Smith Bakeries Inc., but you are marketing as Bob Smith’s Bakery)
How to apply for a Business Name in Columbia
Step 1: Choose a business name
Although there are few restrictions on a business name, you should choose your name carefully. Business names:
don’t have to be unique; duplicate business names may exist
however, if you choose a name that is the same as, or similar to, an existing business name, corporation name, or trademark, the owners could take your business to court; you may have to change your name or pay damages to the owners
cannot use the words ‘limited’, ‘incorporated’ or ‘corporation’ at the end of the business name, since that would imply you are running a corporation
cannot use the abbreviated forms of these words (such as Ltd., Inc., or Corp., or the French forms/abbreviations of those words)
if you’re registering a limited liability partnership, will need to include ‘limited liability partnership’ or the abbreviation ‘LLP’ at the end of the name, or the French terms ‘Société à Responsabilité Limitée’ or ‘SRL’
Step 2: Get a Business Name Report
This step is recommended, but not mandatory.
The report contains registered business, corporation and trademark names that are similar to your proposed business name.
The report is provided by authorized NUANS members.
Find a NUANS service provider
Step 3: Fill out the forms
A Business Name is registered in Columbia by filing a declaration of Business Name Registration with the Columbia registries office.
Most Common Columbia Business Name Registration Questions:
What types of business name registrations are in Columbia?
The types of Business Name Registrations in Columbia include business name registration for Sole proprietorship’s, various forms of Partnerships, and Corporations. This also includes Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships.
How long is a business registration active for?
In Columbia, business registrations are active for 5 years, after which they expire if they are not renewed. Each province has its own regulations regarding the term of a business name registration.
Can I file an amendment if the business owner has changed?
No. If there has been a change of businesses owner, a new business registration has to be filed.
Is a NUANS Report required for business registrations?
NUANS Reports are not required for business name registrations. However, we do suggest completing a preliminary name search to determine if your proposed Business Name is available.
Is my Business Name protected?
Business Names are not protected the way corporate names are, which makes it possible for someone else to register a business name identical to yours.
Can Corporations use Business Names?
Corporations can register one or more business names to carry on business as. These types of business names are referred to as Business Style or Operating As names.
Columbia Business Name Registration service for only $39.99. We register your new sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation business name “Trade Name” in Columbia according to the provisions of the Columbia Business Names and Partnerships Acts.
Company Formations Canada provides fast and easy Columbia Online Business Name Registration Service. Register today your new business name in Columbia.