Deciding how you want to name your corporation

A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. Corporations enjoy most of the rights and responsibilities that an individual possesses; that is, a corporation has the right to enter into contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets and pay taxes. It is often referred to as a “legal person.”

Before you begin the process of incorporation, you need to name your corporation.

Every corporation must have a name; this is known as a corporate name. The name must be distinctive and it must not be misleading or likely to be confused with names used by other organizations and businesses. In general, a corporate name is distinctive if it does not make those who encounter it think of another organization or business. Corporations Canada applies very rigorous standards when granting names.

If you want a numbered name (this is still considered a corporate name) for your company, proceed to step 2. The process for obtaining a numbered name for your company is part of the process of completing the articles of incorporation. If you want to choose a corporate name, you first need to conduct a Nuans name search or provincial name search. Note that a name search report for the proposed name must not be more than 90 days old.

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