What you need to know when registering a business name:
Finding and registering a business name is one of the most important steps you will take when starting your own business. Usually, it’s the first step you take. Under Manitoba law, you must register your business name with the Companies Office, which is a public registry of all businesses operating in the province. Registering a business name is only one step in starting your business, so you may have questions about other procedures and requirements. This page gives answers to some common questions people ask when they have decided to register their business name, rather than incorporate. However, the page is not intended to convey legal advice, and you may find it useful to consult a lawyer.
Do I have to register my business name?
Yes, this is necessary if you: carry on business under a name other than your own (example: ABC Plumbing) have a partner use your surname in the name of the business, but the name indicates more than one person is involved. (example: Smith & Associates Plumbing
Should I register a business name or should I incorporate?
That decision is yours to make. You may want to talk to your lawyer about the advantages or disadvantages of incorporating your business.
How do I register my business name in Manitoba?
There are two steps to registering:
Reserving the name:
To find out if the name you have chosen is available, you must file a Request for Name Reservation with the Companies Office. The fee is $45. If approved, the name will be reserved for 90 days. If it is rejected, you must choose a new name, file again and pay another $45.
Registering the name:
File the registration forms before your reservation expires. The fee is $60. Please write separate cheques if you are filing your Request for Business Name Reservation and the registration forms together.
Once my business name is registered, am I registered across Canada?
No. Your business name is registered only in Manitoba. If you are interested in doing business in other provinces, contact our office for the addresses and phone numbers of the Companies Offices in those provinces.
Once my business name is registered, how often must I renew the registration?
Your business name must be renewed every three years, or it will expire.
What do I do if there is a change of address?
You file a Change of Address Form with the Companies Office if:
the business moves
the owner(s) move(s)
the mailing address changes
Should I wait until my business name is registered before ordering business cards and stationery?
Yes. If for some reason, your business name cannot be registered, the money you spent on stationery has been wasted.