When choosing your business name, remember that certain words or expressions cannot be used.
Words or expressions, in any language, that are obscene or objectionable in nature.
Words that imply the business is a different type of organization. For example, you may not imply that a sole proprietorship is a partnership. You may not use numbers or words that imply the business name is a corporate number name. Also the registered name of a business carried on for profit should not contain words that imply it is a not-for-profit organization. (e.g. “The Ontario Society of Social Workers”).
The words “college,” “institute,” or “university” cannot be used, if it would suggest the registrant is a post-secondary educational institution, without the written consent of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. To obtain consent in writing from this ministry, please contact:
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
Private Institutions Branch
General Inquiry: 416-212-6586 or 416-325-1816
Advise the ministry that you are registering under the Business Names Act.
You may not use the words “Limited”, “Limitée”, “Incorporated”, “Incorporée”, “Corporation”, or the corresponding abbreviations “Ltd.”, “Ltée”, “Inc.” or “Corp.”, unless the word “limited” is used in the name of a limited liability partnership, extra-provincial limited liability company or in the name of a limited partnership formed under the Limited Partnerships Act.
You may not use the words “Limited Liability Partnership” or the abbreviation “LLP” in the business name unless you are registering an Ontario limited liability partnership or an extra-provincial limited liability partnership.
You may not use the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” in the business name unless you are registering an extra-provincial limited liability company.
Words that are prohibited under federal or Ontario laws or words that are restricted unless the restriction is satisfied.
Words that imply the business is connected with the Crown, the Government of Canada, of a province or of a territory, a municipality, or an agency of the Crown, government or municipality, without written consent of the appropriate authority.
Names of individuals may not be used unless they have or had a material interest in the business activity and have given their written permission. If the individual is deceased and his or her name is used within 30 years of the date of death, the written consent of the estate or the estate trustee (i.e. the executor or administrator) must be obtained.
It’s your responsibility to make sure your business name does not contain any of the above words or expressions unless proper consent has been obtained. If you register a name that is contrary to the Act or regulations, the name is subject to cancellation at any time.
Business names must be registered in the Roman alphabet (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, etc.) and may contain numerals. Business names composed of characters from other alphabets must be translated and registered in a language using the Roman alphabet. A business name in a language other than one using the Roman alphabet may be used in advertising and signs, but the business name must also be displayed in a language using the Roman alphabet. For example, a business that registers its name in English may have letterhead or signs in Chinese characters as long as the English name is also displayed at the place of business.
The following marks may also be included in the name, but may not be used as the first character:
@ ! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – . / : ; > = < ? [ ] \ ^ ` ´ .
Company Formations simplifies to the maximum the task of registering a new sole proprietorship business name in Ontario, by offering an easy online sole proprietorship registration service. Register today your new business name in Ontario.