Steps to Incorporating:
- Jurisdiction of Incorporation
- Corporate Name Creation
- NUANS Name Search
- Domain Name Creation
- Obtain a Domain Name
- Complete Articles
- File Articles
- Seals and Minute Books
- Name Protection
- Corporate Marketing
- Deductions and Taxes
There are Tradeoffs between Federal and Provincial Incorporation in Canada
The tradeoffs between these include:
1) Ease of getting a name
Regulations in the Federal and most Provincial jurisdictions in Canada require that a corporate name not be confusing with an existing trade name or trade mark anywhere in Canada. However, the application of this regulation is quite different in each jurisdiction.
For example, Ontario is unlikely to refuse a proposed name unless it is virtually identical with an existing name. The government places the onus on the incorporator to determine confusion. In contrast, the Federal government makes the determination of confusion for the incorporator. This results in the rejection of many corporate names that Ontario would allow.
2) Degree of Protection Provided
Although a NUANS name search for incorporating an Ontario company contains Corporate Names across Canada, other provinces generally do not search Ontario Trade names. This means that if you incorporate ABC Enterprises Ltd. in Ontario, someone else could incorporate ABC Enterprises Ltd. in Alberta at a later date.
In contrast, most provinces search the names on Federal corporations, thus providing a greater degree of protection for your corporate name. However, provincial regulations will determine the degree of similarity permitted. Additional protection may be obtained by registering a trademark.
The government filing fee is:
- New Brunswick – $260
- Ontario – $360
- Federal – $250
NUANS Name Search for Ontario and Federal Canadian Incorporations
Order a NUANS name search:
Government regulations for both Ontario and Federal Canadian corporations require that your proposed name not be confusing with a Trade Mark, corporate name or name of a proprietorship anywhere in Canada. There are three major steps to determining conformance to this criterion.
1) The NUANS Corporate Name Search
The first step in determining the availability of your proposed corporate name for an Ontario or a Canadian Federal corporation is to have a NUANS name search done.
The NUANS database is a centralized database which belongs to the Federal government and contains Trade names and Trademarks across Canada. A NUANS name report provided from this database must be attached to your Canadian Federal or Ontario Articles of Incorporation, unless you are incorporating a numbered company. Although not mandatory, it is beneficial to do a NUANS search before registering a sole proprietorship.
NUANS name searches are performed by the Federal government. Our role is to discuss your proposed name with you, submit the name to be searched according to specific parameters and then retrieve and discuss the results with you. A typical search parameter specifies whether the search will be for a Canadian Federal or Provincial incorporation. This must be done, since one government will not accept a search which is biased toward the other government.
The NUANS printout for Canadian Federal and most Provincial incorporation provides 3 pages of Trade Names and two pages of Trademarks which are similar to the proposed corporate name. For example, if our name, CECOR, were submitted, the search would contain businesses which contained the word Cekor, Secor, Sekor or C-core. It would also identify the jurisdiction under which the business or organization exists, the date at which the incorporation, amendment or other activity occurred, and possibly the city in which it is located.
Similar information is provided for Trademarks which are similar to the proposed corporate name.
2) Apply Availability Criteria
The are several criteria which determine if your proposed name conforms to government regulations, and thus, is available for your corporation. Although there are several restrictions on the type of name permitted, e.g., the name must not suggest government sponsorship or violate specific Acts, the main reason for lack of availability is confusion with an existing Trade Name or trademark anywhere in Canada.
The availability of a name for a Federal corporation normally requires providing specific information to the government to supplement that contained on your NUANS report. This additional information is often instrumental in making your proposed name available for your corporation. In order to facilitate the incorporation process, it is frequently worthwhile to obtain pre-approval of your proposed name from the federal government. You can apply for pre-approval on your own using Industry Canada’s Name Policy Guidelines, or ask us to apply for pre-approval for you.
See our Frequently Asked Questions about what do if your initial proposed name is not available, and on tips for increasing the probability of your proposed name being available.
3) Recycle if necessary
There will be occasions when, as a result of your first NUANS search, the name you initially proposed is not available. In this case we will continue to work with you by helping you use your original NUANS printout to modify your name so that it will meet the availability criteria.