How to construct a name

All names must contain a distinctive element, followed by a descriptive element.  Corporate names must end with a corporate designation, such as Ltd. or Inc.

Distinctive element

The distinctive element serves to differentiate names having identical or similar descriptive elements, and for that reason, is the most important element to be examined in the name.

Names such as "Tire Shop Ltd." and "Shoe Store Ltd." lack an appropriate distinctive element and would be rejected for that reason.

They would be acceptable if prefixed with a distinctive element (e.g. ordinary word, coined word, geographical location or personal name) that would distinguish them from all the other tire shops and shoe stores.

E.g. Downtown Kelowna Tire Shop Ltd. or Sandell's Shoe Store Ltd.

Coined and made-up words are acceptable distinctive elements, provided they do not conflict with others already registered.

E.g. Intertex Enterprises Ltd. or Fabuform Diet Centre Ltd.

A uniquely coined word, used in addition to a geographical location (e.g. Altrex Canada Ltd.), is normally considered sufficiently distinctive by itself that a descriptive element is not usually required.


Descriptive element

The descriptive element is useful in describing the nature of the business as well as expanding the options available.  It allows for use of identical or similar distinctive elements, which might be desirable in developing a particular presence in the marketplace.

E.g. Ever-ready Brake Shop Ltd. or Better Value Stationery Ltd.


Corporate designation

Incorporated companies must have as the last word in the name, the corporate designation, "Limited", "Limitee", "Incorporated", "Incorporee" or "corporation".  For all purposes using the abbreviations of these words (e.g. "Ltd.", "Ltee.", "Inc." or "Corp.") is acceptable.

Extraprovincial companies may have "Limited Liability Company" or "LLC" as the last word in their name.

The corporate designation is not applicable to a business name, society or cooperative name.

Business names for partnerships and proprietorships cannot use "Ltd.", "Inc." or "Corp." at the end of their names, but they may use "Company" or "Co.".

Business  names for limited partnerships must use "Limited Partnership" at the end of the name.

Business names for limited liability partnerships must use "Limited Liability Partnership" or "LLP," at the end of the name.

Societies should have the designation "Society" or "Association" as the last word in their name.  Companies are precluded from the use of these words in their names.

Cooperatives must use the word "Cooperative" or "Co-operative" or "Coop" or "Co-op" within the name.

Unlimited Liability Companies must have "Unlimited Liability Company" or the abbreviation "ULC" at the end of its name.


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