NAME REQUESTS ONLINE HELP - added by cjc
Who should use this service?
You must submit a name approval request if you intend to incorporate, register a business, or register an extraprovincial company.
A name approval is not required for an incorporated limited company that wants to use its incorporation number as its company name.
Why do I need approval for my name?
You cannot register a business or incorporate a company unless you have the name approved first.
The approval of a name in British Columbia is intended solely to protect the public interest by:
preventing names of corporate entities (only) from being so similar that they are likely to confuse or mislead the public; and
providing a record which allows the public to determine which individuals are associated with a corporation or business name. Also, a business name is prohibited from being the same or similar to a corporate name.
How much does it cost?
There is a $30 + ($1.50 service fee + tax) charge for each name request that is searched in BC. This fee is applicable whether you submit 1, 2, or 3 choices. The fee is not refundable once your request is processed. However, if you cancel your request before it is processed, a refund may apply.
Does the approval of my name mean no one else can use it?
Therefore, there are many duplications among business names and it is possible for a corporation or business name to be registered under the same name as another business name. However, a business name or a corporate name will not be accepted if it can be confused with an existing corporate name.
A business name is not protected against future use by another business name or incorporated entity. This is why some individuals choose to incorporate a company rather than just register a business name.
Also, registering a business name does NOT mean that the business name will be available as a corporate name if you decide to incorporate a company using this name later.
Incorporating a company does NOT provide a proprietary right or interest in a name. This type of status is covered by federal Trademark law. Most public business and trademark registers in Canada are reflected in the NUANS database, which may be searched for a fee. You can also search the Canadian Trademark Database for free.
More information about trademarks and trade names is available at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
Businesses that can assist you with conducting these other searches can be found under "Title Service" categories of any business directory.
You should check these other Registers to see if the name you want has an existing trademark.
How long does it take?
The anticipated turn-around time to complete your request will be displayed prior to payment. If you require faster service upgrade to priority service.
What is the process?
Once submitted, an examiner at the BC Registry Services branch will examine your requested name to ensure that there are no conflicts with existing names.
If you provided an email address, the results will be sent to that address immediately upon completion. If no email address was provided, the result will be sent by mail to the mailing address provided.
What if my name is not approved?
If none of the possible 3 names choices are approved, you will need to submit another name approval request and pay another fee. You may wish to review the most common reasons why names are rejected.
How long will my name be reserved?
If your name is approved the name will be reserved for 56 calendar days.
If the 56 day reservation period expires and you still want to have the name reserved, you will be required to resubmit your name choices and pay another fee.
IMPORTANT; If you do not use the name to incorporate or register prior to its expiry date and must resubmit the name for approval, that name could be rejected.
What are the next steps after my name is reserved?
Once your name is reserved, the next step is to submit the necessary documentation to complete your filing.
For more information on next steps, visit the Corporate Registry's website.
Ensure the name has one distinctive element and one descriptive element.
Decide what kind of business structure you need.
Research your choices to see if your name already exists.