Naming a corporation – How to get a name

Nuans name searches are now integrated with the Online Filing Centre transactions. Clients who need a name search must use the new integrated process. Name search reports bought before September 20, 2023 will not be accepted. Learn more about these important changes.

How to get a name

You can propose a name for your federal corporation when incorporating, amalgamating or importing (continuance). You can also change your federal corporation's name by amending your articles.

Corporations Canada reviews proposed names to confirm that they comply with regulations. The proposed name becomes the legal name of the corporation when Corporations Canada issues the certificate of incorporation, amalgamation, continuance or amendment.

On this page

Get a numbered name

If you want a numbered name (for example 12345678 Canada Inc.), select this option during your incorporation. Corporations Canada will assign you a number. The rest of the information does not apply to you. You may now incorporate your business.

If you are incorporating a cooperative, you cannot request a numbered name.

Get a word name

To get a word name, you need to propose a name that meets the requirements.

If you incorporate a business or not-for-profit corporation, you propose a word name when you incorporate online. Corporations Canada will review your proposed name to confirm that it meets the requirements.

Get corporate name preapproval

You can apply for a word name before incorporating your corporation (this is called preapproval of a corporate name, and is free). Obtaining preapproval is optional but ensures that the name is available when you incorporate. Your request needs to be reviewed and approved by Corporations Canada before you can use it.

Corporate name preapproval is only valid for 90 days from the date of the request submitted.

The proposed name will become the legal name of the corporation when Corporations Canada issues the Certificate of Incorporation.

It can be useful to get preapproval before purchasing a domain name or embarking on a marketing campaign, for example.

Nuans name search report

Order a Nuans report to file for the following online services only:

Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act:

  • Amalgamation
  • Continuance

A Nuans name search report provides a list of existing corporate names, business names and trademarks that are similar to the one being proposed. The report is necessary for a limited number of federal transactions. It is valid for 90 days only. Getting a Nuans name search report does not mean that your name is preapproved or approved by Corporations Canada.

Additional information on the proposed corporate name

Additional information is necessary during your online incorporation request. Although optional, this step is important to do because the provided information helps us make a decision on the proposed corporate name and may reduce the back-and-forth between you and Corporations Canada. Here are a few examples of information you can provide:

  • type of business the corporation intends to carry on
  • geographic area in which the corporation will likely operate
  • type of clientele
  • method on how you chose the distinctive element
  • if the name contains an individual's family name, the individual's connection with the corporation
  • similar names or trademarks you have registered, or
  • searches you have conducted on potentially confusing corporate names that you are proposing.

If you have already submitted your online incorporation request and we have sent you a notice stating that there is probable confusion with your proposed name, you can attach your search results through the Online Filing Centre by resubmitting your request: