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 (it is called preapproval of a corporate name, and it is free). Obtaining preapproval is optional but it 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 for your incorporation.
Corporate name preapproval is only valid for 90 days from the date on the Nuans name search report, not the date of the preapproval.
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
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 certain 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.
Since the name search is now part of the online federal incorporation, it is not necessary to obtain a Nuans report before starting your online incorporation.
I already have a Nuans report. How do I complete my incorporation?
You have two options:
Get corporate name preapproval and then complete your incorporation
Use your Nuans report to submit a preapproval request.
Once your preapproval request is approved by our examiners, Corporations Canada will send you a request number and a confirmation number.
Use these numbers to complete your online incorporation by selecting the option "Use your name already approved by Corporations Canada".
Note: Corporate name preapproval is only valid for 90 days from the date on the Nuans name search report, not the date of the preapproval.
Complete your incorporation by filing your request online. By choosing this option, you won't be able to use your Nuans report that you already have. You will need to pay $13.80 a second time for the name research that is now part of the online incorporation process. This is a non-refundable fee.
Additional information on the proposed corporate name
Additional information is necessary during your online incorporation request. Although it is 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:
- Include them in the Corporate Name Information Form, and/or
- Save your own search results as a PDF.