You would be surprised at how often a minute book will be requested for review. Not every organization that wishes to see it has a right to see it but you may not be able to move forward with your company’s work if you cannot show them the proof they demand. Below are some reasons why a company needs a minute book.
Some Reasons Why a Company Needs a Minute Book
An investor’s solicitor may wish to review the minute book to assure his client that he is investing in a valid and subsisting company and may wish to ensure the documentation required to bring the investor in is documented
A bank may request to see the book to confirm the structure before agreeing to loan money to the company and the bank may wish to see the by-laws in order to determine what authority the directors and officers have to borrow money
If you wish to sell the company you will definitely be required to show that you have documented all transactions from the date of incorporation to the point of sale
Transferring the business from yourself to your family cannot be done unless the minute book is in order since ownership must be able to be approved by the family member. If there is no minute book, there is no evidence of ownership
Real estate transactions frequently result in ownership needing to be proved and without a complete minute book this cannot be done
Government offices such as the Workers Compensation Board may request your minute book to prove the percentage of ownership. If you cannot provide proof of the percentage of ownership between you and your spouse, then you may pay more tax
When the company purchases a vehicle the government office may request to see the minute book before agreeing to put the vehicle in the name of the company
If the company is audited by the government it will be requested to present its minute book
Cases are coming up where strangers are taking over existing small private well established companies. The stranger changes the names of the directors and officers on the public record to the new person. They then gain access to tax records by providing Revenue Canada with the notice of change. Once they take over the business, they open up an office using your company’s name. Ownership is evidenced in the minute book by the preparing of resolutions to allot shares, appoint directors and officers. If you do not have a minute book proving ownership will be more difficult. Your good name and goodwill could be destroyed during the time you are fighting to get your company back.
Why a Company Needs a Minute Book – Annual Returns, Initial Returns, Notices of Change
Certain returns and filings have to be done with respect to a new incorporation, on an annual basis and when changes have occurred in addresses, directors and officers. By law these must be documented and filed with the government. The professional who sets up your company knows what these are, will file them upon incorporation as required and let you know what will need to be done in the future. If these filings and returns are not maintained properly your company may be dissolved for non-compliance of the laws.
Why a Company Needs a Minute Book – Extra Costs Will be Incurred
There are many reasons why a minute book may be requested. As you can also imagine time is usually of the essence when a minute book is requested for review and that again can increase the cost of having one set up and documented. As well, if the company has been around for many years that can increase the cost of creating a new minute book.
Setting up your minute book and maintaining it as you go along will save you money and aggravation in the long run.
If you and a business associate start a company together and down the road there are problems, if there is no minute book set up and if approvals at meetings have not been documented properly, that person may be able to leave the company with more assets than he brought in because you will not be able to prove otherwise. Shareholders agreements are frequently prepared in addition to the set up of the minute book to ensure all parties are protected.
Lawsuits are in the courts every day over problems that occur amongst shareholders of companies. To protect yourself you should have a minute book set up which clearly shows ownership and it is prudent to also have a shareholders agreement prepared by a competent solicitor.
Resources for Canadian Business Owners has over 30 years’ experience in setting up, maintaining and rectifying the most complex of corporate minute books.
Which Provinces Accept a NUANS report versus a Specific Province Name Clearance Report?
The province and territories which accept the NUANS report are: Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Federal, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon. All other jurisdictions in Canada will require a name search report specific to that province or territory.
In Alberta and Ontario you are not required to provide a name search report of any type for sole proprietorships, business names or partnerships, however, it is still advisable to perform a preliminary name search since the onus is on you to ensure the name has not been taken by any other business. If you are ordering a name search report or a name search specific to a province as required by the type of registration you are wanting, our service automatically includes preliminary name searches. The only time you would order a preliminary name search would be if you are registering a business name, sole proprietorship or partnership in a province that does not require a name search report such as Alberta or Ontario.
Name search reports and NUANS name search reports all provide the same kind of information. They determine whether a proposed name has been used by any other business across Canada and also provide a list of similar names already registered. Be advised that these reports are specific to the province they are ordered for. For instance a Federal NUANS report cannot be used for an Ontario company.
A name search report compares the name of a proposed business to all other names already registered across Canada.
A NUANS report is specific to certain provinces and is a seven-page report which is generated from the search system which compares a proposed name or trade-mark with the database of existing names that have been registered anywhere across Canada.
What Information is Provided by a Name Search Report or a NUANS Report
By comparing the proposed name against the NUANS name search system or a name granting system in a province or territory, any similarity existing between the proposed name and the names in the database, will show up on the name search report. This will allow you to determine whether you are planning on using a name for your company that is too similar to another name. It is important for your name to be as distinct as possible. If you are ordering a name search for a province that does not accept the NUANS you will be provided with a name search that compares names to other names in that particular province or territory but the name search report will also look at similar names in other provinces right across Canada that may be a conflict.
What is A NUANS Search System
The NUANS search system is a computerized search system which contains a list of all of the company names, sole proprietorships, partnerships, business names and trade-marks registered in the federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions in Canada. The purpose of the system is to keep track of all names registered across Canada.
Even if a province or territory has its own name search system in place, the NUANS system will pick up those names in its database and therefore when performing a preliminary name search the search system is the best way to get a pre-clearance of your name.
Only search houses can perform preliminary name searches or full NUANS name searches through the NUANS system with the exception of the federal government’s site which provides limited access to doing searches.
The federal website’s preliminary name search system is limited in that it does not allow for broad searches and it is not workable if ordering a Federal NUANS and it is limited with respect to doing preliminary name searches for other provinces and territories. In order to effectively do a preliminary name search on your proposed business you must have an experienced search house perform the search.
What is a Name Search Report and NUANS Report Used For
A NUANS name search report must accompany articles of incorporation when incorporating a company in the federal, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon jurisdictions of Canada.
NUANS reports are also required in some provinces for registration of business names and partnerships. In Ontario and Alberta you are not required to provide any form of name search when registering a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Do All Provinces and Territories Accept the NUANS Name Search
Some provinces and territories have their own name search system and they do not except the NUANS name search report. Those provinces and territories will require a name search specific to that jurisdiction. The jurisdictions in Canada that do not accept the NUANS report are British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.
If you are registering a sole proprietorship, business name or partnership in a province or territory where a name search or NUANS report is not required (such as Ontario or Alberta), it is a good idea to perform a preliminary name search to ensure the name is available but a full name search report or NUANS report would not be necessary. All you need to do is ensure the name is available before you register your sole proprietorship or partnership.
Even though not all provinces and territories accept a NUANS report since all names registered in those jurisdictions are recorded in the NUANS database, it is still advisable to do a preliminary name search through the NUANS system to ensure the name is available. Resources for Canadian Business Owners can provide you with a preliminary name search for situations for situations when a full NUANS report is not required.
If you require a name search report or NUANS name search report to register your company, business name, sole proprietorship or partnership, Resources for Canadian Business Resources Inc. will provide you with unlimited free preliminary name searches when a name search report or NUANS report is ordered through us.
How Does the NUANS Name Search System Capture the Names from the Other Name Search Systems in Canada
The governments which do not accept reports from the NUANS name search system provide a list of any names that have been registered in their province or territory to the NUANS name search system and these names are added to the NUANS system database on a regular basis.
Why is a Name Search or NUANS Report Necessary
You cannot incorporate a company with a name that is exactly the same as another name already registered. It does not matter whether you are registering a company in PEI and the duplicate name is in BC, you will not be able to register an exact name.
When you go to incorporate a company the government must first know if that name has been taken. In order for the government to ensure that the name is free to use it needs to see a NUANS name search report or similar name search report depending on the jurisdiction.
The report will show the government whether there is an exact name already registered for the proposed name you wish to use. The name search report is also your way of determining whether there are additional conflicts to your name. The onus will be on you to look over the entire report and make sure you are not proposing to use a name that is even close to another corporate name or trade-mark since the owner of the name could still have a claim against you if your name is too similar and his or her company name has had a large presence in the marketplace for many years. Order a NUANS name search now.
How Do You Ensure Your Proposed Business Name is Distinct
Refer to the section on name guidelines for more information on how to ensure you have picked a distinct and descriptive name for your company that will not be challenged by the government or another company.
Are There Different Types of NUANS Name Search Reports
Each jurisdiction that accepts the NUANS Name search report will have its own form of NUANS report. If you are incorporating an Ontario company you will be required to obtain an Ontario NUANS Name Search report. If you are incorporating a federal company you will be required to obtain a federal NUANS name search report. If you are incorporating an Alberta company you will be required to obtain an Alberta NUANS Name Search report. Despite the fact that each of these reports is different, all reports will search the NUANS database system for similar names right across Canada.
Why Are Federal Name searches different from Alberta Name Searches, Ontario NUANS, PEI and NB Name Searches
An Ontario company can be incorporated with any name which is different in any regard, even if it is only a few letters in the name. A federal company differs however because when the federal government reviews articles of incorporation together with a Canada NUANS it will not allow any name which is similar to another company in many regards. When you are submitting incorporation documents for a federal company ensure your name is as different as possible from any other company name being used in Canada. Be prepared that the government may also disallow your proposed name if it sounds the same as another existing company even if the spelling is substantially different. You should be prepared that your name might not be accepted. Each time you submit articles for review you will need to submit a new NUANS report. If the first name you pick is too close to others on record, then you will have to buy another federal NUANS and submit again. A qualified search house will be able to assist you with having a better chance of your NUANS report being accepted the first time. Resources for Canadian Business Owners has experience in having proposed names accepted even after they have been rejected. However, some times additional searches must be performed to rule out conflicting companies and there can be an additional cost here. It is possible to obtain an advance Name Decision report from Industry Canada before you submit your articles for filing. Resources for Canadian Business Owners will be glad to submit a request for a Name Decision for your federal incorporation. This will also include as many preliminary name searches as you require without further cost. We are experienced in reviewing preliminary name search results through the NUANS system to help increase your chances of being accepted the first time round when you are submitting articles of incorporation for companies in the federal jurisdiction.
Why Does It Matter if I use a Name Similar to a Name in Another Province
It may seem that if you are registering a company in Ontario and another company in the Northwest Territories has a similar name, that this should not be a problem. With technology as it is today, companies are conducting business across Canada, if not across the World. You will have no idea whether the company with the name that you are proposing may at some time in the future be conducting business in the very province you wish to register in and then there would be a conflict. Further, the Canadian government provides that any company that is registered in any province or territory in Canada can apply to be registered to carry on business in another province or territory. It is therefore very important that your proposed name is distinct and descriptive. This is called an extra-provincial registration.
Is a NUANS Report Required for a Business Name or Sole Proprietorship Registration
A NUANS Report is not required in Ontario and Alberta, and some other provinces when registering business names, sole proprietorships and partnerships. In Ontario and Alberta anyone can register the exact same business name or sole proprietorship as one registered already. However, it is advisable that you do a preliminary NUANS name search before you register to ensure no one else is using the name regardless. This is the one time when you should pay for a preliminary name search for your business name. There is no need to purchase a full NUANS report or other name search report for a business name, sole proprietorship or partnership being registered in Alberta and Ontario. All that is required is to do a preliminary name search just to ensure you are picking a name that is different. It is always advisable not to use a name that is too similar to another name since this would be a conflict for your business in the long run. Some business names such as “Bell Canada” have a high standing in the marketplace because of the number of years the name has been registered and the number of people who know the name.
You should be aware that there is no such thing as a Federal Business Name registration, Federal partnership registration or Federal Sole Proprietorship registration. Business names, partnerships and sole proprietorships are governed by the provincial and territorial jurisdictions in Canada.
What is a Preliminary NUAN Name Search
If you purchase a NUANS Name Search Report and the name you wish to use for your incorporation is on the report as registered for another company or business, you will not be allowed to incorporate with that name. It is therefore important that you do a preliminary NUANS name search first in order to ensure before hand that the name is free. Otherwise, if you do not first ensure a pre-check of the name is done and you order a full NUANS report or other form of name search report, your registration could be rejected if the name is too similar or the same as another name registered.
Please note however that preliminary NUANS Name Searches are not fool proof and there is always a chance a conflict will show up on the full NUANS Name Search or other name search report that did not come up during the Preliminary NUANS Name Search.
You can keep buying full NUANS Name Search reports but it will become costly. It is better that you check the name first with a Preliminary NUANS Name search. Resources for Canadian Business Owners provides FREE UNLIMITED preliminary name searches with the purchase of a NUANS or Name Search Report. We will make great efforts to pre-clear your name in advance so that the odds of your proposed name being rejected are reduced.
How do I Arrange to have a Preliminary Name Search
Resources for Canadian Business Owners Inc. will do as many preliminary Name Searches as you wish with the purchase of a full NUANS Name Search or other Name Search Report. If you are not required to submit a name search report with your registration Resources for Canadian Business Owners will be glad to perform a preliminary name search for you at a nominal fee. This service should only be used when a name search report is NOT required
How Long Does it Take to Get a Name Search or NUANS Report
If you are ordering a report from a province or territory that does not accept a NUANS report, it can take a few days to a week to obtain the report. If you are ordering a NUANS name search report, it takes from 40 minutes to three hours to obtain a NUANS Name Search Report. Once you order a NUANS report a confirmation email will be sent to you to let you know that we have received your request. Depending on the number of searches requested at that time it might take us 40 minutes or three hours. Be assured though you will receive the NUANS in the same day whether you order it at 6:00 a.m. in the morning or 10:00 p.m. at night. Frequently we have someone close to the computer for most of the day right up until late evening so feel free to contact us at any time of the day. We are open 7 days a week. We look forward to serving you.
How Long is a Name Search or NUANS Report in effect.
A NUANS name search report will be in effect for 90 days from the date of issue. If yuou do not use the report until after that time you will be required to order a new one and most other name search reports are also effective for a similar length period.
Name Searches for Non-Profit Corporations and Charities
We can provide you with information about registered companies, partnerships, sole proprietorships or operating trade names on the public record throughout Canada including extensive due diligence searching and reporting.
We also provide registration services for Canadian companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships and operating trade names in the provinces and territories of Canada.
Our staff has over 30 years’ experience in corporate law and we will be glad to answer your questions. We take pride in our work and will provide you with the best, fastest, accurate and reasonably priced service available.
Depending on the province or territory you wish to incorporate your non-profit corporation will depend on the type of name report that you get. There is no difference between a name search report for a not for profit corporation or charitable corporation and a share corporation. It is the province or territory that governs the report you get.
For instance, a name search report for a share company being incorporated in Ontario is the same report given to a non profit or charity corporation wishing to incorporate in Ontario, being an Ontario NUANS name search report.
NUANS Search Houses are trained on the best method of performing Preliminary NUANS Name Search reports in order to ensure that the most conflicts to your proposed names can be found prior to ordering a full NUANS Name Search Report.
If you incorporate a numbered company a NUANS name search report will not be required since the government will provide you with the next number in line. An example of a numbered Ontario company would be a corporation having a name such as 9999999 Ontario Inc.
A numbered federal company might be a corporation with a name called 9999999 Canada Inc. and an Alberta numbered company might be 2244444 Alberta Ltd. The numbers are given out consecutively. You cannot choose the number for your company.
All companies must have at least one officer. There are many officer positions and each of those positions comes with a standard set of duties and requirements, although duties can be varied. Below is a list of the most common officer positions and a description of what duties and requirements come with the position.
Officers are appointed by the directors of a corporation. There are many different officers titles and positions that can be held by individuals. The scope of this Articles is to explain the different positions and statute requirements relating to them.
For information about how to appoint, remove or resign an officer refer to appointing officers.
Officer Titles for Private Companies
A private company is a company which does not sell shares to the general public. It is a company that is owned privately by one or more individuals or corporations.
The following are the customary and standard officer titles used by private companies:
These officers titles are the most popular and are limited to just a few because private companies frequently only have a few principals. Frequently there will be one person who holds the position of sole director, officer and shareholder (owner). In this situation he or she will normally hold the positions of President and Secretary. In other cases there will be two people as principals of the company, one of which will hold the position of President and the other the position of Secretary.
The officers titles given to individuals in private companies do not always denote the functions they will handle. Sometimes these titles are given to individuals so each owner and director will also hold an officer position. For instance if there are two principals then one will be the President and the other will be the Secretary. If there are three individuals one may be the President, the other the Secretary and the third may be the Treasurer. In the case of a fourth individual, this person may be appointed to a Vice-President position.
Officers Titles in Public Companies
In public companies the officers titles can be very different. Frequently officers for public companies have more functions and duties and they may be supervising a department of a number of people. Some of the common titles for public companies are:
Chairman or Chairperson of the Board
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
How Many Officers Must a Company Have
All companies in all jurisdictions must have at least one officer. Normally if there is only one officer, the title that person will hold is President.
Officers Titles Can be Flexible
There is no set rule with respect to any title. A company can designate officer titles that it wishes, however, it is always good to have a President and a Secretary.
Can a Person Hold More Than One Officers Title
Yes. An individual can hold more than one officer position. However, some officer positions can only be held by one person. For instance, there is never more than one President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary or Treasurer. There may be any number of Vice-Presidents and any number of Executive Vice-Presidents.
Board Appointed Officers versus Non-Board Appointed Officers
The board of directors of a company may appoint only a certain number of officer positions that are being held. For instance, three individuals may be owners of a company and all three of them have been appointed by the board of directors to hold those positions. A meeting was held to appoint them or a resolution of all of the directors was signed to appoint them. These individuals are called board appointed officers because of the manner in which they were appointed.
There may also be a General Manager or a Manager, Technology or a Manager, Office Supplies. These positions may not be officially appointed by the board yet they are officer positions. They would be considered non-appointed officer positions.
Public companies also may have non-appointed officers. The larger companies will have many departments operating different services and functions. They may appoint Vice-Presidents of those departments. There could be hundreds of Vice-Presidents appointed. The board of directors, in this case, would not appoint those Vice-Presidents.
Does an Officer Have to be a Director
In some cases there are certain officer positions which cannot be held by anyone unless that person is a director. For instance, a Chairman or Chair or Chairperson of the Board and a Managing Director (depending on what the governing statute says) must be a director to hold those positions.
Most governing corporate statutes are vague with respect to officers, however, the best way to determine whether an officer position must be held by a director is to check the statute. When a statute is silent on the issue there is no restriction.
As well, the by-laws of the corporation must also be reviewed. Some by-laws are set up to provide that certain officer positions must be held by a director and even though there may not be a statute requirement, if the by-law indicates this then the company must abide by those by-law provisions.
If a by-law provides that an officer position must be held by a director but the statute does not say it is mandatory, then the by-law can be amended. The statute will provide the method by which a by-law can be amended. For Ontario companies refer to Ontario By-laws Enactment, Amendment and Repeal.
Every BC company must have at least one director. A director is a person who has been appointed by the owners (shareholders) of the BC company to handle the business and affairs of the company on behalf of those owners. Very often the directors of a BC company are also the owners, who have appointed themselves to the role of director. In order for a person to act as a director he or she must meet the qualifications of directors of British Columbia companies.
Is there any Limit on the Number of Directors a BC Company May Have
The Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) which governs BC companies provides that every private BC company must have at least one director and every public BC company must have a minimum of three directors, although all BC companies can have as many directors as they wish.
Persons Disqualified to Act as Directors of a BC Company
If the individual who wishes to act as a director of a BC company falls under any of the following restrictions that person cannot act as a director of a BC company:
Is under the age of 18 years;
Has been found by a court, in Canada or elsewhere, to be incapable of managing the individual’s own affairs;
Is an undischarged bankrupt; or
Has been convicted in or out of BC of an offence in connection with the promotion, formation or management of a corporation or unincorporated business, or of an offence involving fraud.
Section 124 of the Act does provide for some exemptions with respect to these restrictions for those who may be interested.
Resident Canadian Requirement Does not apply to Directors of BC Companies – Directors do not Need to Live in Canada
Many provinces and territories in Canada have a resident Canadian requirement which provides that a certain number of directors of a company must be “resident Canadians”.
The requirement for a director of a BC company to be a resident Canadian does not exist. This is good news for Canadians who live abroad and wish to maintain a business in Canada. It is also good news for those individuals who are living outside of Canada and wish to open a business in Canada but would not be able to move to Canada.
Does a BC Director Need to be a Shareholder
A BC director can be a shareholder but there is no legal requirement for him to hold shares in the company.
BC Directors Must Consent to Act
The BC incorporation statute provides that all directors must consent to act as directors of a BC company. The directors of a BC company must consent either in advance of or at the same time of their election to the board.
The BC government has name granting procedures and policies that differ from some of the other provinces. The BC government considers any similar BC name already registered and as well looks at the nature of business of the proposed business when granting names. This article outlines some of those requirements and provides tips as to how to get a name approved and obtain a BC Name Search Report for a proposed business name registration.
Three Name Choices When Submitting a Request for a Proposed BC Name Search Report
The British Columbia Corporate Registry allows you to submit three proposed names for their review when requesting a BC Name Search Report. This is the only province that does this. It is very important to take advantage of this opportunity since the examiners have personal views and even though a name may appear to be clear, the examiner may feel it is not for a variety of reasons. If you give them three choices you will have a better chance of approval.
As indicated above, the examiners also consider the business purpose of a company as well when they make decisions on which names can be used for a BC business. It is not possible for you to determine which registered businesses have a similar business purpose to your proposed business name. It is therefore important to choose names that are distinct and different from all other names registered across Canada, regardless of the business purpose, and take advantage of the three choices option.
Why Use a Search House to Pre-Clear Your Names and Submit a Name Clearance Request to the BC Government on your Behalf
The BC Registry does have a free pre-clearance program in place. However, it is very limited and will not bring up all conflicts to any proposed names. If you use this service there is a very high chance that your proposed name will be rejected even if it appears to be clear because the BC name clearing program does not provide enough broad matches. The only way to do a broad pre-clearance of your proposed BC business name is to have a search house check the name through the NUANS system since it allows for broad matches.
A Canadian search house has access to all of the names registered across Canada. Not only will they be able to clear your name for use in BC, they will also be able to confirm that your proposed name can be used anywhere in Canada. Many businesses now conduct business right across Canada so it is important to pre-clear your name throughout. The BC government’s pre-clearance program does not search conflicts outside of British Columbia.
Single Word Names
The BC Ministry does not normally approve single word names. An example of a single word name for a company would be “Doe Inc.” or in the case of a business name, proprietorship name or partnership name, the word “Doe” would not be acceptable. The only time a single word name will be accepted for a proposed business is if the name is a coined name and it has been trademarked first.
Distinct Elements of a Name
The BC Ministry takes the distinct elements of a name very seriously when it considers whether a BC Reservation Report will be provided. Therefore, if you wish your name to be approved it is a good idea to following the name granting rules. There are three elements of a share company name and two elements for operating names, proprietorships and partnerships.
Distinctive Element – This element is the first one or two words of the name and it can be any noun, a street name, a city name, a coined name (which is a name that has been made up), a colour, an object, etc. The more different and distinct this element is will make it easier for you to obtain approval for your proposed name(s).
Descriptive Element – This element is in the middle of the name. It should describe the nature of business. The BC Ministry insists this element forms part of the name. An example might be online store, marina, knitting supplies, etc.
Legal Element – As indicated below, there must be a legal element at the end of a name for a BC company such as “Limited”, “Incorporated”, “Corporation”, “Ltd.”, “Inc.” or “Corp.” See a more detailed description of the requirements for legal elements under Corporate Designations for BC Business Names outlined below.[margin_10t][margin_10t]
The BC Ministry recommends that the use of special characters for corporate and business names be avoided. Some characters are not recognizable by the system and may not be allowed because of that. The symbol for the cent sign is not allowed. To avoid refusal to obtain a favourable BC Name Search Report it is best to avoid symbols. Feel free to contact us if you wish to know if a particular symbol might be acceptable.
Legal Designations for BC Business Names
There are a number of different types of business registrations in the province of British Columbia and each one has to be set out in accordance with the statute requirements for that type of business. Below is a summary of the legal designations for the various types of business registrations:
BC Incorporated Company– The last word of the corporate name must have one of the following legal designations: “Limited”, “Incorporated” or “Corporation”. You can also use the short form versions of the words as follows: “Ltd.”, “Inc.” or “Corp.” If you are choosing a French name then the legal designation would need to be Limitee, Ltee., Incorporee, Inc. or Corp.
BC Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships do not have a legal ending such as Limited, Ltd., Incorporated, Inc. or Corp. however, they may use the following: Company or Co.
BC Cooperativesmust use the word “Cooperative” in their name and may also use “Society”, “Union”, “Association” or “Exchange”.
BC Societies must have the designation “Association” or “Society” as the last word in the business name.
BC Limited Partnerships must use “Limited Partnership” at the end of the name.
BC Limited Liability Partnerships must use the words “Limited Liability Partnership” or “LLP” at the end of the business name.
BC Business Names Cannot Suggest a Government Connection
Certain words that may imply that the proposed business will be connected to the government are not accepted. Specifically the following words must be avoided: “government”, “ministry”, “bureau”, Secretariat”, “commission” or “certified”.
The use of the word “BC” or “British Columbia” as a distinctive part of the name (i.e. at the beginning of the proposed name) is considered in the eyes of the BC government to imply a connection to the government. In cases such as this, in order to use such a name you would need to obtain the approval of the government. You can, however, use these words at the end of a name and before the corporate designation (legal element) of the name. An example would be Veener Shipping of British Columbia Inc.
BC Business Names Must Not Suggest a Connection to the Crown
Any request for a BC Name Search Report for a proposed BC business name registration that implies any type of connection to the Royal Family or the Crown is not allowed including any reference to any living member of the Royal family, or endorsement by the Crown or Royal family. An example of this would be Prince Charles Coffee Shop Limited. You are allowed to use words that relate to places such as Prince George or Prince Rupert.
Using Personal Names in a BC Business Name
Personal names are allowed as part of incorporated BC companies. For instance, if you wish to use a name such as John Doe Inc. or Doe & Brown Inc. this would be acceptable.
Numbered Company Names
It is possible to register a numbered company with the province of BC. If you choose to do this the BC government will assign a specific number to your new incorporation. It will look similar to 999999 B.C. Ltd.
Number names differ from a numbered BC company name. Numerals may be used in company names in the distinctive portion of the name (the first one or two words of a name). An example would be 13457 Enterprises Ltd. or Atlantic Enterprises (1998) Ltd.
Resources for Canadian Business Owners Inc. is a registered search house.