A NUANS Search Alberta is required in order to incorporate a share, non-share or charity company in Alberta or to register an extra-provincial company in Alberta.
If you are registering an Alberta operating trade name, an Alberta sole proprietorship or an Alberta partnership you will not be required to obtain an NUANS Search Alberta. However it is advisable to obtain a NUANS Search Alberta regardless as explained more below.
Aspects of a Alberta Corporate Name
The government has requirements with respect to picking corporate names. Alberta is more lenient with respect to name granting and will accept any name that is different than a name already registered in Alberta. However, the onus is on you to ensure your name is distinct and different to all registered names across Canada. Resources for Canadian Business Owners will do pre-checks of the name to try and ensure this is the case however preliminary name searches will not always show all conflicts. As a guideline, you should consider the following elements to a name.
There are three aspects to an Alberta corporate name being the distinct portion, the descriptive portion and the legal portion.
The distinct portion of the name can be a made up word, a noun representing a person’s name, a geographical place, an object, a colour, etc. It does not have to represent anything to do with the business but should be very different and unusual.
The nature of business is normally part of the descriptive portion of the name. The government likes you to describe the type of business being carried on. The more specific you are about the descriptive portion of the name the better since it will make your business name different than others.
The last portion of a corporate name is the legal portion which must be one of Ltd., Limited, Corp., Corporation, Inc. or Incorporated. One of these elements must be used for share companies. All of these words mean the same thing and you would pick the legal portion that works best with the flow of your proposed name.
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Why Should You Obtain a full NUANS Search Alberta when Registering Business Names
The reason for obtaining a NUANS Search Alberta when registering an Alberta operating trade name or Alberta business name, Alberta sole proprietorship or Alberta partnership, is that you are still required to ensure your name does not conflict with another business name across Canada. There could still be a conflict with the name and you could be requested to stop using the name if you pick a name that is well known by the public for many years.
As well, sometimes business names are trademarked and if you register a name that is similar to a registered trademark you will be required to cancel your registration if this comes to light. When performing a full NUANS Search Alberta a description of the trademark will be available which will also help to assist in whether your name is in conflict with that registered trademark. If the wares or services relating to a registered trademark, which has a similar name to your proposed name, are completely different than the business you will be conducting using the name, then you will have more assurance that use of a similar but not exact name may be possible. Preliminary name searches do not provide a description of the wares and services of a trademark.
As a start, you should do a preliminary name search on any name you are going to use as an Alberta business or trade name, Alberta sole proprietorship or Alberta partnership. Resources for Canadian Business Owners will perform preliminary name searches for you prior to doing your Alberta Registration. Obtaining a full NUANS Search Alberta provides additional assurance that the name is available since the preliminary name searches do not always pick up all conflicts to the name and you will be provided with an option for purchasing a full Alberta search if you wish one when ordering an Alberta Registration with us.