Selecting a name is an important step in the process of launching your business. The name you select may play a central role in the success of your branding. If the name you choose contravenes the law, the consequences can be serious, and changing your name after your business has been launched can be costly. Imagine having to re-print your business cards, re-make your logo and try to get your existing customers to adapt to your brand new name. That’s why it’s important to choose an appropriate name from the outset.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you may want to consider when selecting a business name.
If you decide to incorporate your business but have not yet decided on a name, you may request that a number be assigned to your corporation in lieu of a name. Applying for a numbered company is also a frequently-used strategy among those who want to incorporate their business as quickly as possible. Selecting a business name that is somehow out of conformity with the law is one of the most common obstructions to the incorporation process. If your proposed business name is refused by the registrar, you will have to re-submit your application with a new name. This can be quite time-consuming. To completely circumvent this obstacle, entrepreneurs in need of rapid incorporation simply allow the registrar to assign a numbered name to their corporation.
Names that may cause confusion
The Registraire des entreprises may refuse to register a business name if it is confusingly similar to a name already being used in Québec by another business. Corporations Canada can also refuse to incorporate a business if the proposed corporate name is likely to lead to the inference that this new business is affiliated with an existing business.
A name that is misleading
A “misleading” name is one that is likely to deceive the public with respect to the goods or services provided by the business. Corporations Canada warns against using words like “association” or “foundation” in the name of a for-profit corporation. Although there is no general prohibition against using such words, doing so may cause the public to believe that your business operates as a non-profit organization.
A name that contravenes Quebec language laws
If you incorporate a business under federal jurisdiction, you are permitted to give your business either a French or an English name. However, in order to register your business in Quebec, you must declare a French version of the business name regardless of whether the business was incorporated federally or provincially.
For more information, you may contact Kelly Francis at (514) 802-7736 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This article merely gives readers an overview of the issues discussed therein and is not legal advice. Please do not take action based on this article alone without first seeking the legal counsel appropriate for your specific situation!