You’ve decided that you’re ready to begin the registration process for your new business. But, before you commit to the business name, it’s a good idea to have a pre-search done in the NUANS databank. A NUANS name reservation is required for Incorporated companies, but not for Master Business Licences. Even though this isn’t a requirement for Master Business Licences, there are a number of reasons why you may want to do this before completing the registration.
Without even realizing it, you may be inadvertently advertising someone else’s business. If there’s another business with the same name, your advertising dollars may be going towards promoting that other business. This is especially true if the similarly named business is in the same area as yours. Checking the NUANS databank before registering gives you the opportunity to select another business name that is different enough from others that any advertising you do won’t benefit surrounding businesses.
- Bad Reputation
In the same way that you’ll want to ensure your advertising dollars aren’t benefiting another business, you may want to check to see that there aren’t any existing business in your area that have a bad reputation and may be confused with your business. If this is the case, you may be losing business through no fault of your own. Avoid this possible situation altogether by pre-searching NUANS for conflicting business names.
- Protected Names
Even though your Master Business Licence doesn’t have name protection, there may be other Incorporated businesses or Trademarks that do have name protection. Doing a pre-search before registering your business helps ensure that you aren’t infringing on a protected name.
With Ontario Business Central, you can complete a NUANS Pre-search on its own, or choose to include it with your registration.
If you are looking to protect the business name, you may want to look at Incorporating the business. With Incorporation, a NUANS report is required before you’re able to complete the registration. But, prior to completing the NUANS, you can do a pre-search to check for similar names.
Without pre-searching, you’ll still be able to complete your name reservation and receive a NUANS report. However, if matching or very similar names are found within the report, the reserved name cannot be changed and a new report may need to be ordered. Federal or Provincial examiners will review the NUANS report you submit with your registration to ensure there are no conflicting names.
You can either complete your NUANS search and reservation separately, ahead of time or include it with your Incorporation registration. NUANS reservations are valid for 90 days, so if you complete it separately, you’ll have 90 days to Incorporate using that report.
If you have any questions about conducting a NUANS Pre-search, registering your business or Incorporating, please feel free to contact our staff for additional information and assistance.
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Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.
Lisa Shaw is a Corporate Specialist and the newest member of the team at Ontario Business Central. After completing her B.A. in Communications and Sociology at York University, Lisa took her passion for writing into the freelance world of sports writing for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in Fighters Only Magazine, Showdown Combat Sports and Full Contact Fighter, among others. Lisa strives to provide the highest level of service to each and every client she works with at Ontario Business Central.