What Is a NUANS Report?

business name search

If you are looking at starting a business, you may have heard of the word Nuans stated as (‘New-ons’) and wondering if you are required to obtain a Nuans report for you new business.  A NUANS or Name Search is a unique databank to Canada that provides a listing of existing corporate names, business registrations and trademarks.

What is the role of the NUANS report?

The NUANS report lists similar existing businesses, corporations and trademarks to the chosen name you wish to use to start your business.  Within the jurisdictions where a NUANS report is required to incorporate, the government examiner within that jurisdiction will review the NUANS report to compare the similar named businesses to your proposed business name and determine the business names availability. 

A Nuans report is a 6 page computerized data bank listing of existing corporate, business and trademark names that may be similar to your proposed business name.

Here is an example from the Nuans databank so you can have a look at what the report looks like:


When is a Nuans report required? 

The Nuans report is a mandatory filing with the government when you are Incorporating in any of the following jurisdictions:

The report is specific to where you are incorporating. Many individuals will complete a Federal Nuans report assuming this is valid across Canada but its not, it is only valid for completing a Federal incorporation. Always choose the Nuans report jurisdiction for where you intend to incorporate.

How do I know if my business name is available? 

It is important to search your business name choice first before ordering the actual Nuans report. This is completed in what is called the pre-search databank. The pre-search databank is available to those of us who are registered members of the Nuans databank and is accessible to assist you to find an available business name.

A member will do a pre-search in the databank. This checks the business name prior to completing the actual Nuans report. If the chosen name conflicts with existing corporations, small businesses or trademarks, it may be recommended to move to a second choice name. When an available name is found and acceptable to you, the report is ordered.

How long does it take to get a NUANS report?

The NUANS report is available on a same day basis.  It is recommended to search the business name as part of the NUANS report request to ensure the business name appears to be available prior to it being submitted to the jurisdiction for incorporation.  We can assist you in this by providing a pre-search on the business name as part of the NUANS report request.

Order a Nuans Report

Within our online request, you would simply select the pre-search as part of the order.

nuans preliminary option on order form

How much does a NUANS report cost?

Our base fee for the NUANS report is $24.99 +taxes.  If you add the pre-search option, the fee is an additional $20.00 +taxes.  If your chosen name is not available, you can provide a secondary business name to search without being charged additional fees.

How long is the report valid for?

From the date of completing a Nuans report, you have 90 days to complete the incorporation process or the Nuans (name reservation) will drop off the system and that business name may be available for others to use. Most individuals who order the Nuans report complete the incorporation process in short order but if you find yourself in a position that you are not ready to complete the incorporation process and the timeframe is running out, you can always order the Nuans report again prior to the 90 day expiry to gain another 90 days of name reservation.

What if I am not incorporating, do I still do this report?

The Nuans report is only required for the incorporation processing as the incorporated business name has protection with new business names registered or incorporated after your incorporation has been completed. The Master Business Licence/Business Licence does not have name protection and is not required. However in saying that, the pre-search can be completed against existing businesses to ensure you are not using a business name that someone else is already using. It is highly recommended that you search the proposed business name against existing businesses.

Typically, the costs to do this are between $10 and $30 and will provide peace of mind moving forward that you will not start your business and find out afterwards that there is a similar named corporation, small business or trademark in existence that may be confusing at minimum and may be considered infringement at maximum, where you may have to change your business name.

What if I am completing a Not for Profit or Charitable Organization? 

The Nuans report is required within the jurisdictions listed above if you are incorporating a Not for Profit or Charitable organization.

What is done with the Nuans report? 

When the Nuans report is completed, it is provided to the Federal or Provincial government examiners for review along with your Articles of Incorporation for review with the incorporation process. Your business name cannot conflict with an existing corporation and depending on the jurisdiction, the business names and trademarks may be considered more strictly by the examiner for name conflicts.

Order a Nuans Report

If you would like our assistance or have further questions to ask, please feel free to reach out to us directly.  

Toll-Free: 1-800-280-1913
Local: 1-416-599-9009
Fax: 1-866-294-4363
Office Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Monday – Friday E.S.T.

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.