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Registering a Business in B.C.




BC retail business partners

Requirements for Registering a Business in BC

  1. Name Reservation
  2. Business Registration

Name Reservation

Gaining Approval of the Name through a NAME RESERVATION with the Province of B.C. (Mandatory)
Within the Province of British Columbia, you can request up to three business names in order of your preference. Any of the names provided may be accepted or rejected.

The report only searches names in the Corporate Registry within B.C. This search does not include the names of B.C. proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships nor trademarks, incorporations or businesses outside of B.C. The approval is decided by the Registrar and does not warrant any issue over potential name conflicts. The name approval is granted for up to 56 days. The incorporation must be completed before this deadline. If the incorporation is not completed by this time then a new name approval must be submitted, and reapproved. The government fee to reserve a name is $31.50 for a standard 3 week government turnaround. A rush service for a 24 hour government turnaround is also available for $100.00.

NUANS Preliminary Search (Optional)

Name approvals do not provide information on existing Federal corporations or Canadian trademarks, nor business names within Canada. To better see the scope of existing businesses in Canada, you may wish to complete the secondary name search (NUANS Preliminary) to better view and analyze potential conflicts to the name you have proposed.

The name requires two elements. It is important to provide a business name that provides elements in order to gain name approval from the Province. Examples provided below.

Distinctive Element Descriptive Element
Shelley's Candy Shoppe
Malley's Restaurant
Forecast Tech World

How to Register a small business in British Columbia

Sole Proprietorship
This type of registration is owned by one individual. The person may be Canadian or a Non-Resident to operate a business in B.C. The Sole Proprietorship may also be registered by an existing corporation in B.C. that wishes to operate under a different business name than that of the incorporation's existing name.

This type of registration may be run by multiple individuals or corporations in British Columbia. This registration is typically used for 2 or more individuals who wish to operate as a partnership. The individuals can also be either Canadians or Non-Residents of Canada to operate the business. Business addresses must be within B.C. however individual addresses are not. The less common option is for 2 or more corporations that want to form a partnership.

Why Use Us?

We keep things simple, ensuring that your registration is completed quickly (within a few minutes) and accurately. Ontario Business Central will first complete the name approval to make sure that the name is available prior to registration. We strongly recommend the Preliminary Nuans Search, to provide you with a wider view of any existing corporations and trademarks not only in B.C. but across the country. This allows you to better determine your business name and to ensure you are not in the position of infringing against both corporations and trademarks that already have name protection.

Name Approval $31.50
Rush fee for 24 hour service for Name Reservation $100.00
Proprietorship fees $40.00

Register a small business in B.C.


Ontario Business Central is not a law firm, therefore is unable to advise or provide a legal opinion. We are here to assist you in understanding what is mandatory within the jurisdiction of your choice in order to incorporate a company. It is recommended, in the event you have any legal or accounting questions or concerns, that the appropriate qualified professional is contacted before completing the registration or incorporation.





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