One should ensure that they seek out legal and accounting advise and understand the basics prior to incorporating.  The first step is creating a name. It is important to identify the nature of your business and find a name that describes the same as it can be an effective way to advertise the services of your proposed company. It can also assist customers in understanding what your business does and the image you would like to project to your customers. The proposed business name identifies who you are to the public.

Careful consideration should be had when deciding on the business structure, specifically on whether to incorporate your business federally or provincially or as a sole proprietorship. It is important to highlight that in Ontario if you incorporate your business, the corporate name receives business name protection.  An Ontario based -NUANS search would be conducted for the proposed name.  A NUANS is a computerized search system that compares proposed business names or trade-marks with databases of existing businesses and trade-marks. This search determines whether any similarity exists between the proposed business by comparing names or trademark to existing names in the database and produces a listing of names that are found to be most similar based on your search. Please note that a NUANS search is not required if you are incorporating a numbered company.

The name you choose is valuable to the company. Your business name should describe the products or services you offer. You also want to ensure your business name is distinct and easy for customers to remember. Once the company name is determined, you must make sure it is legally permitted. In order to successfully operate as a corporation in Ontario, you must have a business name registered. By registering your business name, you are confirming how you will be known to the public. If you are a numbered company and wish to operate under a different name you must also register that chosen name. If you fail to identify yourself to the public by your registered name, there are consequences.

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