Naming your business
Choose the name for your business carefully. It will precede you wherever you go!
What's in a name?
The right name can be effective advertising tools that can help your customers understand what your business does and the market you are targeting. The wrong name can confuse or drive away customers.
Some things to think about:
- A short name is easier to remember.
- Naming a company with your own name does not tell prospective customers what you do. Consider choosing a name that will help people understand what your company sells.
- Choose a name that will fit the image you want to project. You will want your name to connect with your customers and create an image they will know and trust.
- Try not to use abbreviations (for example, ABC Company) for a small business unless you have the marketing budget to make this name memorable.
- Make your name distinctive enough to separate you from your competition.
- Choose a name that is not already in existence. Many names are protected under trademark protection or as federally incorporated companies.
Learn more about your business name, including protecting your name and choosing a name for a corporation.
- Choosing a name
Things to consider when selecting a name for your corporation.
- NUANS Name Search
Applies to: All of Canada
Compares your proposed business name with the names of existing businesses to see if it is unique.
- What's in a name? Using trade-marks as a business tool
Find out how to protect your business name.
- Search a Business Name
Use the Enhanced Business Name Search to see if a business name has been registered with the Ontario government.
- How to Register your Business Name (Ontario)
Applies to: Ontario
Need to register your business name? A business name registration can be done online, in-person or by mail through Service Ontario.
Your business name and your Web domain name
So you've done some thinking about your business name, polled some friends and prospective customers, and come up with a great name. Before you register your company under this name, don't forget to think about your online presence.
- If someone else already owns the rights to the Web domain for the name you've selected, you may end up sending a lot of business their way or making it difficult for customers to find you. You may wish to choose a different business name, if the domain is already taken.
- If your business name is very long, you might want to think about having a shortened version of it for your domain name, so that people don't need to type in a very long URL to get to your website.
- Think about whether you want to register your domain as a .ca (dot ca), .com (dot com), or other extension.
- You may want to have multiple domain names, for example, one dot ca and one dot com, one with the long version of your company name and one with an acronym, domains for specific business lines or tag lines that you use, and so on.
- Avoid choosing a domain that is a trademark owned by someone else.
- Pay attention to what a new customer might see in your domain name. Do the letters make any unintended words?
Have a domain name in mind? Learn more about domain names, check the availability of your chosen domain and find out how to register it.
- Domain Names
Learn the basics about how website domain names work.
- Canadian Internet Registration Authority
Find out how to register for a dot-ca domain name.