Step 5: Choose a Business Name and Have it Approved
Choosing a business name is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting your business, and most likely one of the hardest.
If you want to use a business name that is anything other than your personal name, you will need to have your business name approved by, and then registered with BC Registry Services.
Business names must have both a distinctive and a descriptive element, like “ABC” (distinctive element) “Landscaping” (descriptive element). You must add a corporate designation, such as “Ltd.” if you are planning to incorporate your business.
If you need help coming up with a great business name, Small Business BC offers some tips on how to get the perfect name.
It’s a good idea to have a first, second and third choice for your business name, just in case the name you want is not available. You can do some preliminary research for potential conflicts by looking through telephone listings, business directories or similar publications. You can also search for existing names on the BC Corporate Registry to see if the name you’ve selected has already been registered.
You can download the Name Approval Request form. The form also includes guidelines for choosing a name.
The form is also available and can be processed at most OneStop locations. To ﬁnd the OneStop location nearest you, call 1 877 822-6727.
You can also apply for a Name Approval Request online.
Submit your name approval request electronically to the Name Reservation Unit for examination at the Corporate Registry. Payment online is by credit card (VISA, MasterCard and American Express). There is online information available to assist you through the process.
Once your business name is approved, it will be reserved for 56 calendar days. Within these 56 days, you must register your business with BC Registry Services.