Name Search and Name Approval in BC

Business Name Search British Columbia

To set up a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership business in BC, you will need to first have your name approved by the Provincial Corporate Registry before you can register your business.

  1. In British Columbia, you have to fill out and file the Name Approval Request Form. You may conduct a NUANS (for a BC name search) to find available names.
  2. Name Approval BC - Once approved, you will be assigned a Name Reservation number to be used in the business registration process.
  3. Once your business name has been approved, you will have 56 days to complete the business registration procedure.

The main purpose of the Name Approval Request Form is to reserve a name for your business use. In addition to some basic information, such as BC business name, address and the nature of your business, the form asks you to list three business name choices.


Three Name Choices

It is recommended that you submit three business name choices, in order of preference, for each name approval. Your first choice for a name may be approved, if available, and held for a period of 56 calendar days. Your second and third choices are not examined unless the initial choice of name is not available. Regardless of whether your three choices are all examined or not, the full fee is charged.

Renewal of Name Reservation

Any renewal of the reservation period requires payment of another reservation fee.

Use of a Name

Until your Sole Proprietorship or Partnership is registered, you should not invest any money on the name, e.g.: signs, printing, advertising. The name is only on reserve and can be cancelled prior to registration.

Name Protection

It is important to know that business names registered as proprietorship/general partnership do not have the same protection as corporate names. A corporation may be registered under the same name as a business – but a business name won't be accepted if it can be confused with a corporate name.


Business Name Search in BC Rates *
Preliminary Name Search $ 14.00 for 3 names
Name Reservation for BC $ 59.95

* Taxes and disbursements are extra, where applicable.


Questions & Answers

Q. Why do I need a NUANS Search?

A. Corporate name search report is required in order to register:
Provincial or Federal corporation
Non-profit or charitable corporations
Register a Trademark
NUANS name search is necessary to incorporate your business in Ontario or Canada. Requesting a NUANS search online takes only a few minutes. Your NUANS report is usually ready within 2-3 business hours. Your NUANS search report will show what specific sole proprietorship, partnership, trademark and corporate names that sound similar to your proposed name. If a conflict exists then you will have to do a new NUANS name search. That is why we recommend doing a preliminary business name search before an actual NUANS search. That gives you an opportunity to search for up to 3 business names at a much lower price. A NUANS report does not provide any form of approval. It is a tool that will allow you to make an informed decision. It is important to study both the name section and trademark section of your NUANS report for companies, businesses and trademarks that may conflict with your name choice. The decision to proceed is entirely your own and the responsibility for this decision rests entirely with you.

Q. Why would I do a NUANS name search when I can do preliminary name search for less?

A. NUANS search is required by law in order to register a corporation in Ontario or Canada. After the name search has been done, the NUANS search report gives you the right to reserve the corporate business name you selected for 90 days, unless the same name already exists. That means no one will be able to register the same corporate business name before 90 days expire. A preliminary search only searches exact matches. If you want to be certain that no similar names exist, a NUANS is an excellent tool even for a sole proprietorship and partnership.


Register a Sole Proprietorship

Register a Partnership

Register a Trade Name

To ensure complete security of your information you will be directed to our secure website for submitting your application.