Tue. Apr 16th, 2024
How to Confirm and Reserve a Business Name to Incorporate in British Columbia

Want to reduce your tax burden and limit liability? You can achieve this by hiring a Canadian business lawyer in Vancouver BC to incorporate your business in British Columbia. To incorporate, the Canadian federal government and most Canadian provinces require you to appoint at least one Canadian citizen or permanent resident as a director. There is no such requirement in British Columbia. However, you must have a corporation’s head office address in the province. It can be a virtual office address as well. 

You can incorporate with the provincial government or the Canadian federal government. You have to pay fees and submit some documents to both governments. However, you will have to deal with less paperwork and pay less overall fees when incorporating provincially in B.C. You can expand your business to other provinces and even countries simply by registering in those jurisdictions. Also check Commerce insurance.

Choose and Reserve Business Name  

It is a stressful but fun experience to pick a business name. It takes five steps to confirm and reserve a business name.  

Search on the Web 

You can search for a preferred name on the internet to make sure that the name is not already being used by some other business. Look for someone having the same or similar business name in British Columbia. Avoid a name that is similar to the name of an international company. You don’t want to have problems with trademarks in the future. 

Search for a Domain Name 

Once you have picked a business name, the next step is buying a domain name for your business website. Look for a domain name that matches your corporate name. Your domain name plays an important role in digital marketing techniques like search engine optimization. It should be a short domain name that is memorable and easy to type. Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your domain name. 

Trademark Search 

Make sure that no one has registered a Trademark for the name you have picked. You can check trademarks online with Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO). Already registered names are not available for use. In this case, you can check alternate spellings. However, don’t use a name that can confuse your customers. Every trademark is tied to specific services or goods. You can contact a Canadian business lawyer in Vancouver BC who can help you in this step. 

Legal Requirements 

In this step, you need to address some legal requirements. This is where you need the services of a Canadian business lawyer. The following are the three components of a good business name: 


  • Distinctive element (eg. Tremblay)
  • Descriptive element (eg. Foods)
  • Legal ending (eg. Inc.)     


So, the business name will be – Tremblay Foods Inc. 

Here Tremblay reflects your brand name and Foods reflects the nature of your business. Some companies don’t use a descriptive element in their business names. Apart from Inc., you can also use other legal endings like “Corp.” or “Ltd.”        

When you are incorporating in British Columbia, you can list three names in your application. So, if one name is rejected, you can go for another name.

Request Name Approval 

Now, you can send your business name to BC Registry Services for approval. You simply need to list three potential business names in a simple document. You can also rank these three names.

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