Naming your business

Choosing the right name for your business can be an effective advertising tool. It can help your customers understand what your business does and what market you are targeting. The wrong name can confuse or drive away customers.

Some things to think about:

  • The type of business structure you choose for your business will affect your business name.
  • Your business does not receive name protection if you register in Ontario as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or as a "trade name" or "operating name”.
  • If you incorporate your business, the corporation name is protected, as is any trade-mark.
  • A short name is easy to remember.
  • Doing business using your personal name does not tell prospective customers what you do. You may want to consider choosing a name that will help people understand what your company sells.

You may want to:

  • Choose a name that fits the image you want to project and the customers you are selling to.
  • 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 as trade-marks or as incorporated company names.

Choose the name for your business carefully. It will precede you wherever you go!