The first step
in the registration of a partnership or sole proprietorship
is the approval of a business name. The approval of a name
is also the first step in incorporating a company, a society
or a cooperative.
Obtain a Name Approval Request form.
You can obtain a Name
Approval Request form online. In Vancouver, you can pick
up a form at the Canada/British Columbia Business Services
Society at 601 West Cordova Street. In Victoria, visit the
Corporate Registry. In other areas of BC, visit the nearest
Agents office or your local Onestop
out the Name Approval Request form, read the instruction sheet
attached to the form carefully. A form completed properly
will save you both time and money.
What type of business do you want to operate?
Do you want to incorporate a company, register a partnership,
or a sole proprietorship? We suggest you contact a lawyer
or accountant if you are not sure which type of identity will
meet your needs.
Please note sole
proprietorship and partnership names have no statutory name
protection. If name protection is important to you, you may
wish to incorporate your business.
Fill out the Name Approval Request form.
Fill out all requested information on the Name Approval Request
form. Make sure you indicate the type of name the request
is for: corporation, partnership, proprietorship, society
You may put up
to three choices of names on a Name Approval Request form.
We strongly suggest you use all three choices. Please note
we only examine the request until a name is approved - if
your first choice is approved we do not search the remaining
two. Therefore, putting your choices in order of preference
is very important.
Your name must
have two components. The first part of your name must start
with a distinctive non-descriptive word or phrase: e.g. a
geographical location, your name, a made up word or phrase,
or initials. The second part of your name must describe what
type of business you are in: e.g. shoe store, investments,
doggy wash. A name that would meet our criteria would be John's
Shoe Store or Vancouver Doggy Wash. Names that would not be
approved are The Shoe Store or The Doggy Wash. If you are
incorporating a company you must add a third component called
the corporate designation: e.g. Limited, Ltd., Corporation,
Corp., Incorporated, Inc. If you are registering a sole proprietorship
or partnership, a corporate designation is not used.
Submitting the form .
In Greater Vancouver, you can submit the request by visiting
Canada/British Columbia Business Services Society at 601 West
Cordova Street. In Victoria, visit the Corporate Registry
at 940 Blanshard Street. In other areas of BC, visit your
local Government Agents office or your local Onestop office.
You can submit your name request by mail to PO Box 9431 Stn
Prov Govt, Victoria BC V8W 9V3 Payment of the prescribed
fee can be by cash, cheque or money order made out to
the Minister of Finance. Please do not send cash in the mail.
Processing of your Name Approval Request form.
Once your request reaches the Corporate Registry, it normally
takes two to three working days to process the request. Results
will be confirmed in the same manner as the name request was
submitted, for example if you go to the government agent they
will contact you, if you mail the request, the Corporate Registry
we will mail it back to you.
If one of your names is approved, the name will be reserved
for 56 calendar days. During this time you must submit your
declaration form for a sole proprietorship or partnership
or your incorporation papers. If your documentation is not
submitted within the 56 days, your name reservation will expire
and another name reservation fee will be required if you wish
Use of a Name.
Until your company is incorporated, or your sole proprietorship
or partnership is registered, you should not invest any money
on the name, for example, signs, printing, advertising. The
name is only on reserve and can be cancelled prior to incorporation
Summary of Previous Information.
Obtain a Name Approval Request form and read the instructions
very carefully. There is important information on the form
that is not mentioned in this message.
Regular name reservation fee can be paid by cash, cheque or
money order made payable to the Minister of Finance.
The name must have both a distinctive and descriptive component
and a corporate designation is required if the company is
Submit three choices of names in order of preference.
Once you have a name approved, make sure your documentation
is received by the Corporate Registry prior to the expiry
Do not commit yourself to a name until you are incorporated
can be found at the Corporate
Registry Information Centre