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Choosing a Business Name for a Corporation in British Columbia: Considerations, Rules, and Laws

When starting a corporation in British Columbia, Canada, choosing a suitable business name is a crucial step. Samuel Osei Law Corporation, a small business law firm located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is here to guide you through the considerations, rules, and laws associated with selecting a business name for a corporation in BC.

1. Availability and Distinctiveness:

The first step in choosing a business name is ensuring its availability and distinctiveness. This involves conducting a name search to determine if the desired name is already in use by another corporation in British Columbia. The corporate name should be unique and distinguishable from existing names to avoid confusion among customers.

2. Legal Requirements:

In British Columbia, there are legal requirements that govern the selection of a business name for a corporation. These requirements include:

a. The name must end with a corporate legal element, such as "Limited," "Ltd.," "Incorporated," "Inc.," or their French equivalents ("Limitée," "Ltée," "Incorporée").

b. The name must not contain prohibited words or phrases, which include terms that may be misleading or suggest a connection to government or royalty, such as "Royal" or "Government."

c. The name should not imply a professional designation, unless the corporation is authorized to provide professional services.

d. The name should not violate trademarks or intellectual property rights of existing entities.

3. Restricted Words and Expressions:

Certain words and expressions in a business name may be restricted or require additional approvals. For instance, if your business name contains words like "Bank," "Trust," or "University," it may need special authorization from regulatory bodies or government agencies.

4. Business Name Reservation:

To secure your chosen business name, you can reserve it with the British Columbia Corporate Registry. This reservation provides a temporary hold on the name for a specific period, allowing you to complete the necessary paperwork and incorporate your business without the risk of someone else registering the name during that time.

Choosing a business name for a corporation in British Columbia involves careful consideration of legal requirements, availability, distinctiveness, and the potential need for name reservations. Samuel Osei Law Corporation, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is dedicated to providing legal guidance in selecting a business name that aligns with the regulations and meets your specific needs. Contact us today (phone: 778-680-6087 and e-mail: to ensure a smooth and compliant start to your corporation in British Columbia.

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