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Ordering a NUANS Report for Company Name Searches

A NUANS Report is a cross-Canada comparison of the name that you want to use for your company with all active companies in Canada using similar names. The report will not say whether a name is available or not – it will just let you know if the name is not recommended or confusingly similar to another company’s name.

Download NUANS Form

When is a NUANS Report required?

A NUANS Report is required to incorporate a new named company or to revive a named company that has been struck for more than 3 years.

When else is a NUANS Report recommended?

You may wish to do a NUANS Report before registering a Trade Name, Sole Proprietorship or Partnership to establish that the exact name you choose for your company was not in use at the time that you started doing business under that name. This does not protect the name or prevent others from using it, but it could be useful in the instance that someone decides in the future to take action against you for doing business under a name that they have registered as a Corporation or Trade Mark.

How do I choose a good name?

The most important thing to remember is that a good company name means something to the people who will use your services. You should select a company name that reflects a positive image, that identifies your company and that describes what you do.

Your company name must also contain 1. Identifying Element, 2. Descriptive Element, 3. Legal Element

For example:

  • Platinum Bookkeeping Ltd. (Platinum = identifying, Bookkeeping = descriptive, Ltd. = legal element).
  • Martindale Drycleaning Inc.
  • Red Arrow Courier Limited

All of these names have an identifying element which sets them apart from other companies that do the same work, a descriptive element that lets prospective customers know what service they do, and a legal element which is required by the Alberta Business Corporations Act. We are often asked to do NUANS reports with initials. For example, Sam and Robert want to start a painting company and call it SB Group Ltd. This name doesn’t identify them to prospective customers and it doesn’t describe what they do. It is better for them to choose a name like “Wild Rose Painting Ltd.” or “Royal Painters Inc.”

I already did a web domain search. Do I still need a NUANS Report?

Yes, you still need a NUANS Report. Web domain searches determine that the url that you want is available but there is no legal requirement to register a business in order to get a domain. Many companies are active in Canada without a website. Doing an internet search before you do a NUANS report is a great idea as it can give you good clues about what names are popular or in use in Alberta already. Also, if you are going to want to set up a website for your company with a domain name that is the same as your company name, it’s a great idea to make sure the domain is available first. There are many companies that do this service, but we use Go Daddy. When you have selected a viable domain name, come see us to complete a NUANS Report to make sure the company name is recommended.

What information is included on the NUANS Report?

The search report consists of 7 pages and allows you to evaluate the availability of the proposed name. See a sample report.

How many names are included in the NUANS search?

You can choose up to three names for us to pre-search. We ask you to provide the names in the order of preference; if the pre-search on your first choice name shows that it is a viable choice, we will run the actual NUANS Report for that name. If the pre-search for the first name determines that there will be direct hits for this name, we move onto the second name. Please note that it does occasionally happen that a pre-search indicates that a name will be viable but then the NUANS Report indicates that the name is confusingly similar to an existing name. Once the report runs, we do have to charge you for the report. We will then work with you to provide guidance and reduced pricing for an alternate name.

How do I order a NUANS Report?

You can come into East Caglary Registry to order your NUANS Report for $45 plus GST or you can complete the NUANS report by phone, fax or email by downloading the Application. Instructions for payment and sending the form back to us are on the form.

Remember that you will need three prospective names (in order of preference) and also be prepared to let us know what type of business you will conduct. The options are listed on the application form; just select the one that applies best to your business.


See Also:

A NUANS Report is the first step in Incorporating a Company.