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Registration of Business Names

Selecting the appropriate business name is sometimes the most difficult task faced by the prospective entrepreneur. Your name will be your identity and the way others see you. The registration of a business name is on the public record at the Companies Office of Manitoba and a search of any registered business name will reveal the location of the business and the owners of it.

The business name registration is designed to accomplish two matters. First, the registrant is permitted to conduct business in Manitoba. Secondly, another business registering after will not be granted a name identical or similar to those already on file. While in some cases a business name need not be registered to carry on business in Manitoba, in other cases it must.

A business name must be registered if business is being carried on under a name other than your own (eg. Village Tire Repair). If the business is being carried on with a partner or if you use your surname as one of the names in the business but the name indicates more than one person is involved (eg. Smith Brothers Shoe Repair), you must also register the name.

To register a name you must file a Request for Business Name Registration at the Companies Office together with a fee. Your request for your business name may be approved if there is not a similar name on record. If there is a similar name on record, you may be required to choose a new name. Your business name registration covers the business you operate in Manitoba only. If you are intending to conduct business elsewhere you will be required to register in those other jurisdictions.

Your business name must be renewed every three years. You will need to have your business name in place before applying for a Retail Sales Tax number and GST number. Registering a business name is not incorporating. The name is simply the name that the business utilizes to carry on its business. When commencing your business it is useful to talk to your lawyer about the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating your business, quite apart from finalizing the registration of your business name.


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