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Changing a company's Business Name

Expert: Jane Heo

Elizabeth asked:

I am a business director of a small corporation. Both the shares & the assets of the company were purchased and we did not consider changing the "operating as" name of our #Ont.Ltd.Corp.. At a recent meeting, I agreed to investigate the details & costs of a Name Change & how to contact the appropriate Government Agencies & Affiliates. We feel that a name change would have a positive affect on the image of the business & our unanimous vision of our Future as well as for advertising & marketing purposes. Any help you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank You for your attention to my comments. I await your reply.

Jane Heo answered:

Here are the steps involved with changing your business name

  1. You will need to cancel the current business name registration. There is no fee to do this. Contact the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services (1-800-565-1921) and request a Form 2. This form can then be filed with the Ministry. Their address is: 393 University Avenue, Suite 200
    Toronto, ON
    M5G 2M2

  2. (a) The director of your corporation will now have to make sure that the name you have in mind is not already in use. To do this, you should arrange to have a preliminary NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) performed. If the name is available you can reserve it for 90 days. Please note that if it is an Ontario corporation, you will require an Ontario based NUANS. There are several "search houses" that perform this service, and you can also look in the Yellow Pages under "searchers of records".

    Once the name has been reserved, you will have to file Form 3 - Articles of Amendment under the Business Corporations Act along with the NUANS search with the Ministry as this service is not available on-line. The cost of filing the Articles of Amendment is $150.

  3. (b) The final step is the registration of the business name. They can complete the Form 2 - Registration under the Business Names Act and file it directly with the Ministry ($60) or through a service such as ours. After the registration is complete, a Master Business Licence will be issued for the business name.

    It is important to note that the business name registration expires in five years. The Ministry does not send any notice of renewal so it is a good idea to diarize the date. Currently, business name renewals must be filed directly with the Ministry as it is not available on-line.

About the author

Jane Heo is a customer service representative with Cyberbahn Inc.

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