Name Searches

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Proprietorship/Trade Name, Partnership, Corporation and Society name searches are conducted in Alberta by authorized users on the NUANS database. A Proprietorship/Trade Name and Partnership do not require a full NUANS name report for registration but it is recommended. Instead, a basic Pre Screen search is conducted to give an indication of other businesses operating with that name in Alberta.

Corporations and Societies are required to have a detailed 6-page Alberta Name Reservation report completed before registration. The report looks for similar names that are already registered as corporations in Alberta, Federally, and for Trade Marks and holds that name for 90 days from the date the report is requested. For a Corporation, a NUANS is often ordered at the same time the incorporation service is requested. You will receive that search and the full results when you pick up your corporation. For a society, your group can pick up your completed NUANS the next business day for submission, with all other required documents, to the Alberta government for registration.

In general, name searches give the best results when business names contain three elements:

Distinctive Element
Descriptive Element
Legal Element
Example:
A-Plus
Registry Services
Ltd.
How you will distinguish yourself from other businesses. Describes the type of business the corporation or Trade Name will be doing, services offered, or goods for sale. Choose ONE of 6 Legal elements: Limited ; Ltd. Incorporated ; Inc., Corporation ; Corp., (These all mean the same thing, it is a matter of personal preference.)

A Trade Name or Partnership will have two of these:

Distinctive Element
Descriptive Element
Example:
Leaky’s
Faucet Repair Service

Using family names or initials are popular choices for the distinctive element, however a NUANS is often required to determine the availability of the business name, even for a Trade Name.

A society name does not have a legal element and will usually end with the word “society” or “association”.

A Trade Name or Partnership CANNOT have a legal element but the use of such words as company, business, etc. is not restricted.

We recommend that you provide your top three name choices for your business in case your first-choice name is already taken or could easily be confused with a similar name or Trade Mark. We also ask that you provide a type of business that you are intending on doing so that we may do the best search possible.

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