When you are looking to incorporate a company in B.C., you need to really consider what you are going to name the company. There are two options when it comes to naming a company In B.C.
The first option is to have a numbered company. Here, the corporate registry assigns a number followed by ‘B.C. Ltd.’. The assigned number is the incorporation number assigned to the company, so an example of a numbered company could be 1234567 B.C. Ltd.
A few of the main advantages of a numbered company are as follows:
- There is no need for the incorporator to decide on a corporate name and have it approved by the registry
- Time and money are saved by not needing the name to be approved by the registry
The main disadvantage is related to branding. It becomes more difficult to create a brand using a number as the company name. As such, numbered companies are typically used as holding companies.
The second option is to choose a name and submit it for approval from the registry. It is possible to choose up to three names of your choice and have them submitted to the registry in the name request. The registry then examines the names in the order that they are submitted and advises whether they have been approved or not. A name request will typically take the registry about three weeks to review and make a decision. However, by paying an additional $100.00 for the priority service, the name request is normally received within 48 hours.
During the review, the registry ensures that the names comply with all of the requirements in accordance with the relevant legislation and that they do not c
onflict with pre-existing names in B.C. All names should include a distinctive element, descriptive element and a corporate designation.
A distinctive element can be a geographical location, coined word, or a personal name (i.e. John Doe Holdings Inc.). This element is important because it’ll act as the differentiating factor if the descriptive elements are similar. Next, the descriptive element is often something that will describe the nature of the business. Often times this will be similar or identical to existing names (i.e. Holdings, Investments…) and that is why the distinctive element is so crucial. Finally, there must be a corporate designation and this can include; Limited, Incorporated, Corporation or their abbreviations Ltd, Inc or Corp.
There are other rules that apply if you are a professional, such as a doctor or lawyer. These rules are created by the regulatory bodies. It is a good idea to contact the regulatory body and review these rules prior to submitting a name reservation.
Finally, name changes are an option at any time, as long as the relevant rules are complied with. So, if you are looking to incorporate and pick a name or change an existing name or if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call.