What are some other name restrictions?

David van Moorsel

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The following is a list of additional restrictions applicable to the naming of your new corporation:

1)  The name cannot be identical to any of the following:

  • any currently registered federal corporations;
  • any active names of corporations extra-provincially registered in Alberta;
  • names of Alberta corporations that are active or were dissolved less than 6 years ago;
  • names that have been proposed but not yet registered as shown on a NUANS report.

Names will be considered identical if the only change is the addition or deletion of punctuation marks or spaces.

2)  The name cannot be similar to the names of:

  • currently registered Alberta corporations, federal corporations and corporations that are extra-provincially registered in Alberta unless the existing corporation has consented in writing to use of the similar name, or has undertaken to change their name or dissolve;
  • Alberta or federal corporations that have been dissolved for less than a year;

Names will be considered similar if use of the name could reasonably lead others to believe that the new corporation is the same as or associated with the previously registered corporation. Names will also be considered similar when:

  • The only difference in the names is the insertion or removal of a year.
  • The only difference in the names is the legal element or the addition or deletion of the word ‘company’ or ‘co.’
  • The only difference in the names is the substitution of a word for its abbreviation or an abbreviation for the word.
  • The only difference in the names is the substitution of a word for its homonym (a word that sounds the same but is spelt differently).
  • The only difference in the names is the addition or deletion of anarticle (the, of, a, an, etc.).
  • The only difference in the names does not produce a phonetic difference.

3)  Unless a name has acquired a distinctive meaning, the name must not be:

  • too general
  • only describe the type of business
  • primarily a geographic name or personal name.

4)  The name must not include family or personal names, unless the appropriate individual consents or the corporation has obtained consent from a similarly-named predecessor corporation.

5)  The name must contain only English language characters, Arabic numerals, or permitted special characters, and the first character must be an English language character or Arabic numeral.

6) The name must not consist of only punctuation marks or special characters.

7)  The name must no contain a year, in parenthesis, unless the corporation is a successor corporation.

8)  The name must not be obscene.

9)  The name must not appear to be a numbered name (i.e. 12345 Alberta Ltd., or 234512 Holdings Corp.). If the name contains less than 5 or more than 8 consecutive numerals and does not appear to be a numbered corporation (such as [insert number] Alberta Ltd.), numerals are acceptable.

10) The name must not include the words “chamber of commerce” or “board of trade”.

11) The name must not suggest that the corporation carries on business under government patronage, approval or authority or that indicate the corporation is sponsored or controlled by or affiliated with the government, without the written consent of the appropriate government body (e.g. Alberta Municipal Affairs Corp., or City of Calgary Social Services Ltd.).

12) The name must not suggest that the corporation is sponsored or controlled by a university, college, or technical institute, or a professional or other occupational association that is regulated by provincial or federal legislation, unless they have written consent from that organization.

13)  The name must not imply the corporation is a government-regulated bank, loan corporation, insurance corporation, trust corporation, stock exchange, or other financial institution such as a credit union, unless government consent has been obtained.


If you’d like more information please contact a business lawyer with Twin River Law LLP.

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This article contains general information, NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
If you’d like legal advice from a lawyer, incorporate with us or contact a lawyer with Twin River Law LLP to request a consultation.