Can I Create a Business Name Similar to another Business Name?


Have you ever wondered what the process for registering a business name is like? Or if it’s possible to register a business name that’s similar to another business name? In this post, we’ll cover these questions and more.

You May not be able to Register it

If you are the first person to register a name, you can use it. If someone else has registered a similar name, you may not be able to register it.

You should check online for any businesses that already have a similar name to yours or are named with words that are similar in meaning to what you want your business name to be. For example, if your proposed business is called “Buzzy Bee” and there is already a registered business called “Bizzy Bee”, then you will not be able to register this name as there would be multiple businesses with confusingly similar names (and this sort of thing will happen more often than not).

Search for it on the Business Registry Online Database

The best way to know if a business name is available is to search for it on the Business Registry online database. Search by entering your business name and other relevant information into the fields provided. If a match is found, you can check whether it’s registered as a trade name or a certification mark by clicking on either of those categories in the results screen.

If your preferred business name has no matches, or if there are matches but they’re not from people with similar products or services (e.g., don’t worry about finding another restaurant called “Pizza,” unless you plan on serving pizza too), then it’s safe to assume that no one else has already claimed this particular combination of words within Canada’s borders—and that means you can register it.

The Name will be Protected for 60 days

  • You can reserve a business name for up to 60 days at no cost.
  • You can reserve a business name for up to 12 months. For example, if you’ve registered your company as ABC Inc., you could renew this name by paying the required fee every year—but it’s not mandatory that you do so.
  • If your organization is charitable or non-profit in nature, you may be able to reserve a business name for three years at no charge. However, there are requirements that must be met before this option is available (such as receiving approval from Industry Canada).

Include the Last Names

You must include your last name or the last names of all partners in your partnership. Your business name must not be misleading and it must not be offensive to anyone. You should also make sure that it does not infringe on another person’s registered trademark or a reserved word.


If a business name is available for registration, you can register it. However, if a name is already registered to someone else or similarly named, you may not be able to do so.

If the name you want to use has already been reserved on any registry of names, your application will be rejected by the regulator. If no one has reserved the name in any registry of names, then it will be available for use by anyone.


The Business Registry is a great resource for finding out if a business name is available for registration. The database can be accessed online at any time and it’s easy to search through the many names that have been reserved for future use. If you find one that matches your needs, then you can register it immediately.

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