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Companies Office Name Reservation

Name Reservation Guidelines

The following guidelines will help you complete your online Name Reservation form.

  1. What is the proposed company name?
  2. Select the reason for the reservation.
  3. If you selected " Change of Name from " indicate the name prior to the change.
  4. How or why was the name chosen?
  5. Indicate where in Manitoba the business will be carried on.
  1. Describe the nature of business.
  2. Note any other relevant information. (optional)
  3. What is Expedited Service?
  4. Client's File Number or Name.
  1. What is the proposed company name?

    Issues to consider when choosing a name:

    • The name should consist of a distinctive element, a descriptive element, and end with a legal element (for corporate name only).
    • The name should not be confusingly similar to an existing name or trademark.
    • The name must not be objectionable

    Distinctive, Descriptive and Legal element:

    Distinctive, Descriptive and Legal element
    • Distinctive

      The distinctive element serves to differentiate names having identical or similar descriptive elements, and for that reason, is the most important element to be examined in the name.

      Names such as "DOLL SHOP LTD." and "FOOD STORE" lack an appropriate distinctive element, and for that reason, would be rejected.

      They would, however, be acceptable, if a distinctive element were added (e.g. coined word, geographical location or personal name etc.) that would distinguish them from all other doll shops and food stores.


    • Descriptive

      The descriptive element is useful in describing the nature of the business. It allows for the use of identical or similar distinctive elements, which might be desirable in developing a particular presence in the marketplace.


      Note that the descriptive element can be the first word (e.g. Pizza Haven)
      In this case, "Pizza" is the descriptive element. "Haven" is the distinctive element.

    • Legal Element

      Incorporated companies must have a legal element or abbreviations thereof, as the last word in the name (Limited or Ltd.; Incorporated or Inc.; Corporation or Corp.)

      Business names (for sole proprietorships and partnerships) cannot use any form of a legal element in the name. (e.g. - Enercorp)

    Confusingly Similar:

    The name you choose should not be confusing to the public (to be confused with an already existing name).

    It is in your best interest to choose a name that is not too similar to an existing Manitoba or Federal name or Trademark. The owner of the similar name or Trademark could launch a court action in order to restrain you from using the name. As well, the owner of the similar name could ask the Companies Office to change your name. By this time you will probably have invested much time, effort, and money in the name.

    Objectionable names that will not be accepted:

    • Names containing the words Manitoba Tartan and Golden Boy.
    • Where the name implies a connection with the Crown, members of the Royal Family, Government of Manitoba, or Government of Canada (unless a consent from the appropriate authority is received).

    Bilingual Names:

    Manitoba Corporation

    • If names are visually similar, then only one Name Reservation is necessary.
    • If names are visually dissimilar, then two separate Name Reservations are necessary with a fee for each name (one for the English version of name and one for the French version of name).

    Extra-Provincial and Federal Registrations

    • If the name has both English and French versions, only one Name Reservation is required with both the English and French versions noted.

    Prohibited Names and Other Things to Consider:

    • Names containing obscene terms, vulgar expressions, racial slurs, or suggest that your business provides obscene, scandalous or immoral services.
    • The word Manitoba cannot be the first word of a corporation with share capital (e.g. for profit) or Business Name unless established by long and continuous use. However, Manitoba can be used anywhere else in the name. (e.g. Tulips in Manitoba).
    • The word Manitoba can be the first word of a corporation without share capital or Name Notation (e.g. non-profit).
    • The word amalgamated can only appear in the name if the corporation exists as a result of an amalgamation.
    • Association or Society cannot appear in the name of a Corporation with share capital or Business Name.
    • Punctuation Marks — Proposed name can contain only the following punctuation marks ! " $ % & ' ( ) * + , _ - . / : ; < = > ? [ ] \
    • Name Indicating the Practice of a ProfessionBusiness Name: you must give proof of professional standing. (e.g. copy of current license). Corporate Name: requires a consent of the Professional Association (e.g. Doctors - consent from College of Physician and Surgeons of Manitoba).

    Numbered Names:

    If wanting to incorporate a numbered corporation in Manitoba, a Request for Name Reservation, is not required. Complete the Articles of Incorporation or Business Name Registration documents with the name formatted as________________Manitoba Ltd (for a corporation) or_______________Manitoba for a Business Name. Our office will insert the number on the documents.

    A Name Reservation or fee is not required for Numbered companies from other jurisdictions, continuing in Manitoba and wishing to retain their numbered names.

    Numerals as Part of Name:

    Numerals as part of the name may be used in company names as the distinctive element, provided that it is not made to appear that the company is a numbered company.

    A year may be used in a name provided it is the year of incorporation, amalgamation or registration. A Business name may contain a prior year providing the Business indicates the Business commenced in that year.

    e.g. "103 MAIN ST. HOLDINGS" or "TANGO RESTAURANT (1985) LTD."

  2. Select the reason for the reservation.

    You must choose one of the following:

    • Business Registration — Any person or persons (including corporations) carrying on business under a name other than their own must register. All partnerships must register.
    • Incorporation (Share) — Under The Corporations Act of Manitoba, incorporation of a corporation with share capital creates a legal entity or "person" which can sue and be sued, hold property in its own name, and which is required to file its own tax returns. Such companies are carried on for profit.
    • Incorporation (Non-Share) — A corporation without share capital incorporated under The Corporations Act of Manitoba.. Also a legal entity or "person". Its undertaking must be restricted to that of a patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, educational, agricultural, scientific, literary, historical, artistic, social, professional, fraternal, sporting or athletic nature or the like. Its undertaking must be carried on without pecuniary gain to its members. It is often referred to as a "non-profit corporation".
    • Change of Name from — If an existing registered business name wishes to change its name, it must file a Change of Business Name declaration with The Companies Office. For a corporation to change its name, it must file Articles of Amendment with The Companies Office. If an extra-provincial or federal body corporate changes its name in its home jurisdiction, it must file an Application for Supplementary Certificate of Registration with the Companies Office.
    • Amalgamation — Two or more Manitoba corporations may join together and continue as one corporation by filing Articles of Amalgamation. If an Extra-Provincial or Federal body corporate registered in Manitoba to do business amalgamates in its home jurisdiction, it should file an Application for Supplementary Certificate of Registration.
    • Registration of a Federal Corporation — A corporation incorporated under the authority of an Act of the Parliament of Canada, such as the Canada Business Corporations Act, must register under The Corporations Act of Manitoba if it is doing business in Manitoba.
    • Registration of an Extra-Provincial Corporation — A corporation incorporated under the laws of another province, state or country must register under The Corporations Act of Manitoba if it is doing business in Manitoba.
    • Revival/Restoration — A dissolved Manitoba corporation can, after remedying any defaults with The Companies Office, revive itself. A cancelled Extra-Provincial or Federal corporation can similarly apply to restore its registration in Manitoba.
    • Renewal — Business registrations are for a period of three years, but can be renewed by the registrant. Failure to renew will result in the expiry of the business name.
    • Continuance — A Federal or Extra-Provincial body corporate (whether or not it has previously registered in Manitoba to do business) may become a Manitoba corporation by filing Articles of Continuance. The corporation ceases to be incorporated under the laws of its old jurisdiction. If an Extra-Provincial or Federal body corporate which is registered to do business in Manitoba continues to a jurisdiction other than Manitoba, it should file an Application for Supplementary Certificate of Registration.
    • Name Notation — A Name Notation may be used by non-profit groups which are not incorporated. A non-profit group that is not incorporated may file a Name Notation, but it is not required to do so. Filing a Name Notation notes the name of the group or organization in the records of The Companies Office for a period of three years, and may be renewed similar to a Business Registration.
    • Trust or Loan Corporation — A Trust Corporation is a corporation that holds property in trust for others. A Loan Corporation is a corporation that accepts deposits of money. In order to be incorporated or registered as a Trust or Loan Corporation, a Business Authorization must first be obtained from the Financial Institutions Regulation Branch of the Province of Manitoba.
  3. If you selected "Change of Name from", indicate the name prior to the change.

    If you selected "Change of Name from", you must indicate the complete and full name of the existing business or corporation.

  4. How or why was the name chosen?

    1. Coined Word

      Coined or made-up words are acceptable distinctive elements provided they do not conflict with other name(s) already registered.

      e.g. Can-Tec Audio Shop Ltd. OR Dwidagdoodle Group

    2. Family Name

      A corporate or business name shall not contain a family name whether or not preceded by his first name or initials, unless the individual or his legal representative is the incorporator/registrant or consents to the use of the name, or unless a business which already contains this name consents.

      However, 20 years after death and/or if the name is no longer notorious, no consent is required.

      e.g. "CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS CARTOGRAPHY LTD." — no consent required

      If the name is someone's maiden name or a fictitious name, this does not breach the Rule, but should be explained under OTHER. (See section 4(e))

    3. Initials

      Where the name is made up entirely of initials, at least 3 letters are required

    4. Geographical

      A geographical name can be the name of a city, street, town, lake, river, etc. Please note that a name cannot be comprised of a geographical location only, and other words are needed as part of the distinctive or descriptive elements.

    5. Other

      If the reason for how or why this name was chosen does not fall under any of the above mentioned categories then you must enter a brief description in this box. Please be as specific as you can.

      e.g. personal choice is not acceptable

      Examples that are acceptable:

      • from a dream
      • my pet's name
      • play on words
      • made it up
      • fun and creative
      • combination of names
  5. Indicate where in Manitoba the business will be carried on (e.g. Gimli, Winnipeg etc).

    This is self-explanatory. You must indicate only the city or town of the business location. You can also state more than one location in Manitoba.

  6. Describe the nature of business. Please provide a detailed description.

    This field is very helpful and important. It should provide a specific and brief description of what the business is doing. It is not acceptable to state "Miscellaneous", "Services" or "Retail", etc. More detailed information is required.

    Examples that are acceptable:

    • trucking industry
    • selling of computers and rental of movies
    • selling gas and restaurant
    • seamstress
  7. Note any other relevant information. (optional)

    In this field you must indicate any information that would be relevant to your proposed name that might help the Companies' Office Staff make a decision.

    Examples are:

    1. The proposed name is very similar to XYZ COMPANY and written consent will be provided from that company, for the use of the name.
    2. New proposed name is affiliated with and applicant is the registrant of XYZ COMPANY.
    3. Original Name Reservation is expiring tomorrow and would like to re-reserve the name for another 90 days.
    4. If your proposed name is an extra-provincial body, please indicate your home jurisdiction. (e.g. My home jurisdiction of my extra-provincial body corporation is "Saskatchewan".)
  8. What is Expedited Service?

    Although Name Reservations are processed as soon as possible and usually within two working days of receipt, there may be circumstances that require a quicker turn around time. Therefore, the Companies Office offers "expedited service" to its clients. This means you can file a Request for Name Reservation and receive the results within the following time frames:

    • If your request for "expedited service" is received before 9:30 a.m., your name reservation results will be ready by 2:30 p.m. the same day
    • If your request for "expedited service" is received after 9:30 a.m., but before 2:30 p.m., your name reservation results will be ready by 10:30 a.m. the next working day.

    The fee for expediting a Name Reservation is an additional $40.00 (per name).

  9. Client's File Number or Name is an optional field for your own use only.

    By completing this field with the Client's Name or File Number, the information will appear on your copy of the Name Reservation that the Companies Office returns to you.


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