Should I incorporate a named or numbered company?

Legally, there is no difference between a named and numbered corporation. Choosing between the two options comes down to what you wish to do with the company. If you are thinking of developing and growing your business into a recognizable brand, one of the best ways to obtain name protection (and to ensure that your corporate name is unique) is via the process of incorporation. If you do wish to incorporate a named company, you will need to obtain a jurisdictionally-biased NUANS® name search report prior to incorporating. Please note that Cyberbahn does offer these required name search services.

However, if the name of the corporation is of no real value to you and you simply wish to incorporate for legal or accounting reasons, then a numbered company may be more suited to your purposes. In this instance you will not need to obtain a NUANS® name search report. You still have the option of filing a trade name (“doing business as”) registration under the numbered company. If you are basing your business in Ontario, you can use Cyberbahn’s Business Name (Corporate Style) Registration service at any point after incorporating.

The content above is not exhaustive and if you are unsure which type of corporation you wish to file, we recommend you perform additional research or consult a lawyer or accountant. A corporation’s name can be changed (including changing from a numbered to a named company) by manually filing Articles of Amendment directly with the governing ministry, though it often cannot be performed online and usually does have a fee attached to it.

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