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August 2022 Economic Development Update:

Every business needs a name and there are many things to consider when choosing a name. It should be memorable and easy to spell and pronounce. Quirky spelling might be unique but can make it difficult for a customer to find your business online. The name should be representative of your business and resonate with your customers. Here are a few scenarios to consider.

New Business Name: If you’re starting a new business, the sky’s the limit. If you’re a well-respected tradesperson working for someone else and go out on your own, you might use your own name like Jane Doe Carpentry. If you’re adding a new business to your current operation, you could use a variation of the existing name such as Whispering Aspen Greenhouse and Whispering Aspen Bed & Breakfast. Or you could come up with something personal like your grandmothers’ names combined to form the Majella Irene Preserve Company using their traditional recipes.

Maintaining Existing Name: If you’re buying an existing business, there may be significant value in maintaining the name. For example, if everyone in your community knows that Rolling Hills Landscaping does excellent work and they’ve been around forever, it may make sense to maintain the name. Just make sure you keep up the tradition of excellent work!

Changing Existing Name: If the existing business you bought doesn’t have a positive reputation, consider changing the name to reinvent the business. For example, if you bought a local tourism attraction that went into bankruptcy, it might be wise to reinvent the business with an entirely new name and image.

Next step is completing a Request for Name Reservation with the Manitoba Companies Office. Before you get your heart set on a name, check out their guidelines. The name can’t be the same or really close to another registered company in Manitoba. It also can’t be misleading as to the location or type of business. For example, you can’t name your company Calgary Automotive if you’re opening a bakery in Sundown. There are also requirements based on the business structure e.g. use of Limited, Ltd., Incorporated or Inc. if you’re incorporated. Once you’ve confirmed the business name, the final step is to complete the Business Name Registration with the Manitoba Companies Office, which makes the business name all yours.

No matter what stage your business is at, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to discuss some ideas or get help narrowing down the options, feel free to reach out.

Monique Chenier