Naming Your Practice

You’ll want to begin the naming process about 10 months to one year before you plan to open your doors. Choosing a name for your practice is a very important first step and lays the foundation for how your public will view your business in the future.

Don’t involve all your friends and relatives in the naming decision. It might seem like fun to get everyone involved, but you can only pick one name and the rest will be disappointed. You don’t want a name chosen by “consensus” either—it will probably end up being too plain. You and a couple of your right-brained friends might be a better combination.

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

please click here to download and install Adobe Flash Player

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

please click here to download and install Adobe Flash Player
The name should be easy to remember and spell. For example drawing on our guiding principles you might decide on Vis Medicatrix Clinic, but would anyone be able to spell or pronounce it? Keep it simple. Using your own name may limit you if you decide to bring in other partners or associates later.

There are a number of websites with tips on choosing a name.

  • 10 questions to ask when naming a business.
  • The Canadian government has a wealth of information on starting a business and then links to all provinces cover provincial regulations. Going to “Ont.” will get you to The Canadian-Ontario Business Service Centre which has lots to tips on choosing a name and then sites to search if the name is already being used and details on how to register your name.
  • Enter a word and this site will come up with combinations of the word. There is even a rhyming option!

Do a rough name search using Google
This will be depressing, because probably any name you can think up has been used somewhere. If it is used outside Canada and the US it may not be a big issue.

Do a search in your province/state
Now you’ll have to start paying. If the proprietor chooses to carry on a business under a name other than their own, they must register with the Ministry of Government Services (MGS) under the Business Names Act. (If a sole proprietor establishes a business in his/her own name, without adding any other words, it is not necessary to register the business.)

Business name registration is valid for five years at which time a renewal is required. The registration of the business name does not in itself ensure the exclusive use of that name in Ontario for the individual registering it. MGCS has no obligation to avoid name duplication or to advise anyone registering a name that it has been previously registered.

To avoid duplication you may wish to check the Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search (NUANS) report. This is a computer report consisting of corporate names, business names and trademarks that have already been registered and are similar to the proposed corporate name. The NUANS can be conducted by a searcher of record or by Cyberbahn Inc. and ONCorp Direct Inc., the latter are all Service Providers, under contract with MGS. Please contact the provider of your choice for information on the fees for a NUANS. A NUANS is not required if incorporating a numbered company.