Canadian flag in front of the tower of the central block of parliament in Ottawa

Nuans Search – What’s in a name?

“Registering a Named Corporation? It is necessary to do a NUANS search.

Nuans Search

As a new business owner with a limited budget, I have taken to Google, my friendly neighbourhood information source. Information I found gave me a grasp of how to navigate the waters of incorporation in the easiest and most cost-effective way possible. Both Federal and Provincial incorporation require you to include a Nuans Name Search Report Reservation Number as part of the process.

Now you might ask what is NUANS? My friend Google helped me find out exactly this. NUANS is a business name and trademark search tool. The Canadian Government web site states:

NUANS is the Government of Canada’s combined search tool of business names and trademarks. This tool uses a powerful algorithm to list names and trademarks similar or identical to the searched name.

NewBusinessNow.com provides the following additional information:

NUANS® is an acronym that stands for Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search. Quite simply, NUANS® is a computerized search system that compares prospective business or corporate names to a database of existing, reserved and proposed corporate names and trademarks in all of Canada, except the Province of Quebec.

How Much? How do I Start?

Ordering a Federal NUANS search report costs $13.80 and it can only be completed for yourself; this means that you must do it for yourself or have your lawyer do it for you.

To start a Nuans Search navigate here:

https://www.nuans.com/eic/site/075.nsf/eng/home

Let the page load and then click on the “Order a Nuans report” button to begin.

NUANS Search and Report – Step by Step – Step 1

In this step-by-step guide to completing a NUANS search and getting your report for incorporation in Canada, I provide screenshots and explain each step making it as easy as possible. In step 1, you enter your proposed business name, we will use “NameSeeker” for this exercise,  and then click the “Next” button starting the process.

Order a NUANS report

If there is a company using exactly your intended name in a Canadian jurisdiction, you will see a result like the one below. This matched result for DAMGeeks Ltd. shows the jurisdictions where the name is used: Canada (CD-11311652) and Ontario (ON03211949). The preliminary search result also provides the registration date and current status. 

NUANS search - exact match found

 With a little luck, your intended name is not in use and your search result looks like this:

NUANS search - no exact matches

With your intended name not in use, there will be fewer potential hurdles to registering as a named corporation. You are now ready to supply the rest of your details and get your report. Click on the “Next” button to go to the next step.

NUANS Search – Step 2

In Step 2, you enter how your company will be called, use the exact spelling and case you want. Add words to distinguish your company name from other companies with similar names. If your name is not unique, words like “Holdings” or “Consulting” will make your name unique and clarify the type of business you are registering. If your intended company name is unused, select the recommended name – this is always preferred. You must supply your business activity, I use “Management, scientific and technical consulting services” in our example. Follow the “NameSeeker” example and select word(s) that distinguish your business from others. Forgetting to select your distinguishing word(s), they are highlighted in grey, raises an error on submission. Submit your validated information by clicking on the “Next” button.

NUANS report step 2 of 5

NUANS Search – Step 3

With the halfway point now behind us, we review and confirm the information we’ve supplied. If you find a typo use the “Previous” button to go back and correct it as required. The page reaffirms the cost of the report at $13.80.

NUANS step 3 of 5 - Confirm search details

You must enter and confirm your email address on the page. This email is where you will receive the NUANS report after you pay.

NUANS search step 3 or 5 - supply and confirm email

Click on the “Next” button to submit the page. You have 12 minutes to provide payment details on the next screen.

NUANS Search – Step 4

As with any other online payment page, you enter your credit card details: name on card, card number, expiration date, and CVD number. Click on the Submit payment” after providing your information to pay for your NUANS report.

NUANS search step 4 of 5 - enter payment details

After successful payment, a  confirmation page is displayed.

NUANS Search – Step 5

The fifth and final step has you receive your NUANS report by email to the address you supplied. The NUANS report email includes the nine (9) digit Nuans Name Search Report Reservation Number you will use to incorporate. Your NUANS report is attached to the email as a PDF. The email is bilingual English and French and looks like this:

NUANS report email

You’ve now completed an important part of incorporating your company in Canada. and you did it yourself. You mustn’t forget that the NUANS search and report are valid for 90 days; it is important to strike while the iron is hot and complete your journey.

What’s Next?

If you are ready to complete your Federal Incorporation read my upcoming post – Incorporating Federally in Canada.

If you are not quite ready and want to understand why I chose to do a Federal Named Incorporation have a look at my post – Incorporation options in Canada – What is right for you?.

I completed the incorporation of DAMGeeks in July of 2019, and looking back, I can’t say that I would change things. Completing the process myself was not overly complex as the tools supplied by the Canadian government are straightforward and easy to use. Saving a little cash and understanding more about the process by doing it myself outweighed and challenges encountered.

I hope this helps you on your journey!

About the author: 
Jay Legue is a DAM enthusiast, consultant, and educator. He has more than 20 years of experience with Digital Asset Management and MarTech technologies. Jay is an approachable and innovative leader who has sustained success in delivering value for clients in their challenging environments. Jay’s extensive experience in process analysis and optimization catalyzes beneficial change implementing, evolving, and maintaining DAM solutions.

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