Ownr conducts a preliminary name search when you start building your company on our platform. Our search tool will indicate if there is an exact match for the name, or if the name will likely be rejected for another reason (e.g. missing a descriptive term). This tool is meant to help you select a name that is more likely to be approved by the government. You can perform unlimited free searches before you submit your application.

As you enter potential company names in the search tool, you may encounter an exact name match or similar name message.

“Exact Name Match” Message

Sole Proprietorship Registrations

If you enter a company name that has already been registered, you will see the following message in Ownr:

In this case, we recommend that you alter the proposed name or change it altogether. While sole proprietorships can technically register the same name as an existing company, complications may arise in the future. Possible implications can include, but are not limited to, civil litigation and/or the forced name change by the applicable business registry. We also want to ensure you are creating a unique brand that will help your business stand out and thrive in the future.


If you enter a company name that has already been registered, you will see the following message in Ownr:

Unlike sole proprietorships, corporations may not register with the same name as an existing company, so you will need to change your proposed name in order to move forward with incorporation.

If you have registered the name previously, or have purchased a NUANS report for the name, select “click here” (as shown below). In the pop-up you can upload your NUANS report or Name Reservation if you already have one, or enter your Pre-Approval Registration number, if you have already contacted the corporate registry to approve your name. Or you can sign a consent form confirming you own the trade name and will transfer ownership of the trade name to your new corporation.

If you have not already registered the name, or have not purchased a NUANS report, you will need to modify the name to continue.

“Similar Name” Message

Sole Proprietorship Registrations & Incorporations

If you enter a company name that is similar to an existing company, you will see the following message in Ownr:

Below this message a list of the similarly named companies will appear. While you may proceed with your proposed name when you get this message, the government may flag your application once it’s been submitted in Ownr, and require further information or alterations be made to your business name.

An Ownr team member will reach out to you in this case, and will walk you through how to submit the necessary information. We know how stressful these situations can be, so we make it as easy as possible for you to provide an acceptable response to the government and get your application approved.

If you’re unsure how to proceed when registering your business, please reach out to our Customer Support team at [email protected], or via the live chat feature at ownr.co for assistance.

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