Last Updated February 3, 2024

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A Business Name Search allows you to check the availability of a potential name for your business across Canada, or in a specific province or territory. Performing a search before you select a final name is the best way to avoid trying to register a name that isn’t available.

With LawDepot, you can conduct Preliminary and Official Searches. Depending on the province or territory, an Official Search will either be completed through a NUANS report or a provincial name reservation.

What is a NUANS report?

A NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) report is a special type of name search for Canadian businesses and trademarks. It searches corporate registries across Canada and ensures that a proposed corporate name is not already in use. This search is necessary for registering a named corporation, as mandated by provincial and federal governments.

Getting a NUANS report doesn’t guarantee that your name will be approved with the relevant provincial or federal registry. However, it makes the name approval process substantially faster and more straightforward, as you’ve done your due diligence to make sure your proposed name doesn’t violate someone else’s intellectual property.

Purchase a NUANS report through LawDepot by selecting Official Search. Official Searches are currently available for:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island

Additionally, we also offer Official Searches at a federal level, which can be used when incorporating a federal company

Note: Incorporating federally, or in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, does not specifically require NUANS reports. Instead, when using our Official Search service, you’ll obtain a provincial name reservation of your proposed name. Provincial name reservations are generated from that province’s specific registry database, rather than the NUANS database.

A NUANS Report is also known as a:

  • NUANS search
  • NUANS name search
  • NUANS name report 
  • Corporate name search
  • Provincial name report 
  • Provincial name reservation

Along with Official Searches, LawDepot offers Preliminary Searches in all Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec. 

A Preliminary Search is less expensive than an Official Search and is a great option to use when attempting to narrow down a list of names. However, it is less accurate, and the results cannot be used when incorporating.

Preliminary Search versus Official Search (NUANS report)

Not sure whether you need a Preliminary Search or an Official Search? Here are some key points to keep in mind: 

Preliminary Search

Official Search (NUANS report)


Starting at $49.00 (prices vary per province)

Use this search when exploring possible corporate names

Request this search once you’ve settled on a name and want to reserve it

Cannot be used for the incorporation process

Used to incorporate named companies

Available in all Canadian provinces and territories, except Quebec

Currently available in AB, BC, NB, NS, ON, PEI, SK, and federally

When is a NUANS report required?

A NUANS report is required for any application to incorporate a named corporation provincially in these Canadian provinces:

  • Alberta
  • Ontario
  • New Brunswick 
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

NUANS reports are not required to incorporate numbered corporations

Looking to incorporate your business? Use LawDepot’s quick and reliable incorporation services.

Several Canadian provinces do not specifically require NUANS reports. Instead, as we’ve already covered above, you can use our Official Search service to obtain a provincial name reservation of your proposed name. 

A provincial name reservation through our Official Search is available in these Canadian provinces:

  • British Columbia
  • Saskatchewan

Federal searches are also available through LawDepot’s Official Search.

Even if your jurisdiction does not require a NUANS report, it is advisable to obtain one anyway. Searching your business name before starting the incorporation process has many advantages, including saving money on corporate registry fees and marketing materials if your proposed name is unavailable. It can also help protect you from any legal liabilities that could arise from using a name that is already registered.

Other uses for a Business Name Search (NUANS)

In addition to incorporating your business, Business Name Searches can also be used for:

  • Changing a business’s name
  • Registering your business, trademark, or franchise
  • Complying with federal and provincial requirements

How long is a NUANS report valid for?

Generally, NUANS reports are valid for 90 days. If you would like to reserve your name for a longer period, you will need to request a new NUANS report after your first report expires. 

Provincial name reservations may be valid for a different time period than a NUANS report. For example, a BC name reservation is valid for 56 days. Check with your province’s corporate registry for specific expiry periods.

How long does it take to get a NUANS report?

Once you purchase a Preliminary or Official Search, we will receive your submitted business name(s) and quickly begin processing your order. Depending on the jurisdiction, you will receive your completed NUANS report in 1-7 business days.

How much does a Business Name Search cost?

As mentioned above, LawDepot offers two types of corporate name searches, with two different prices. 

LawDepot’s Preliminary Searches cost $9.99, no matter which province or jurisdiction you are searching in.

The cost of an Official Search depends on the region. Here’s a full cost breakdown of Official Searches:







British Columbia




New Brunswick


Nova Scotia


Prince Edward Island




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