Register a business name (operating name) on behalf of a business or non-profit

Most businesses and non-profits need to register their business name (operating name) with Registry of Joint Stock Companies if it’s different than their legal name. A business name, also called an operating name, is an additional name that your business or non-profit can operate under.

Register your business name (operating name).

In addition to the legal name of your business or non-profit, you can also operate under a business name. A business name is also called an operating name or ‘doing business as’ name. For example, the legal name of your business is 1234567 Nova Scotia and you’ve also registered ABC Catering as your business name (operating name).

Most businesses and non-profits need to register a business name (operating name) to operate under the business name in Nova Scotia.

You don’t have to register your business name (operating name) if the business name (operating name) is trademarked.

Public record

Information you file with Registry of Joint Stock Companies is available to the public.

Eligibility

Most businesses and non-profits need to register their business name (operating name) to operate under a name that’s different than their legal name. You need to be an incorporated company, society or co-operative to register a business name (operating name).

How to register

  1. Reserve a business name (operating name) for your business or non-profit (Registry of Joint Stock Companies needs to approve name).
  2. Register online.
  3. Include payment with your application.
  4. Submit your completed application and payment.
  5. If you meet all the requirements, Registry of Joint Stock Companies issues a Certificate of Registration.

How long it takes

It should take 1 to 2 weeks to get the Certificate of Registration. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your application hasn’t been filled in correctly.

Cost

Activity Fee
Registration $68.55
Renewal $68.55

Payment options

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Interac® Online, debit card, cheque, money order, cash. A cheque or money order should be made payable to the Minister of Finance. Payment options may vary depending on how you apply.

Before you start

Make sure you have:

  • approved business name (operating name) for your business or non-profit from Registry of Joint Stock Companies
  • name and address of recognized agent
  • officer or director of the business or non-profit available to sign the form

Register online

When you apply online you need to create an account or sign in.

After you submit the completed application form and pay the registration fee, you need to print the form and return a signed copy to Registry of Joint Stock Companies by mail, email, fax or in person.

Start now

Other ways to register

You can use the Application for Registration of a Business Name, Sole Proprietorship or Partnership in Nova Scotia Form (PDF 380 kB) if you’re unable to apply online. Send your completed application and payment by mail. Or visit Registry of Joint Stock Companies or Access Nova Scotia.

Renewal

You need to renew your registration every year. You should get a renewal notice in the mail before the renewal date. It’s your responsibility to renew on time.