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    How to Register a Business in Manitoba

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    registering a business in Manitoba

    A step-by-step guide of how to register your business in the province of Manitoba.

    Now that you’re ready to bring your business idea to Manitoba and beyond, it’s important to register a name that’s memorable and meaningful. Registration benefits your business in a number of ways, from building up your brand identity to being able to hire employees.

    In this article, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about how to register a small business in Manitoba, including:

    • What it costs to register a business in this province

    • The importance of small business insurance


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    How Much Does It Cost to Register a Business in Manitoba?

    Incorporating in Manitoba is a relatively inexpensive procedure, but the cost depends on whether you’re registering a business that’s unincorporated, provincially incorporated, or federally incorporated. However, all are easy tasks that can be done in just a few simple steps.

    Registering an unincorporated business

    Step 1

    For registering an unincorporated business, such as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you’ll first have to send in a request to reserve your desired name. This $45 procedure ensures that the name isn’t already taken, and that it follows certain guidelines.

    For example, some restrictions for business naming practices in Manitoba include:

    • No using the terms “Golden Boy” or “Manitoba Tartans”

    • Only using certain special characters

    • No using “Manitoba” as the first word of any business

    • No names that could possibly be mistaken for having any affiliation with the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba, members of the Royal Family, or the Crown

    Assuming that your name passes the guidelines laid out by the Government of Manitoba, and it’s not already taken, it will be reserved for the next 90 days for you to register. Unfortunately, you’ll have to resubmit another $45 if the one you’ve proposed gets rejected, or if you wait longer than 90 days.

    This is why it’s important to study the guidelines for accepted business names. Plus, you should only reserve your name if you’re sure you’re ready to register it, as not doing so could cost you a lot of unnecessary fees.

    Step 2

    Now that you’ve reserved your business name, you’ll have to pay another $60 and send in some registration forms to complete the process.


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    Registering a provincially incorporated business in Manitoba

    Registration of an incorporated business means you’ll have to choose between provincial or federal incorporation. While provincial incorporation is cheaper and simpler, it doesn’t offer as much business name protection, and may also prevent future federal or even international expansion.

    Step 1

    First you’ll have to reserve your desired business name for $45. This is just like the procedure for reserving your name for an unincorporated business above.

    Step 2

    Now that you’ve reserved your name, you’ll have to file articles of incorporation. For corporations with share capital, the fee is $350, and for those with no share capital, it’s only $120.

    Registering a federally incorporated business in Manitoba

    Step 1

    Incorporating federally in Manitoba requires that you do a New Upgraded Automated Name Search (NUANS) report. This report will show you all the names of federally incorporated businesses that are similar to the one you are trademarking, to ensure that they are distinct enough from yours.

    Step 2

    Along with your NUANS report, you’ll have to file your articles of federal incorporation. While this costs $250 to file on paper, you can save yourself some money by completing the registration online at a cost of only $200.

    Make Sure You’re Insured

    Starting up a small business will always come with certain inherent risks, so make sure you protect your assets with a good business insurance policy.

    Having the correct policy is important for covering costs associated with property damage and liability claims – expenses that could potentially cripple your young business.

    Complete your APOLLO Insurance application today and have your new business insurance policy sent directly to your inbox in real-time.


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    Originally published September 9, 2022, updated August 25, 2023

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