Business Names

The most common business structures are Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships.

Sole Proprietorship

This is a business which is owned by one person who is solely responsible for its management and capital.


  • It is easy to start up and manage.
  • It is not as costly as incorporation.
  • In the initial years of operation, there may be tax advantages operating as a sole proprietor until the operation becomes profitable (operating losses of sole proprietorships can be deducted against personal income). Once profitability is established, the operation could be converted to a corporation. Specific advice should be obtained from an accountant.
  • Registration of your business name may not be required if you carry on business under your own family name or surname that does not indicate a plurity of persons in the business.


  • The owner is personally liable for all business debts. Creditors may be able to recover against the owner’s personal assets (e.g. home, car) to satisfy business debts.
  • The sole proprietorship is not taxed separately. The proprietor’s business income is taxed as part of personal income.
  • If the owner passes away, the business becomes part of his or her estate, and there may be immediate tax consequences.

This is a business enterprise which exists between two or more persons carrying on business in common, intending to make a profit. All partnerships must be registered.


  • The partners can combine their financial resources and skills.
  • Registration is not as costly as incorporation.


  • Each partner is liable for all the debts and obligations incurred by the other partners in the course of the partnership business.
  • Each individual partner is liable both on his own, and with the other partners, for any wrongful acts or omissions by another partner in the course of the partnership business.
  • The partnership is not taxed as a separate entity. Each partner’s share of the business income is taxed as part of that partner’s personal income.
  • In the absence of a partnership agreement, when a partner leaves or dies, or when there is a dispute which cannot be resolved, the partnership must be dissolved.


Step 1: Choose a name for the Business

Option 1: Named Business
Information to help you choose your business name is available here.

Option 2: Numbered Business
If you want to carry on business under a numbered name in Manitoba, we assign the number followed by the word MANITOBA (i.e. 12345678 MANITOBA).


Step 2: File a Request for Name Reservation

  • If registering a "named" business, a Request for Name Reservation must be filed with the fee of $45.00 to determine if the name is available. This form can be filed online.
  • Refer to the Name Reservation page for more information.


Step 3: File a Business Name Registration form

  • File a Business Name Registration form with the fee of $60.00 before the name reservation expires. This form can be filed online or on paper. Online filing provides the fastest processing times.
  • Step-by-step instructions are available for filing a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership online.


Refer to the following for more information:

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