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Registering a Business or Trade Name

REGISTERING A NEW TRADE NAME   Adjusting an existing tradename   REGISTER YOUR TRADENAME FOR INSURANCE USE 

If you want to use a name other than your legal business name on your website, you will need to register it as a trade name.

Please keep in mind this is  a general overview and is NOT a substitute for the information or any specific rules compliance may have. Each advisor has unique licenses, qualifications and needs when it comes to their branding and how they want to hold out, but this should at least give you a general idea of what COULD be required for your needs. We are NOT compliance officers, and are only providing you this information as we have come across it for a heads up to what you could possibly be looking at. Rules can always shift and change, so it is important to speak to your Branch Manager or Compliance officer to ensure you are on the right path for your specific business needs, and licensing. 

Your branch manager is a good resource to include when you start this process – not all advisors need to do each of these steps. It depends on your unique situation, your location, your business and what you plan to do with it! 

  TIPS TO FINDING A BUSINESS NAME THAT IS NOT TAKEN

    These are General guidelines to register a new if you want to have a website that is “co-mingled” Dealer and Insurance business 


REGISTERING YOUR NEW BUSINESS OR TRADE NAME (Operating name) WITH YOUR PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT:  

Register the business/trade name with the appropriate government provincial registry (have a version without a Ltd or Inc on the name if you plan to put it on a Dealer website)   ** Be sure to register it EXACTLY as you want to market yourself. **

There are different options from Sole Proprietorship, or corporate options (Incorporated). Each province is a bit different, so be sure to choose the proper location below by scrolling down the page to the list of Provinces and follow the instructions.   https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/start/choosing-a-business-name-3.html

Updating your Internal and External Dealer Registrations: To use your Business Name for Dealer Business use, or to Brand.

Once you have the above complete, you need to update your information with the Regulators (MFDA/IIROC) in their NDR - National Registry Database, and in the Internal Registrations Database with your Dealer (Manulife Securities). These are the databases that your Compliance Departments check in any content reviews.


  1. Contact your Branch Manager to help fill out the appropriate forms to update these.  They will help you complete the form on Repsource for either "Outside Business Activity (OBA) Disclosure Form" or the "Trade Name Disclosure Form" depending on your requirements and situation.

  2. Your BM will forward all the required documents to Manulife’s Registrations team so that they can file this information. If they need any support on this, they can contact  MLS_SalesCommunications@manulife.com

  3. Once the trade name is approved by regulator, and internal systems are updated  - you may then use it on your Sales Communications Material or website. (keeping in mind your sales materials need to get reviewed by compliance before marketing)  

  4.  Any additional advisors who are going to be listed on your website (who are with our dealership) must have that Trade Name listed on their registrations as well.  They can contact their Branch Manager to update their OBA or Tradename appropriately for this.

ADJUSTING AN EXISTING TRADENAME (OPERATING NAME) OTHER THAN YOUR LEGAL NAME (IF REQUIRED)

If you already have a Business/Operating name with your governing body - but need to adjust it, or add another operating name, you will need to do a few more steps. 

Your branch manager is a good resource to include when you start this process – not all advisors need to do each of these steps. It depends on your unique situation, your location, your business and what you plan to do with it! 

This information is helpful if:

  • You have a registered name with "Inc." or "Ltd" (or as another corporate entity), and the Dealer Regulators will not allow the co-branding with that.
  • You want to operate under a revised version of your registered Business name
  • You want to market/brand yourself under a different name publicly than the one registered officially with your government

BASIC OVERVIEW 

You will need to register with the Government the additional/revised name as a Sole-Proprietorship or DBA (Doing Business As..) Under your current legally registered entity - rather than yourself as the individual. This will allow you to then use the different versions of your business name legally.  You can have many variations under your current legal entity, so long as it is approved by the government registry.  Once that is complete, you need to register/report that name within your Dealer Registrations (Manulife Securities) with the help of your branch manager.


HOW TO GET STARTED

Scroll down this page to choose the registry of the jurisdiction(s) where you plan to do business. https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/start/choosing-a-business-name-3.html

STEP 1:

You need to Select "Register or Request approval for a business name" under a Sole Proprietorship or "Doing Business as" (DBA)" - Every Province is a little different so it may not be exactly as written here.  For example, 

STEP 2:

Submit the name you want to use for review. Be sure to write it exactly as you are wanting to use it for with your branding. Pay attention to spelling!  (no Inc. or Ltd. Etc.)  Do Not use Manulife in your name.


STEP 3:

Choose to have the name owned by your current Legal Entity name, rather than an individual person’s name and follow the steps

*** If the options for your province are confusing, and do not match the steps above - I recommend you contact the support contact person on that government website page, and explain that you are trying to set up another business name as a "Doing Business as" or "Otherwise Known As" for your current registered entity. They will help direct you to the proper location to set this up.


STEP 4: Updating your Internal and External Dealer Registrations:
To use your Business Name for Dealer Business use, or to Brand.

Once you have the above complete, you need to update your information with the Regulators (MFDA/IIROC) in their NDR - National Registry Database, and in the Internal Registrations Database with your Dealer (Manulife Securities). These are the databases that your Compliance Departments check in any content reviews.

Once the internal systems are updated and approved by Compliance  - you may then use the new operating name on your Sales Communications Material or website co-branded for Dealer use. 


TIP:  Keep MLS Sales Communications Compliance and SiteForward team in the loop with the approvals of registrations, or submissions so we can be sure to follow up. SiteForward does not get notified of these changes or approvals. We rely on the Advisor to let us know where we are in the process so our team can follow up and help keep things rolling!


REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME FOR INSURANCE USE: (if applicable)

If you are licensed for Insurance and want to use the trade name for Insurance Business use, you need to report the business name with The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) and Apply for a Corporate or Agency license for your trade name. Be sure to register it exactly how you want to use it and check spelling!   https://www.ccir-ccrra.org/SearchableLicensingLinks

Using that proof of confirmation, your Branch Manager can assist you on filling out the form on Repsource for Outside Business Activity (OBA) Disclosure Form – Insurance Business  to then report it to the Dealer (Manulife Securities) for Insurance use.

For more information regarding use of a Trade Name and Branding on Sales Communications material, contact MLS Sales Communications MLS_SalesCommunications@manulife.com for questions, concerns or detailed instructions for this process.