Starting or purchasing a dental practice is exciting! For many good reasons one of the first steps in this venture is the incorporation of a professional corporation to use for the operation of the dental practice. For the most part, the incorporation is a boring exercise involving working with a business lawyer and an accountant.
Dentists will often spend time thinking about and getting excited about selecting a new name for the corporation. Unfortunately, the potentially fun part of this incorporation drill – naming the corporation – is rendered just about as dry as the rest of the process by the various laws and regulations governing the naming of dentistry professional corporations.
The dentist’s professional corporation’s name inevitably ends up being something like: “Peter Smith Dentistry Professional Corporation”. Set out below is a summary of the laws and regulations which dictate how dentistry professional corporations are named, which explain why dental professional corporations have unimaginative names.
If you are a dentist starting or purchasing a dental practice and you have your heart set on a new and fun name for your practice, do not despair. Just because you must give your professional corporation a boring name, doesn’t mean you can’t be more creative in naming your dental practice. In fact, you can register business name, i.e. “ABC Dentistry”, and use that for your dental practice.
DENTAL PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION NAMING CRITERIA
The following are excerpts have the relevant laws and regulations applicable to naming a dental professional corporation.
Business Corporations Act, Subsection 3.2(2), paragraph 3
“The name of the corporation shall include the words “Professional Corporation…”
Ontario Regulation 39/02, Subsection 1(2)
“The name of the corporation must meet the requirements in section 3.2 of the Business Corporations Act
and must not violate the provisions of any other Act.”
Ontario Regulation 39/02, Subsection 1(3)
“The name of the corporation must include the surname of one or more shareholders of the corporation, as the surname is set out in the College register, and may also include the shareholder’s given name, one or
more of the shareholder’s initials or a combination of his or her given name and initials.”
Ontario Regulation 39/02, Subsection 1(4)
“The name of the corporation must indicate the health profession practised by the shareholders.”
Schedule 1 of the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 defines the health profession practised by our members as “Dentistry”.
Ontario Regulation 39/02, Subsection 1(5)
“The name of the corporation must not include any information other than the information permitted or
required by subsections (2), (3) and (4).”