An incorporated name must contain a legal element, while a trade name or partnership name cannot. The main difference between a registered corporation and a trade name or partnership is that the trade name or partnership is not a distinct legal entity. Therefore, the proprietor(s) or partners are completely responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business.
The registration of a business name does not have any restrictions nor any right of ownership of the name. The registration of a business name is proof that it is used by a particular business and provides consumers with information on the identities of the owners.
Trade Name – When only one person is registering a business name (also called a sole proprietorship), a trade name is used.
Partnership – Occurs when when two or more persons register a business name. In an ordinary partnership, the partners are responsible for the debts of the partnership, sharing both in the profits and the risks of the business.
Limited Partnership – There are two types of partners: general and limited. Each type of partner has different rights and responsibilities.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – A partnership consisting of partners carrying on practice in one or more eligible professions which include chartered accountants, certified management accountants, certified general accountants, lawyers, physicians, dentists, chiropractors and optometrists.