Applying for Approval to Use a Trade Name or Change a Legal Name for a Credit Union

If a credit union plans to identify itself by a name other than its current legal name, it must file a request for approval with the Superintendent of Financial Services (Superintendent) pursuant to section 19 or section 19.1 of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994 [New Window] (the Act). 


Credit unions that want to use a new legal name and/or new trade name should:


  1. Review the requirements in sections 19 to 22 of the Act [New Window].
  2. Complete a submission for the Superintendent to approve the new legal name or trade name for the current or proposed credit union. It should include the following documents:
    • A letter or document that explains the credit union's rationale for using a new legal name and/or trade name instead of its current legal name; 
    • An Ontario name reservation report that includes the credit union's proposed full trade name or new legal name, including the selected legal ending (i.e., Inc., Ltd.); and
    • Resolution of the credit union's Board of Directors that approves the proposed trade name or new legal name, and its use by the credit union.
  3. Include a cheque that is payable to the Minister of Finance for the required fee that is outlined in the Minister's Schedule of Required Fees
  4. File the submission, accompanying documents and cheque with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario’s (FSCO) Licensing Branch.

FSCO will review the submission and notify the credit union if any other documents are required.


Receiving Approval

The Superintendent will issue an approval letter once he/she is satisfied that the proposed trade name or new legal name meets the requirements of the Act and that all required documents have been received.  If FSCO receives a complete submission – this is a submission that is not missing any information or documents – it will generally be processed within 30 business days from the date it is received.


Once the Superintendent's approval to reserve the new legal name is received, the credit union must file its articles of amendment with FSCO. This type of amendment requires the approval of the credit union's members through a member special resolution. The credit union cannot use its new legal name until its articles of amendment are approved by the Superintendent and the Superintendent issues a certificate of amendement.


The credit union does not need to file articles of amendment to use an approved trade name.  The credit union will need to register and obtain a Master Business Licence for the trade name with Service Ontario. The Master Business Licence needs to be renewed every five years.