If an Ontario credit union plans to identify itself by a name other than its current legal name, it must file a request for approval with the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (CEO) pursuant to section 16 or section 17 of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 2020 (the Act).

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

  1. Review the requirements in sections 16 to 21 of the Act.
  2. Complete a submission for the CEO to approve the new legal and/or trade name and include the following documents:
    • A letter or document that explains the credit union's rationale for using the new legal and/or trade name instead of its current legal name that:
      • Clearly explains to FSRA the actions undertaken by the credit union to comply with the use of other name requirements in the Act.
      • Includes detailed reasons as to why the other name adheres to the requirements of section 17.
    • An Ontario name reservation report that includes the credit union's proposed new full trade and/or legal name, including the selected legal ending (i.e., Inc., Ltd.).
    • A legal opinion from external counsel in relation to the name search. The opinion should confirm that the proposed name is not a corporate name that a credit union is prohibited from having under paragraphs 19(1)(a), 19(1)(d) or 19(1)(e) of the Act.
    • Resolution of the credit union’s board of directors that approves the proposed new trade and/or legal name, and its use by the credit union.
  3. Ontario credit unions must file their trade name or legal name change application with FSRA by doing one of the following:
    • Uploading the application via the secure portal, directed to Credit Union Transactions.
    • Emailing the application to: [email protected].

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

Receiving approval

The CEO will issue an approval letter once they are satisfied that the proposed new trade name or new legal name meets the requirements of the Act and that all required documents have been received. Once FSRA receives a complete submission—one that is not missing any information or documents—it will generally be processed within 30 business days from the date that all necessary information is received.

Once the CEO's approval to reserve the new legal name is received, the credit union must file its articles of amendment with FSRA. This type of amendment requires the approval of the credit union's members through a special resolution. The credit union cannot use its new legal name until the CEO approves its articles of amendment and issues a certificate of amendment.

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 ServiceOntario. The Master Business Licence needs to be renewed every five years.