Naming Your Practice

Information for Prospective Members

Members of the College will be permitted to name their practice, whether they operate as a partnership or a professional corporation, or they are simply self-employed. In all cases, the name will need to comply with the College`s standard on advertising, as well as general Ontario law regarding business names.
An advertisement is any message communicated in a public medium intended to influence an individual’s choice, opinion or behaviour. This includes business names associated with a member’s practice.
The Professional Misconduct Regulation states that it is professional misconduct to permit the advertising of a member’s practice in a manner that is false or misleading or that includes statements that are not factual and verifiable. Therefore, the name a member chooses for his or her practice must not make claims that are false or misleading. Also, any specific or particular information contained in the name (e.g. location, name of practitioner), must be factual and verifiable.
On official documents, e.g. invoices, and when identifying him/herself to a client, a Member must use his or her name as set out in the College Register, in addition to any business name. The practice name may appear alone in other settings such as on signage and various marketing materials.
Please note that there are additional requirements for naming a professional corporation.
Examples of appropriate practice names could include:
  • Harmony Family Counselling Centre
  • Deerhurst Psychotherapy Services (if the practice is located there)
Examples of inappropriate practice names could include:
  • Best Therapy Services (claim is not verifiable and potentially misleading)
  • Guaranteed Results Psychotherapy Clinic (claim is not verifiable and potentially misleading)
  • M. Jones and Associates Psychotherapists (if there are no associates, the name would not be factual)
  • Brockville Municipal Care Centre (if it is not a municipally run practice, the name would be misleading)
College staff cannot provide advice or direction regarding business names.  You should consult with your lawyer for further information.
The following are some general resources containing information relevant to naming a practice:
Posted March 23, 2013