Choosing your company name
Care needs to be taken when selecting your company name so that it is not rejeected or refused by the Companies Office. The Companies Office may refuse a name if it is identical or so similar to another name already appearing on the Register ot as would cause confusion, or if it would suggest that the company was a State Body, or if the name were offensive.
The Companies Office have set out a number of guidelines as follows in relation to the selection of a name;
- Particular care should be taken with names considered to have a distinctive element.
- Names with are phonetically or visually similar will be refused.
- A number on its own would not be accepted as a significant distinguishing mark.
- The use of a year in numerals to differentiate between two companies is prohibited.
- Names containing certain words cannot be used unless approved by relevant Bodies. For example the work ‘bank’ or ‘banking’ can only be used with the permission of the Central Bank. This also applies to names such as ‘holly bank’, ‘sweet bank’, ‘canal bank’ and ‘bankcorp’. Words such as ‘insurance’, ‘re-assurance’ and ‘assurance’ cannot be used unless prior permission has been sought from the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority.
- ‘Society’, ‘co-op’ or ‘co-operative’ cannot be used unless permission has been sought from the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
- ‘University’, ‘Institute of Technology’ or ‘Regional Technical College’ cannot be used unless permission has been sought and granted from the Department of Education.
- ‘Charity’ requires a separate set of considerations which we will be happy to advise you on.
- The use of the word ‘standard’ is prohibited. The use of the word ‘Credit Union’ is prohibited by the Credit Union Act, 1997.
- Only the name of ‘societas europaea’ can be preceded or followed by the abbreviation SE. Use of the term SE at the beginning or end of a name designates that it’s a European company.
It is also advisable to check the Trade Mark Register which is located at the Patent’s Office, Hebron Road, Kilkenny or online at www.patentsoffice.ie.
Once incorporated, the business must affix its name outside every office in which the business is carried on, even if it is a Director’s home. The company must also state its name in legible lettering on company letterheads or forms, invoices and soforth. The area of company formation can be complex, and while one can buy a company off the shelf so to speak from one of the Company Formation agents, it is important to ensure that the Memorandum and Articles suit the needs of the company, and of the members of the company.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.