COMPANY NAME REGISTRATION How to choose a Company Name

Last updated: May 13, 2024

Choosing the right Company Name is a critical first step for any new business in Ireland. However, navigating the complexities of Company Name Registration can be challenging, especially with the risk of refusal by the Companies Registration Office (CRO). In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the key reasons why a Company Name might be refused, including issues with similarity to existing names, offensive language, and the use of restricted words. We also explore the applicant's responsibilities in ensuring their chosen name meets all criteria. Whether you're a startup entrepreneur or looking to rebrand, understanding these guidelines is essential for a smooth registration process and laying a solid foundation for your business's identity.

A notebook, pencil, laptop, phone and reading glasses on a table, illustrating the search for available Company Names.
Choosing a Company Name for your Startup Business in Ireland

Company Name Refusal

When registering a company in Ireland, it's crucial to choose a name that adheres to the standards set by the Companies Registration Office (CRO). Your application may face rejection for the following reasons:

  1. Similarity to Existing Names: If the chosen name is identical or closely resembles a name that's already on the Official Register of Companies, it will be deemed unsuitable.
  2. Offensive Content: Names that contain language or connotations considered offensive are strictly prohibited.
  3. Implication of State Endorsement: Names that imply government or state sponsorship or endorsement, without official authority, are not acceptable.
  4. Use of Restricted Terms: Certain words and phrases are restricted in Company Names. These include terms that might mislead or imply a function or status not truly represented by the company.

Understanding and adhering to these criteria is vital for a smooth Company Registration process in Ireland, ensuring the name aligns with legal requirements and CRO guidelines.

The complexities involved are the reason why Incorpro has created a tool that can help you choose your Company Name without having to deal with all these intricacies. Utilise our Free Company Name Check Tool today and make sure you have an effective Company Registration from the start!

More detailed information about this and the guidelines set out by the CRO can be found on their Official Website.

Similar Company Names

It's essential to ensure your chosen Company Name in Ireland is distinct and not phonetically or visually similar to any existing names in the CRO register. Examples of names likely to be refused due to their close resemblance to existing ones include:

  • "Any Wear Limited" will be refused if "Any Where Limited" is already registered.
  • "G00g1e Limited" (using zeros and one) will be refused if "Google Limited" is already registered.
  • "All 4 You Limited" will be refused if "All For You Limited" is already registered.

It is important to note that, Section 30 of the Companies Act 2014 highlights that even if a similar name is initially accepted by the CRO, objections on the grounds of similarity can be raised within six months of your Company's Incorporation. This could lead to a directive from the Registrar of Companies to change your Company Name. In considering whether the names are too alike, the Registrar will take account of all relevant factors suggesting similarity and leading to confusion between the names of the two companies.

Non-Distinguishing Words

When selecting a Company Name for registration in Ireland, it's important to add descriptive words that sufficiently distinguish your name from others already on the CRO register. These additional words should be distinctive and relevant, as generic or weak descriptors are often insufficient for approval. For instance:

  • Simple Additions: Adding articles like 'the' is not enough for distinction. For example, "Hello The World Limited" would likely be refused if "Hello World Limited" already exists.
  • Generic Terms: Terms such as "holding", "group", "system", "services", "international", etc., are typically insufficient distinctions.
  • Numbers: Both spelled-out numbers and numerals are not considered distinguishable. For instance, "One Vision Limited" or "1 Vision Limited" might get refused as the CRO will not take the number into consideration, be it spelled or as a numeral, as being unique.
  • Geographic Names: Place names like "Ireland", "Dublin", "Irish", and similar, are frequently disregarded in determining a Company Name's uniqueness.

For a deeper understanding of what constitutes a sufficiently unique Company Name and to avoid refusal, you can also visit the CRO’s official website, where you can find more information in their CRO - Company Name section.

Restricted Words

Selecting a Company Name in Ireland also involves being aware of certain Restricted Words. These words, typically implying specific institutional or professional functions, include but are not limited to:

  • Institutional Terms: "Bank", "Society", "Charity"...
  • Cooperative References: "Co-op", "Co-operative"...
  • Educational & Technical Terms: "University", "Regional Technical College", "Institute of Technology"...
  • Professional Designations: "Standard", "Architect"...
  • Internet Domain Extensions: ".com", ".ie", ".eu", and similar...

Additionally, if your Company Name includes words that imply specific business functions such as "holdings", "holding company", "group", etc., the CRO will require evidence demonstrating that your company actually performs these functions. For instance, if you use "group" in the name, you may need to present the proposed group structure. It's important to note that reserving a Company Name with words implying specific functions is not possible through the CRO’s online reservation form.

NOTE: The use of "Eire" in Company Names is not permitted by the CRO.

Applicant's Responsibility

As an applicant seeking to register a company in Ireland, it's important to ensure the chosen name meets all criteria set by the Companies Registration Office (CRO). This responsibility lies with you, the applicant, to verify the acceptability of your proposed name prior to registration.

It is important to note that, if an objection to your Company Name arises even post-incorporation, the CRO may require you to change it. As well as that during the registration process, the CRO does not cross-reference the Register of Business Names or the Trademark Register at the Patents Office. Consequently, if your chosen name conflicts with existing business names or trademarks, their owners might object.

To assist in this process, Incorpro developed the Free Company Name Check Tool. This tool is designed to help you avoid refusals by checking the availability and suitability of your desired Company Name against existing registrations.

Furthermore, choosing to Register Your Company with Incorpro streamlines the process, ensuring compliance and efficiency. For only €99 + VAT, our Online Form simplifies the registration process, where we will guide you through each step of the way.

NOTE: The Company Name Check Tool does not guarantee success by any means, it is provided as guidance only, and may help you in choosing your desired Company Name.

Changing the Company Name

Changing the name of your Irish Limited Company is a four-step process. By leveraging our service, your company can have a new name within just three days. We handle all the necessary procedures with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) in Ireland, offering this service at a competitive rate of €399 + VAT, which includes the €50 CRO fee.

Choosing Incorpro for your Company Name Change ensures a hassle-free experience, prioritising speed and accuracy. Our team of professionals is dedicated to facilitating every aspect of the Name Change process, ensuring it aligns with all legal requirements.

Discover more about our Name Change service and how we can assist in updating your company's identity, by visiting our Company Name Change service page.

Further Guidance and Assistance

Should you have any queries or require assistance with your Accounting and Tax needs, our dedicated team at Incorpro is here to help. Connect with us by calling 01-4429409, or visit our Contact Page for more ways to get in touch. Stay updated and engaged by following our Social Media Pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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