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Choosing A Company Name In Ireland

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Making A Name For Yourself

Making a name for yourselfWhen incorporating a company, choosing the right company name is important. A company name must be unique. A name that is identical or overly similar to one which already exists will not be registered.

Where there is a similar company name in existence which obstructs the registration of a company name, it is possible to furnish the Companies Registration Office with a Letter of No Objection from the existing company to the use of the proposed name. For example, where the two companies will be associated or where the beneficial owner of both companies is the same.

Typically, a private limited company will require the word ‘Limited’ or ‘Teoranta’ to be the last word in the company name. An exception is available from the Registrar of Companies under s.24 of the Companies Acts 1963-2013, provided the company is engaged in the promotion of commerce, art, science, education, charity or religion.

Reserving A Company Name

Under ss.59 and 60 of the Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2005 it is possible to reserve an available company name for 28 days. This facility is only available online for new company incorporations. It is not possible to reserve a business name or a change of company name.

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Company Name Versus Business Name

Although it is possible to register a distinct trading name (a.k.a. business name) it is advantageous to use the company name as the trading name too. Registration of a business name is only required where a company trades with a different name other than their true company name. Therefore, choosing a unique company name which you want to trade with avoids additional paperwork and registrations with the Companies Registration Office.  

Further, registration of a business name doesn’t protect that name. It is necessary for companies to investigate the possibility of others having rights in the business name which it proposes to use as the Companies Registration Office does not check proposed business names against names already registered.

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Restricted Words & Terms

Any company name containing the words ‘bank’ or ‘insurance’ are subject to particular regulations. A license must be obtained from the Central Bank in order to use the word ‘bank’ in a company name.  These regulations even apply to the extent that a company Name such as ‘Riverbank Café Limited’ would be refused registration due to the use of the word ‘bank’. Insurers are allowed to use the word ‘insurance’ once licensed by the Minister for Enterprise. ‘Co-operative’ is a word reserved for names registered with the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

The use of the word ‘standard’ is prohibited in company names. An offensive name will also result in the refusal of an application to register a new company. Whether a company name is considered offensive is determined by the Companies Registration Office.

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Consequences

Failure to choose a unique and distinguishing company name will result in the refusal of an application to register a company. This will cause a delay in registering your new company. Checking the availability of the proposed name before submission of the application reduces the likelihood of a company name being refused registration.

Proposed company names can be provisionally checked with the Companies Registration Office, however, the Registrar of Companies will make the final decision on the availability of the company name once the new company application has been submitted.

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