Ashley Coakley from Company Bureau compiled a ‘how to’ guide on the importance of choosing a strong company name for your business.
Choosing a strong company name is vital for new businesses that want to stand out from the crowd and reach new customers. Offering a good product or service is important but customers need to be able to find and remember your business.
When choosing a company name, try to find something that is unique and memorable to your target customer. Be aware that certain phrases or words can have a different meaning in other countries which could result in a very different understanding of the products or services.
“The rise in new online retail firms means that it is even more important to stand out from the crowd”
For example, in Ireland and other European countries ‘fancy dress’ means to wear a costume but in North America ‘fancy dress’ may be interpreted as black tie or formal wear.
Selling goods online – e-commerce businesses
It is no secret that the pandemic has fuelled a surge in domain name registrations and e-commerce businesses. The .ie domain is one of the fastest growing country domains in Europe with 6.5% year-on-year growth. At the end of December 2021, the .ie domain accounted for 52.6% of all top-level domains hosted in Ireland, while .com accounted for 30.8%.
The rise in new online retail firms means that it is even more important to stand out from the crowd. Choosing a company name that is catchy or unique could be key in helping online shoppers find and remember a new business.
Please Note: New businesses looking to establish an online presence will need to ensure that both the proposed company name and domain name are available before fully committing. You can check if your chosen domain name is available using an online domain registry such as Irish Domains or Name Cheap.
Choosing a company name that will be accepted by the CRO
One of the more important aspects of incorporating a new company in Ireland, is choosing an appropriate name that will be accepted by the CRO (Companies Registration Office). The following sections of this article contain summarised guidelines that should be followed when choosing a company name. While checking the availability of a domain name is easy, checking if a company name will be accepted can be a trickier process.
Why not let the experts check for you? Submit a Free Company Name Check on Company Bureau and our team will confirm if your chosen name meets the CRO requirements. Company Bureau also includes a free domain name for one year with every new company formation.
The CRO generally require that if Irish words are contained within a company name, the full name must be in Irish. The company suffix must also be in Irish, for a limited company ‘TEORANTA’ or ‘TEO’. The rules can be slightly inconsistent when it comes to company names that contain Irish words so it’s worth checking the name, as it may be allowed.
Please Note: If the name is mostly in English but contains the word ‘Eire’ the full name is required to be in Irish or it will be refused for this reason.
Every company registered must have a legal ending known as the company suffix. Company suffixes include the following in English and Irish which is entered onto the end of the company name:
|English Suffix||Abbreviation||Irish Suffix||Abbreviation|
|COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE||CLG||CUIDEACHTA FAOI THEORAINN RÁTHAÍOCHTA||CTR|
|DESIGNATED ACTIVITY COMPANY||DAC||CUIDEACHTA GHNÍOMHAÍOCHTA AINMNITHE||CGA|
|UNLIMITED COMPANY||ULC||CUIDEACHTA NEAMHTHEORANTA||CN|
|PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY||PLC||CUIDEACHTA PHOIBLÍ TEORANTA||CPT|
Only CLG and DAC type companies that are involved in the promotion of arts, commerce, science, education, charity or religion may operate without a company suffix.
Non -Distinguishing words
There are many words that are considered ‘non-distinguishing’ when choosing a company name. These words can be contained within the company name, but they will not set the name apart from similar companies on the register. Non-distinguishing words include such as ‘Services’, ‘Systems’, ‘holdings’, ‘Ireland’, ‘International’ and ‘Company’.
The word ‘Construction’ is deemed distinguishing by the CRO but may clash with other words that are under what’s known as the ‘Construction Umbrella’. These include words such as ‘Builders’. ‘Building’, ‘Build’, ‘Construct’, among other similar words.
Properties is also considered distinguishing but may clash with words such as ‘Developments’, ‘Develop’ etc.
The CRO will reject names that are deemed phonetically similar such as ‘Three’ and ‘Tree’. Although the words have different meanings, they still sound the same and may be rejected on these grounds.
There is also a list of words that are restricted from use. This means that these words cannot be listed within a company name unless permission is granted from the appropriate body.
Restricted words include:
- ‘Bank’ – this word cannot be used within a company name unless permission is granted from the Central Bank of Ireland. Even if the company does not intend on carrying out banking related activities the application will still require authorisation from the Central Bank Of Ireland.
- ‘Architect’ – the word ‘Architect’ may only be used in a company name whereby the application is accompanied by a Notice Of Determination issued by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) confirming that the person is a registered architect. It must be noted that the permission notice issued is only valid for a period of two months.
- ‘Domain names’ – website names such as ‘.ie’ ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ are not allowed to be used within a company name. If you wish to register a name that contains a domain name, an option is to register a trading name to the company to allow you to trade under the domain name.
- ‘University’ – the word University is restricted unless written permission is granted by the Department of Education allowing the name.
Reservation of a company name
Your chosen company name can be reserved through a portal on the CRO website for a fee. This reservation lasts 28 days and may be extended for a further 28 days if required. But if you want to get a company incorporated quickly, we suggest talking to the experts at Company Bureau.
Company Bureau is a leading Irish company formation and corporate service provider, in business for more than 25 years. Submit a Free Company Name Check on our website or call us today on 01 6461625 to ensure your chosen company name meets the CRO requirements. When you order a new company with us, our experienced Company Secretarial team will draft all required legal documents. We will also include our Irish Tax Guide and a Free Domain Name for one year.
Company Bureau Formations ULC is a Trust and Company Service Provider (TCSP) authorised by the Department of Justice and Law Reform of Ireland.