Names are an important part of our lives. Our names are our identities and distinguish us from others in society. Similarly, the business names are the identities of businesses and differentiate one business from other.
The first and most important thing, while starting a new business, which needs to be decided, is the name of the business. The business name plays a very important role and at the same time, the business owner must keep in mind that there are certain rules to be followed while naming a Private Limited or LLP.
Rule 8 of Companies Incorporation Rules, 2014 provides guidelines for approval of name under the Companies Act, 2013. This article discusses the Naming Procedures by the Companies Act, of 2013.
The proposed name should NOT be identical or nearly resembling the existing name.
The proposed name of a Private Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership should not be identical to the existing company or limited liability partnership. Following different criteria are applied to check whether the name is identical or nearly resembling the existing company name:
- Different combinations of the same words: The Use of a different combination of the same words does not make the name unique. For example, using Gamble and Proctor Limited in place of Proctor and Gamble Limited does not make the name unique.
- Use of Domain Name Extensions: Use of Domain Name extensions does not make a name unique. For example, if there is an existing company with the name Best Apparel Private Limited, the names BestApparels.com Private Limited or Best Apparels Dot Com Private Limited are not considered unique and accordingly not allowed.
- Change of Spelling: A change of spelling of the keyword does not make the name a unique name. For example, if there is an existing company with the name Ram Paper Mills Private Limited, then the name Ram Paper Mills Private Limited shall not be allowed.
- Addition or Following Word: The addition of words like Shree, Shri, Sri, Modern, New, Neo or adding the following word like Nx, Next, etc does not make a name unique. For example, if Narayan Textile Private Limited is an existing company, New Narayan Textile Private Limited shall not be allowed.
- Spelling variations: Spelling variations in a way that sound similar to the existing company are not allowed. For example, if V. B. Chemicals Private Limited is an existing company, VeeBee Chemicals Private Limited shall not be allowed.
- Joining or Separating Words: Joining or separating words of an existing company does not make the name unique. For example, if Arch Comics Private Limited is an existing company, Ar Ch Comics or ArchComics is not allowed.
- Adding place in the name: Adding the name of a place like a country name within the name does not make it a unique name. For example, if Raja Metal Private Limited is an existing company, Raja Metal India Private Limited or Raja Metal Mumbai Private Limited is not allowed.
- Plural version of names: Plural version of a name does not make it a unique name. For example, if Tanvi Steel Private Limited is an existing company, Tanvi Steels Private Limited is not allowed.
The proposed name should NOT be undesirable.
A name is considered undesirable if it uses offensive words or infringes a registered trademark or if it is not by the Emblems Act, of 1950. The Emblems Act of, 1950 prevents the improper use of certain names and emblems for professional or commercial use.
Other rules regarding name approval
- Names indicating other business types: Names that indicate other business types are not allowed. For example, a company name containing words like co-operative, society, sahakari, In,c. etc are not allowed.
- Abbreviated names: Abbreviated names such as Ab Limited are not allowed.
- Names similar to LLP: Names that are identical or resembling an existing LLP are not allowed as the company name. In the case of LLP names, names that are identical or resembling an existing company name are not allowed.
- Names that contain the word “State”: A name that contains the word State is not allowed for companies other than Government Companies.
- Generic words: Names that contain generic words or names or places such as city, country, and continent are not allowed. For example, Mumbai Private Limited or France Private Limited, or Europe Private Limited are not allowed. Similarly, names like Steel Manufacturing Private Limited, Cotton Mills Private Limited, or Chemical Trading Private Limited are not allowed.
- Names that require regulatory approval: Any name which contains words like Bank, Insurance, Venture Capital, Nidhi, Mutual Fund, or Asset Management are not allowed unless there is a declaration that the requirements as mandated by the respective regulatory authority have been complied with.
- Names identical name of the company in liquidation or the old name of the company: The names of dissolved or liquidated companies are not allowed. Similarly, names of companies under liquidation or previous names of companies that have changed their names are not allowed.
- Name implying association with foreign Government: Any name which implies association with the embassy of a foreign country or association with a foreign Government is not allowed.
- Name which includes “British India”: A name that includes the words “British India” is not allowed.
- Name which includes “East India Company”: A name that includes the word “East India Company” is not allowed.
- A name should be in consensus with its main object. For example, a company carrying on a business of Textile cannot name itself as a Steel manufacturing company.
Click here to know more about the Incorporation of a Private Limited Company in India.