First and foremost thing before registering a Company or LLP, the promoter has to get the proposed Company Name approved by the respective Registrar of Companies (ROC). As the company name carries the business’s goodwill to the customers and potential clients, the company/brand name is the most significant identity of a business that stays with the business as long as it exists.
The basic concept of name availability is that the name proposed for registration should not be identical to or resemble an existing Company or LLP name. Also, the proposed name should be within the rules framed by the Government of India from time to time.
So, the Companies Act of 2013 and the Companies (Incorporation) Rules of 2014 go a long way to enforce the rules which are to be abided by the businesses while naming their companies, whether a private limited company or an OPC.
Guidelines as per the Companies Act Of 2013: One Person Company or LLP
The following factors must be kept in mind before deciding on the company’s name:
- The name of the company must be a unique component as the name once registered cannot be allocated to another company. Hence the name needs to be descriptive which grabs the attention of the target audience.
- Contain a noun and/or an activity word so it reflects the objectives of the company.
- Be in line with LLP Name Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- Not similar/identical and resembles the name of an existing Company or LLP registered.
- The promoter must also avoid Phonetically similar names.
- The company’s name cannot be like a registered trademark or a trademark for which an application has already been filed.
- The name should not be offensive to any person, sect or other organization.
- The selected company name cannot use or violate emblems, or names and should be in consonance with the Emblems and Names (Prevention and Improper Use) Act 1950
- The proposed company name should not violate or be incompatible with the Trademarks Act, of 1999.
- The company name cannot bear any resemblance to the names of LLP firms or with names that are being reserved by the MCA.
- The name of the company should reflect the nature of the business as described in the Memorandum of Association (MoA) of the company.
- If the company deals with financial activities such as chit funds, investments, or a combination of such activities – the company name must indicate the same.
- The company name cannot include words indicating a legal entity or connotation thereof like Trust, LLP, Partnership, HUF, proprietor as a part of the name.
- The name cannot contain the words – British India.
- The company name cannot simply imply as though it relates to the embassy, consulate or any foreign government when it is not.
- The company’s name cannot be linked to any patronage, national leader or person deemed respectable or persons occupying a critical position in the government.
- The company name must not resemble the names of the companies that are liquidated. A minimum time frame of two years must be provided with given before taking the names of such companies.
- Similarly, the company’s name should not be identical to a company which was struck off. Such names cannot be utilized before the expiry of 20 years – after which the name will be struck off from the official Gazette.
- If the company name includes words such as Bank, Insurance, etc., the applicant is first required to get approval from the respective regulators such as RBI (Reserve Bank of India), SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).
- A private company cannot use the word ‘State’ as part of the company’s name as it is allowed only to be only by government companies.
- Names of countries, continents, states, etc are not allowed. Similarly, the name of another country cannot be used as a part of the name of the company unless there is a valid proof of business alliance with the respective country.
- The proposed company name is the exact Hindi/English translation of the existing LLP in English or Hindi.
How to check company name availability?
- To check if a company name of your choice is available for the taking, the applicant has to visit – https://www.mca.gov.in/mcafoportal/showCheckCompanyName.do
- Once you see the homepage of the website, you have to select option MCA services from the menu.
- Once you select MCA Services, you then must select the Check Company Name option from under the Company Services menu.
- Once you click on Check Company Name, you will be redirected to a new window where you will see the option to enter your Company or LLP name along with the activity type.
- Here one can enter the name of the company or LLP, mention its activity type and check for the availability of the name.
- For any name typed, the system will show a list of all the companies registered under the name you search for. At one single time, the website will show a maximum of 200 search results if the name is already taken by anyone across the country.
- Once you zero in on the company name, the applicant must also check the Trademark for the proposed name. This option is available exactly below the Company LLP name.
- Once you click on the trademark option mentioned below, the website redirects the user to – https://ipindiaonline.gov.in/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx
- Here too the applicant must follow the same procedure as followed while checking the name availability.