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Guide to Select Your Singapore Company Names
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Name Reservation and Approval by ACRA
Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) will refuse a proposed Company names if it is similar, identical of phonetically the same as a company or business already registered.
Use of certain words such as “bank”, “insurance”, “university”, and “education” could be subjected to control and regulation by Government authorities and will require permission before you can proceed to set up the Company. The appeal process will take 1 day to 14 days in general.
If you would like to speak with us about your proposed company name, please call us, our Singapore Company Set up specialists will be glad to assist you always.
Consideration for selection of Singapore Company Names
ACRA has highlighted that the following are matters you must consider when selecting a name for your company or business.
The Registrar will reject any proposed company or business name for purposes of incorporation, registration or change of name if that name is:
> Undesirable names
> Names which are identical to a business or company in Singapore
> Names which are identical to a name being reserved by a business or Company in Singapore
> Names which the Minister has directed the Registrar not to accept for registration e.g. Temasek
Therefore, you are recommended to exercise caution and avoid selection Singapore Company names that resemble the name of another, because the Registrar has the discretion to direct you to change your company name if anyone lodges a valid complaint within 12 months that your name resembles their company’s or business’s and/or is likely to be mistaken for it.
Besides, the Companies (Identical Names) Rules and Business Registration (Identical Names) Rules were enacted pursuant to the new s. 27(2D) of the Companies Act and s. 11(10) Business Registration Act.
These Rules set out what the Registrar is considered as identical:
(a) In determining whether a Singapore Company name is identical to another, the following shall be disregarded:
(i) “The”, where it is the first word of the name;
(ii) “Private”, “Pte”, “Sendirian”, “Sdn”, “Limited”, “Ltd”, “Berhad” and “Bhd”;
(iii) the following words and expressions where they appear at the end of the name: “company”, “and company”, “corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Asia”,“Asia Pacific”, “International”, “Singapore”, “South Asia”, “South East Asia” and “Worldwide”;
(iv) any word or expression which, in the opinion of the Registrar, is intended to represent any word or expression in sub-paragraph (iii);
(v) the plural version of the name;
(vi) the type and case of letters, spacing between letters and punctuation marks; and
(b) the symbol “&” is deemed to have the same meaning as the word “and”.
The Rules also allow for the Registrar to refer the parties in dispute over the use of a name to mediation before giving any direction for a name change.
How to check your Company Name availability?
In order to reduce the risk of future complaints being made against your company name, you should conduct a preliminary search for identical or similar names using ACRA system before submitting the name application for official approval. Besides, you can perform a Google search if you have concern someone in the world are using the similar name as yours.
How to Search for Identical or Similar Company Names
1. For company names with initials, key in the various combinations of the proposed name.
Eg. If the proposed name is “CD Trading”, the possible ways of checking are: CD, C D, C.D, C. D, C-D, C – D, C&D, C & D, CND, C N D, C ‘n’ D, The CD, The C.D, The C&D, etc.
2. Check for company names with similar pronunciations.
The possible ways of checking for similarly pronounced company names are:
Eg. Guo, Gou, Kuo, Kou
Eg. If the proposed name is “The Gold”, the possible ways of checking are: Gold, De Gold, De-Gold, De’ Gold, De. Gold, D. Gold, D-Gold, D Gold, D’ Gold, etc.
3. Check for similar company names, but in different sequence.
Eg. If the proposed name is “Delivery Express”, please also check for “Express Delivery”. If the proposed name is “Best Service Provider”, please also check for “Service Provider Best” / “Service Best Provider” etc.
4. Check for similar names in a similar industries. Besides, check for words with similar meanings as the proposed company name.
Eg. “Flower Transport” is similar to “Flower Transportation” / “Flower Forwarding”, etc. “
5. Besides, some of the common descriptive word is considered similar:
i) Trade; trading; marketing; enterprise
ii) Investment ; holding; investment holding
6. Graphical words like names of countries and places are not considered distinguishing
Eg. “Super Travel” is similar to “Super Travel International” or “Super Travel Singapore”, etc.
7. Punctuation mark is not considered distinguishing as well.
Eg. “Happy! Burger” is similar to “Happy Burger”
Feel confuse? No worry at all, email us your Company Name at firstname.lastname@example.org , we will check the availability of the Singapore Company Name and get back to you on the same working day.
Referral of Company Name Application
Your name application may be referred to the Relevant Regulatory Authorities for comments if the name application discloses information, which necessitates the referral (e.g. type of business you have selected which require a license and/or permit to operate). For more information, please refer to the Referral Authority Table.
Last but not least, your Singapore company names may sometimes be referred to ACRA without any reason and it will take longer time for processing. Therefore, we will recommend you to reserve your Company name as soon as possible once it is confirmed.