Name Approval Guidelines as per Companies Act 2013

In the Companies Act of 2013, Section 4, Sub section 4 & 5 are dealing with the naming of the Company. Also, it is worth to have a reference to the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 framed under the 2013 Act, before naming the company.

The Name of the company has three parts, the Name, Object and Constitution. For instance, ABCD Creations Pvt. Ltd is constituted with ABCD as name part, Creations as Object and Pvt. Ltd as its Constitution part.

Promoters of the company should follow the guidelines in order to get their names approved.

The major guidelines to name the company are detailed as below:

1. No Identical Names

The name of the newly proposed company should not be identical or similar to that of an existing company; moreover, the meaning of identical names is well described in the act.

  • The usage of company type in a different format will not make the company unique. For example, if a company name ABCD Private Limited already exists, the promoters of a new company cannot register the name as ABCD Pvt. Ltd or ABCD (P) Ltd. If the name of any such nature has opted, it will be rejected in the prima face itself. The case is applicable to the usage of Limited, Ltd, LLP, Limited Liability Partnership etc.
  • Plural version of any of the words appearing in the name will not be allowed. For example, a company name of ABCD Confectionaries will not be allowed if an existing company of ABCD Confectionary exists.
  • Separating or joining of words will not make the name unique. For example, ABCD Minerals mining Company and ABCD Mineral Mining Company are treated as similar company names. Similarly, different combinations of words will also have the same impact.
  • Any usage of special characters, upper case and lower case of letters, spacing etc will not distinguish a company from that of a similarly named one. For Example, ABCD Jain stores are not distinguished from ABCD J ain Stores, abcd jain stores, abcd! Jain Stores.
  • The difference in usage of tense or number of the same word will not make out one name from another
  • Spelling variations and its phonetics difference are not considered valid. For Example, One plus One Pvt. Ltd is considered as a similar company of One plus1 Pvt. Ltd. KG Motors and Kay Ji Motors are considered as similar.
  • Misspelt words can also be rejected as ABCD Mobiles and ACBD Mobile are similar as per law
  • Prefixing or suffixing Salutations will not make a name distinguishable
  • Translations of a word from one language to another will also not make a name distinguishable
  • Not to the least, the extensions like dotcom, .com, .edu etc will not make a name distinguishable

2. Not undesirable by law

The proposed name of a company will not be an offence under any law or undesirable under any law. As per the Act, the name could be undesirable if it:

  • Consists of any word which gives the impression that the company is connected with any Government or Government bodies unless an approval of central government is obtained.
  • Violates Emblems Act 1950
  • Violates an existing registered trademark or an application in progress
  • Contains any word which is offensive to any category of people.
  • Not in consonance with the principal objects of the company
  • A name similar to that of an LLP or Partnership and vice versa
  • Include words indicative of a different type of business
  • Contains any word which gives the impression that the company is in association with any foreign government
  • Contains place or country names alone

3. Other Conditions in Name approval

Any Company name consists of the word BRITISH INDIA will not be allowed for registration

If the proposed company is in the business of financing, chit funds, leasing, investments, securities etc, the proposed name of the company should include the indicative name of such financial activities. Eg: ABCD Chit funds, ABCD Investments etc.

The proposed name of a company should not imply any association or patronage of a national hero or any person occupying or have occupied any high position in the government. For example, the name of Mahatma Gandhi shall not be used to form any type of Company.

4. Special Cases

If the proposed name of the company is similar to that of a company dissolved on liquidation proceedings, such name can be used only after two years of dissolution.

If the proposed name of a company is similar to the name of a company that is in pursuance of action under Section 248 of the act was struck off, the name shall only be allowed in expiry of twenty years of Gazette Publication with regard to such struck off.

5. Exemption

In the case of a foreign company incorporating its subsidiary company in India, the addition of word India or name of any Indian state or city is permissible along with the original name of the holding company.

As per the Companies Act of 2013, Section 8 Companies (non-profit companies) words like Foundation, Forum, Association, Federation, Chambers, Confederation, council, Electoral trust etc can be included.

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