What is the best name for your new business startup? Choosing your company name should be a fun and exciting process. However, identifying the differences between a sole trader and a limited company and finding the right company name are both big decisions that go hand in hand.
Your company name should be something you’re proud of and should be unique to your startup. Finding the right name is one of the first steps in building a strong brand identity and setting up a new limited company in Ireland.
What is a Business Name?
Any individual, partnership or corporate body that wishes to operate under a name other than their true names, must register a business name. A business name is used to make the true names of the individual, partnership or corporate body public. This is necessary as they are the legal entity behind the business name.
What is a Company Name?
The company name must be on display outside every place where business is in operation. When you incorporate your business, you are required to register your company name which creates a separate legal entity. The company name is separate and distinct to the people who run the company.
What is the difference between a Company Name and a Business Name?
Company names and business names have very different legal status. A business name can be owned by a company, a partnership or a sole trader. Keep in mind that there is no legal protection of a business name. If you are a sole trader (an individual carrying out a business) and you don’t wish to trade using your own name, you can choose a business name, but there is no legal basis to prevent anyone else from using that same name. A company name however is a complete legal name of an entity, distinct from its owners. It is the name you choose when you incorporate your company. Often limited companies adopt different business names. You may see a company named ‘Unicorn Trucks Limited, trading as Unito’, or a sole trader named James Murphy, trading as ‘Murphy Energy Consulting’. If you would like to register your business name, complete this form.
Top Tips When Choosing Your Company Name
Every startup wants a distinctive name, something that is memorable and will withstand time. So, get ready to generate some great new company name ideas. This is the exciting part — an opportunity to get creative!
The following tips will help you through the brainstorming process;
Make a List of Keywords
- Think about your target market. What makes your company unique to them? Define your value proposition. What do you offer your audience?
- Keep it simple. It helps if your name is memorable, easy to spell and pronounce.
- Use a thesaurus to find variations of the words you’ve already chosen.
Use Company Name Check Generators
- A Name Check Generator helps come up with suggestions for business name ideas.It also allows you to check the domain name availability. For instance, Naming.net and Biznamewiz are websites which help you choose potential company names. They allow you to select your industry or sector to help narrow down the search. The industry options include everything from hospitality to real estate.
Check if the Domain Name is Available
The next step is to secure the domain name for your business.
- You can choose .ie for Irish businesses or .com. It depends on your preference. But do consider whether you want to target non-Irish or international audiences.
- Register similar names. When you have selected your domain name, register some similar names or variations. This is recommended to protect your brand name from competitors and to drive more traffic to your website.
- Don’t delay about registering your domain name. There is a chance a competitor could take it. You can check if your domain name is available by using The Irish Domain Registry.
- Be consistent across all communication channels. By having a domain name that you can use for all your communication channels means you don’t have to put different names for different social media profiles. Even if you don’t intend on using social media, you can register an account and direct people to your website. This way no competitor will take your domain on social media.
Ask for Opinions on Company Name Options
- You’ve narrowed it down to a few ideas. Run them past family and friends. They will probably give you honest feedback on whether they think your ideas will work or not. They may also offer some different perspectives.
What’s My Next Step?
You’ve narrowed it down to at least 3 company name choices. The next step is to check with the CRO (Companies Registration Office). You can use the name check search on the CRO website to see if the name you want has already been registered.
Be warned, however. The Companies Registration Office (CRO) reserves the right to refuse any name based on their rules. Their advice includes the following:
- The CRO suggests changing around the letters of your name for a unique word. For example, if your name is Neil Smith, you could use the name ‘Thimsline’.
- Words like ‘technology’ are widely used in company names and are often already taken. Consider combining two words together. For example, you want to call your company ‘Chore Technology Services’, but feel it’s too long. ‘Choretec’ is a good, snappy alternative.
The CRO also prefers you to provide them with at least 3 names. Once you’ve made your decision, Accountant Online can follow up with the checks from there for you.
Restricted Words & Terms
Your company name might get rejected if some of the words you choose are too popular. For example, words such as “performance” and “path” are quite common in a lot of company names. The CRO likes to have easily distinguishable names. Additionally, words like ‘business’, ‘services’ and ‘consultancy’ are not considered to be distinctive words in a company name.
- Place names are not distinguishable e.g. Ireland, Cork, West etc. or words such as Universal, Global or International.
- Lastly, words such as ‘holding’, ‘group’, ‘system’, ‘services’, ‘international’, ‘solutions’, ‘enterprises’ etc. are considered to have a weak distinction.
What Documentation Do I Need to Register My Company Name?
We complete the relevant forms to suit your business needs. You will be sent an email with these documents for your confirmation and your signature. When you return the signed documents to us, we complete the administration end of forming your company. You will receive confirmation once your company has been formed.
How Long Does It Take to Register My Company Name?
You can spend hours on the company name check site, pondering over potential names, but typically we can register your company name within a couple of days.
Registering Your Company Name With Accountant Online
Here at Accountant Online, we will advise you of exactly what is needed in order to move forward with your company name check. We offer advice on the names CRO will accept, and those they won’t.
Save yourself the hassle and let us do the hard work. You can be creative and Accountant Online can take care of everything else. You provide us with your company name ideas and we work from there. We will liaise with you throughout the whole process until you finally select a name you like.
However, the fun and excitement doesn’t have to stop there. You can now start building a strong brand identity through your company logo and slogan while we are here to ensure that the rest of your company formation runs smoothly.
Accountant Online register company names as part of our online company formation service. This service also includes:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Company Constitution
- Share Certificates
- Schedule of Company Officers
- Secure Digital Register
- Corporation Tax Registration
- First Annual Return
- Free Offers on web design, print and workbench space
Accountant Online is a firm of award winning Chartered Accountants serving Ireland and the UK. We understand how important it is for you to meet your compliance obligations, while minimizing your tax liability. We aim to save our clients money without compromising on the quality of our service. Get in touch for a free consultation on 01 905 9364 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.