Names availability policy
You are advised not to incur expenses relating to the proposed name (e.g. preparing signs, headed notepaper, stationery, etc.) in advance of receipt of the certificate of incorporation that will confirm that the company has been registered with the chosen name.
There are restrictions on your choice of company name. The name may be refused if:
- it is identical to or too similar to a name already appearing on the register of companies
- it is offensive
- it would suggest state sponsorship.
The following guidelines will assist you in assessing the acceptability or otherwise of company names:
is generally recommended that company names include extra words so as
to create a sufficient distinction between names. Certain words and
their abbreviations together with accents and punctuation marks are not
sufficient to distinguish between company names. Examples of such words
include the definite article and the words “company”, “co”,
“corporation”, “and”, “&”, “service”, “services” ,“limited”, etc.
Place names are not considered to be a sufficient distinction between
company names, e.g. Ireland, Dublin, West, etc.
descriptive elements, e.g. press/printing, staff/employment agency, or
the inclusion of only a general or weak qualification such as “holding”,
“group”, system”, “services”, “international”, etc. may not be regarded
as a sufficient distinction between company names.
care should be taken with names considered to have a distinctive
element i.e. names consisting primarily of made-up words or
non-dictionary words. The inclusion of qualifying words may not be
sufficient to create a distinction between company names.
which are phonetically and/or visually similar will be refused. This
includes names where there is a slight variation in the spelling and the
variation does not make a significant difference between the names.
number on its own will not be accepted as a sufficient distinguishing
mark, unless the company concerned is part of the same group.
- The use of a year in numerals to differentiate between two companies of otherwise the same name is prohibited.
The following restrictions also apply to company names:
containing certain words cannot be used unless approved by relevant
bodies. For example, the words “bank”, “banc”, “banking”, “banker” may
only be used with the permission of the Central Bank of Ireland. This
also applies to names such as “hollybank”, “sweetbank”, “canal bank”,
“bancorp”, etc. and the surname “Banks”, not withstanding the fact that
the company being incorporated may not intend to carry on banking
- Words such as “insurance”,
”re-insurance” and “assurance” cannot be used unless prior permission
has been sought from and granted by the Irish Financial Services
Regulatory Authority (IFSRA).
- The word “society”,
“co-op” or “co-operative” cannot be used unless permission has been
sought from and granted by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
words “University” and “Institute of Technology” or “Regional Technical
College” cannot be used unless permission has been sought from and
granted by the Department of Education.
- In the case of the word “Charity”, further information may be sought by the CRO to support the application.
a name includes words which imply specific functions, e.g. “holding”,
“group”, etc., further information may be required by the CRO to support
- The use of the word “standard” is prohibited.