It is important that persons forming companies satisfy themselves of the acceptability of the proposed name in advance of submission of documents to the CRO, bearing in mind that an objection may arise post-incorporation, which could result in the company being directed to change its name by the Registrar pursuant to section 30 Companies Act 2014. It is also possible to reserve a company name using CORE - https://core.cro.ie - please see Reserve Company Name page.
Where to check a company name
Applicants are advised to check that the name proposed is not similar to one already registered by checking the register of companies using the Company Search Facility.
The CRO does not check proposed company names against names on the business names register and the trade mark register. Applicants are, therefore, advised to check these registers to ensure that the proposed company name does not conflict with a business name or trade mark since any person claiming to have a right to that name could take an infringement action or a civil passing off action to protect his/her interest.
You can also check the register of business names free of charge, using the Company Search Facility.
You can undertake a search of the trade mark register at the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland.
Reserve a Company Name
This service is only available online at https://core.cro.ie. Registration with CORE is free. The name can be reserved for 28 days and the cost of this application is €25.00. See Reserve Company Name page for more information. You can check the suitability of a company name using this facility for free.
The CRO may have to refuse a name, if:
- it is identical or similar to a name already appearing on the register of companies;
- it is offensive;
- it would suggest state sponsorship.
Applicants are, therefore, advised not to incur expenses relating to the proposed name (e.g. preparing signs, headed note-paper, stationery, etc.) in advance of receipt of the certificate of incorporation which will be confirmation that the company is registered.
Please note also that Section 30 of the Companies Act 2014 states that if your chosen name is too similar to the name of another company, and is accepted for registration by the CRO, through inadvertence or otherwise, an objection on grounds of similarity could be made in writing to the Registrar of Companies within six months following the incorporation of your company and you could be directed by the Registrar to change the company name. In considering whether names are too alike, the Registrar will take account of all relevant factors suggesting similarity and leading to confusion between the names of the two companies.
If the Registrar, pursuant to section 30 Companies Act 2014, directs a company to change its name, such change must take place within six weeks of the date of the Registrar’s direction or such longer period as she may allow. A company that fails to comply with the direction will be eligible for prosecution.
The following guidelines are to assist in assessing the acceptability or otherwise of company names:
- Names containing certain words cannot be used unless approved by relevant bodies. For example, the words "bank", "banker", "banking", "banc", 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 may not intend to carry on banking business.
- Words such as "society", "co-op" or "co-operative" cannot be used unless prior permission has been sought from and granted by the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
- The words "University"(Ollscoil), "Regional Technical College"(Ceardcholáiste Réigiúnach) and "Institute of Technology" (Institiúid Teicneolaíochta) cannot be used unless permission has been sought from and granted by the Department of Education.
- If a name includes words which imply specific functions e.g. "holding company", "group" etc., further information may be required by the CRO to support the application.
- In the case of the word "Charity", further information may be sought by the CRO to support the application.
- The use of the word "standard" is prohibited.
- The word “architect” either alone or in combination with any other words or letters, or name, title or description implying that the person is so registered, cannot be used unless a Notice of Determination has been issued by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). This does not apply to the names “landscape architect”, “naval architect”, “architectural technician”, “architectural technologist”, and “interior design architect” and similar terms.
- Please note that there may be a requirement for some management companies to include Owners’ Management Company in the company name. S.14(3) of the Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 provides " The words "owners’ management company" shall be included in the name of every owner’s management company to which this section applies, which words may be abbreviated to "OMC". S14(4) "This section applies to owners’ management companies of multi unit developments in respect of which no contract for the sale of a residential unit has been entered into prior to the enactment of this Act". Section 14 was commenced on 24th January 2011.
Under the Companies Act 2014, company types are included at the end of the name of the company unless exempted. Company types: Only companies which are particular company types may have the following words in their name:-
- Limited (ltd) - Teoranta (teo)
- Public Limited Company (plc) - Cuideachta Phoiblí Teoranta (cpt)
- Designated Activity Company (dac) - Cuideachta Ghníomhaíochta Ainmnithe (cga)
- Company Limited by Guarantee (clg) - Cuideachta faoi Theorainn Ráthaíochta (ctr)
- Unlimited company (uc) - Cuideachta Neamhtheoranta (cn).
Please see information leaflet 1 for more information.
Displaying the company name
Every business must paint or affix its name on the outside of every office or place in which the business is carried on, even if it is a directors home. The name must be both conspicuous and legible.
In addition, the company must state its name, in legible lettering, on company letter heads, order forms, invoices, etc. For further information on the statutory requirements, see Information Leaflet No.7, Company/Business Name Letterheads.
Exemption from use of Company Type Suffix
Incorporating a company with limited liability without including the company type “Designated Activity Company” or “Company Limited by Guarantee” at the end of the company's name
The phrases “Designated Activity Company” or “Company Limited by Guarantee” may be dropped from the company's name where the objects of the company will be the promotion of commerce, art, science, education, religion or charity. In addition, the company's memorandum or articles of association must state that:
- the profits of the company (if any) or other income are required to be applied to the promotion of the objects;
- payment of dividends to its members is prohibited;
- all assets which would otherwise be available to its members are required to be transferred on its winding up to another company whose objects are the promotion of commerce, art, science, religion or charity.
It should be noted, however, that a company which is exempt from the obligation to use the company type as part of its name is still obliged to show on its letters and order forms the fact that it is such a company. For further information, see Information Leaflet No. 24 and Form G5.
Change of Company Name
Once incorporated, a company can change its name. Please see Change of Name page.