Choosing the right name for your business is a crucial decision. This is because a business name creates an image of the business’ brand in the mind of potential customers. It communicates the idea or service of the business . In addition, it also sets the tone for the way people perceive your company.

When settling on a business name, you must consider your brand and what you seek to project to the public. You may want to choose a generic name rather than a specific one. This is because, in case you decide to change the business objects at a later stage, you are not restricted.

However, you may use technical names or terms that reflects the nature of business of the company. Whichever one you choose, it is important that you consider the following; a business name should be –

  1. Unique
  2. Short
  3. Easy to remember
  4. Easy to pronounce
  5. Descriptive of the work you do

THE DO’S

  1. All Companies and Business Names should be written in full when completing business registration forms. If this is not done, the application will be rejected. For example, you must write your business name with ‘Company’ not ‘Co.’ at the end.
  2. Choose a name that is not already registered in the Registrar General’s Department records. Do not also choose a name which is similar to an already registered name eg. Foto instead of photo, koko –coco.
  3. You can add ‘Ghana’ at the end of the companies name not in front of the company name. For example ‘Ghana Plastics Ltd’ will not be accepted. However, if you re-write the name as ‘Plastics Ghana Ltd’, this name will be accepted.
  4. Choose a name that is not misleading or undesirable.
  5. A company may in writing change its name by passing a special resolution by the Board of Directors. The new company name must be approved in writing by the Registrar.
  6. The last words of the name of a :
    • Private Company Limited by shares shall be “Limited Company” or the abbreviation “LTD”
    • Public Company Limited by shares shall be “Public Limited Company” or the abbreviation “PLC”
    • Company Limited by Guarantee shall be “Limited by Guarantee” or the abbreviation “LBG”
    • Private Company Unlimited by shares shall be “Private Unlimited Company” or the abbreviation “PRUC”
    • Public Company Unlimited by shares shall be “Public Unlimited Company or the abbreviation “PUB”

THE DON’TS

  1. Sole Proprietorship cannot use names of countries or towns. E.g., God is Great Ghana Ent, The Kiddies Haven Nigeria Ent,
  2. Names of persons relating to days of the week cannot be used by sole proprietors but certain local names will be accepted. Example, Poku-Sam Electrical, S.B Job Ltd, etc. Examples of names that cannot be used are; Kofi’s Electrical Enterprise, Ama’s Grocery Shop.
  3. Local Names can only be used when it is for memorial purposes. Example, Yaa Dufie Memorial Hospital.
  4. Sole proprietorships can’t use names like Association, Organization etc.
  5. When a business name relates to a particular sector, it restricts your activity. For example a business name like Steve Construction cannot carry out any other activity apart from construction. Similarly, the name Steve Bakery can not carry out any other business activity apart from Bakery. If they intend to carry out other business activities, they will be required to amend the name of the business. This will be done by removing Construction or Bakery from the name and then after, add on the new activities.
  6. A company shall not be registered with a name of a company that has been dissolved within the preceding five years of the intended registration.

READ ALSO: What You Need to Know about Company Registration

RESERVATION OF A BUSINESS NAME

Everyday, people are registering new businesses. It is possible that another person has submitted  your intended business name for registration today. Therefore, the best way to keep the intended name of a business you want to register, is to reserve the name.

Hence, the best way to avoid this situation is to reserve your business name after name search. So that you are assured of its availability.

Act 992 of the Companies Act 2019, Section 22(1) states that,

  1. An application for reservation of the name of a company should be sent or delivered to the Registrar.
  2. The Registrar may, after receipt of the application and on payment of the prescribe fee, reserve a name pending registration of company or a change of name by a company.
  3. A name can be reserved for two months after payment. At the expiry of that date, you can further reserve it for another two months after you cannot apply for new reservation of that name.
  4. A company shall not be registered under an already reserved name . Also a name which is similar to a reserved name will not be accepted.

Conclusion

Finally, a great name appeals to a business’s audience. At the end of the day, this is really what matters. Names are important because they are a critical part of a business’s first impression and because they are the most used aspect of a brand. A name that is used by the target audience is a good name and people use what they like.

We hope this article will help enlighten you on the choosing a good business name for your company and staying compliant. Tell us your experience in choosing a business name for your company in Ghana. Feel free to comment, share and ask question.