Having decided to create a new business in Cyprus, one of the first considerations a promoter of that business will have will be what to name the new entity. Whilst the moment at which the new company’s name is conceived can be thrilling, the legal requirements behind a name can too often be overlooked. Approval for any company name is required from the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver and when their requirements are disregarded this can lead to delays and disappointment.
When and How Does One Apply
Obtaining approval of the proposed name for a new company will be one of the very first steps a lawyer will undertake when creating a new company on behalf of a client. An application will be made to the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver in the prescribed form and upon payment of the prescribed fee. The application can be made at a lower fee for a standard turnaround and also at a higher fee for an expedited approval.
What Information Does the Registrar Require
The application includes details of the proposed name as well as a description of the nature of the business, the meaning of words and the names of the Directors or Partners. Approval of the company or trademark should also be included.
Most law firms recommend giving a number of alternative names for approval, which will avoid the inevitable expense and delay of potential rejections.
Where a client requires a speedy service, the expedited approval can be requested. Alternatively most law firms stock a bank of pre-approved names that can be used initially for registration, where the name of the company itself is inconsequential.
What Names Are Permitted
In general promoters of a company have a freedom in relation to the company’s name. However, it must be noted that the purpose of a company name is to identify that company and (at the same time) differentiate it from other service providers and therefore names will be rejected if they are undesirable – for instance:
- The name is similar or identical to that of another existing registered company;
- The name is general;
- The name is descriptive;
- The name is deceptive (e.g. if it suggests a non existent royal/national or international connection);
- The name is a geographical location.
Furthermore certain business types are only allowed to include certain terms in their name, for example words such as “Financial Services” may only be used by companies registered as such with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission. Similarly “cooperative”, “insurance” or “bank” could only be used by registered entities.
Names may be registered in any language using the Latin alphabet, provided that where a foreign language is used, a translation of the name is provided with the application.
Where a company has been created, the name may subsequently be changed, by a special resolution of the company. Approval of the new name will similarly be required. Change of name will not impact upon rights or obligations of the company prior to the change or render any existing legal proceedings defective.
In the case of a limited company the name must be followed by the words “limited” or “ltd” after the company name. Similarly, “Public Company Limited” or “P.L.C.” should follow public company names. The effect of such is to indicate to those persons dealing with the company its status.
Michael Chambers & Co. LLC’s team of corporate lawyers is able to advise on approval of a company name and all aspects of the company formation process. If you wish to speak to one of our corporate lawyers, please contact us.