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What you need to know about company names

Coming up with a company name can be a big topic for entrepreneurs. According to the “Guidelines for Hong Kong Company Name Registration” issued by the Companies Registry, there are many restrictions on naming a company name, and there are several things to pay attention to. This article will summarize what you need to know about company names.

Is the company name equal to the business name?

First, many people will confuse the company name and business name, although there are many cases where the legal name of the company and the business name are the same in real cases.

The general company name is the name of the “legal entity” and must comply with the Hong Kong company name registration guidelines and must be registered with the Companies Registry.

As for the business name, it is more like the nickname of the company, which is mostly recognized by the public for the purpose of promotion. For example, the business name is “Hong Kong Bicycle”, and the company behind it should be owned by a company named “Xiao Ming Industrial”.

Incidentally, a company name is not the same as a trademark. A trademark, as a type of intellectual property, is used to identify a product or service (ie a logo, expression or design) in the market and it must be registered in the Trademarks Registry of the Intellectual Property Department.

Company name restrictions?

According to the “Hong Kong Company Name Registration Guidelines”, unless the company has applied for a relevant license, the company name cannot contain words such as “bank”, “insurance”, and “accountant”. In addition, the names of some suspected public and government-related institutions are also restricted, such as company names ending with “Department”, “Bureau”, and “University” to avoid misunderstanding and may constitute a criminal offense.

In addition, the name of a Hong Kong company does not have to be related to the business scope, and there is no restriction on the business scope of a Hong Kong company, so there are not many restrictions on the naming.

Should the company name be in Chinese or English?

When naming a Hong Kong company, you should pay attention to the language of the company name. You can use traditional Chinese (simplified not allowed) or English naming, but not a mixture of Chinese and English, the Companies Registry will not accept languages ​​other than Chinese and English but can contain numbers. In addition, if the company wants to open a bank account, it is recommended to register an English name.

The words “Limited” or “Limited” in the company name?

If you want to apply for a limited company, the word “Limited” or “Limited” in English must be included after the company name to indicate the company’s legal status and limited liability. However, an application to the Registrar of Companies not to include the word can only be made if there are compelling and reasonable reasons.

Company name already in use?

The name of a Hong Kong company needs to be unique, so it is best to go to the “Company Name Index” of the Companies Registry first to check whether the name has been registered by others.

Change company name?

The company name can be changed. Unlimited companies only need to complete the form (IRC3110A) within 1 month after the name change and submit the notice to the Companies Registry; while limited companies need to complete and submit the change of company name after holding a general meeting and passing a resolution Notice (NNC2), which generally requires a registration fee of $295, and waits at least 5 working days to receive the certificate of change of company name.

The above information is for reference only. If you have any questions about tax declaration and accounting, we welcome your inquiries.

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