Registration of a business name is obligatory if any individual or partnership (whether composed of individuals or bodies corporate or any combination of both) or any body corporate carries on business under a name other than their own true names. Its purpose is to make public the identities of those individual(s), partnerships or corporate bodies being the legal entity behind the business name.
To register a business name, submit one of the following forms, along with the registration fee (€40 for paper filing/€20 for electronic filing), to the CRO within one month of adopting the business name:
- Form RBN1: for an individual
- Form RBN1A: for a partnership
- Form RBN1B: for a body corporate
As it will save you money, you should obviously register your account on Companies Registration Online Environment (CORE).
Before deciding on your business name, you should ensure that the business name that you intend to use is not already registered. It might also be wise to check that you can register a suitable domain name.
You can check the register of companies and register of business names free of charge using the Search Facility.
You can undertake a search of the trade mark register at the Patents Office.
You should note that registration of a business name:
- does not give protection against duplication of the name;
- does not imply that the name will necessarily prove acceptable subsequently as a company name;
- does not authorise the use of the name if its use could be prohibited for other reasons. It should not for instance be taken as an indication that no rights (e.g. trade marks rights) exist in the name.
Once you have decided on your business name, you are then free to submit your Business Name Registration Form. The Companies Registration Office provides a detailed guide of how to submit your business name registration form here.