Jun 18, 2011
You can call the new company anything you like, except that:
- it must end with the word “limited”, or the abbreviation “ltd”
- it can not be identical or almost identical to an existing company’s name
- it can not include certain words [eg, Royal, Bank, Insurance], but exceptions are sometimes made
- it can not be offensive
When you send us an order for a new company we can tell you almost
immediately whether your new company name will be allowed. If it is not, we
will email you and ask for another name.
Not the information you wanted? Try:
More information about the above 4 points:
“Limited” – the MED will approve the new company name with the
word “Limited” in full, but you are entitled to abbreviate it to “Ltd” wherever
the company’s name is used.
“Identical or almost identical” -
Every new company’s name has to be unique. So if there is already a
company called “Angela’s Welding Services Ltd” you will not be able to use
that name for your company.
There is a problem here though. If you decide to call your company
“Angela’s Welding Services (2011) Ltd”, the MED will approve it. Adding
(2011) to the name means it is no longer almost identical to the existing
name. But if you use that name in a way which might confuse the public, the
original Angela could use the provisions of the Fair Trading Act to stop you.
Even if the MED approves a company name that does not guarantee that
you can use it safely. You should check that there are no similar businesses
in your area which have similar names to yours.
The name can not include certain words:
You will not be allowed to call your new company “Wellington Trading Bank
Ltd” unless you are actually running a Bank. Any proposed company name
which contains the word “Bank” will be refused until you get a letter from
the Reserve Bank allowing it. This leads to strange results. We regularly
apply to the Reserve Bank for permission to use such names as “Bank Street
Chiropody Ltd”. So if you ever walked past the Reserve Bank building in
Wellington and wondered what they did in there, now you know. We recently
had a name which included the word “Sun” turned down because the word
SUN contains the letters “UN”. The Companies Office presumably thought we
were claiming to be part of the United Nations Organisation. [Admittedly it was
a machine which made that decision, and a human being reversed it].
You probably already know a lot of offensive words, so you can decide for
yourself what will be allowed.