Whats in a name?

Tim Brown: Commercial Division

The process of reserving and registering a company’s name under the new Companies Act continues much the same as before. What has changed is the rules relating to trading names.

A company may have two names – a registered name, which is registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and a trading name. A trading name is a name used by a company in addition to its registered name, usually because it is more easily understood or recognisable by the market.

The Consumer Protection Act provides that trading names must be registered with the Consumer Commission within 1 year of a date to be determined by the Minister of Trade and Industry (the date has not yet been determined). This applies to all trading names, whether used by com-panies, close cor-porations, partnerships or sole proprietorships.

Beside the annoyance of filling out yet another form, registering a trading name may give your company some protection against the competition. Incidentally, you should also consider registering your company’s registered name as well as the brand names of key products, as trademarks. The process is relatively inexpensive and provides excellent protection.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Arthur.

– Sam Goldwyn, when asked if he would consider calling his son by the name