Sunday 16 June, 2019

Choosing a name for your business: Things you should know

iStock photo

iStock photo

By Carissa Mears

In April 2019, pollster Don Anderson revealed that business confidence was on the rise and last year Reboot Digital Agency categorized Jamaica as a startup hotspot. 

Many of us are conjuring up business ideas. But when you settle on your idea you’re then faced with asking yourself the question. What am I going to call my business?  

You might have started to brainstorm, scribbling names on a piece of paper and asking friends and family members to vote on which names they like best. 

In doing all of this, consider that your name is your brand and you’ll want something that can go national, regional or even international. In all things think big!

That being said, be sure not to use another company’s name. It’s a simple point that should not be overlooked. That company could sue you for trademark infringement or passing off just to give you an idea of what can be thrown at you.  

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Your name should not be undesirable in the eyes of the Registrar of Companies if you wish to obtain registration. 
It should also not be offensive, profane or contain obscene words. Additionally, no reference should be made to the Crown or members of the Royal Family without justification.

A limited liability company will generally end with the word limited, however there are exceptions.

If you are a professional and your business name consists of your true Christian and surname, for example, John Brown, Medical Doctor you do not need to register a business name. 

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The Companies Office requires the production of certification from persons who belong to certain profession and trades upon registration of business names.  

Therefore the use of certain words in a proposed business name which refers to a profession, occupation or other business activity requires the production of certification from the relevant professional or regulatory body upon submission of the application for registration. 

This applies for example to the business name “Medical Palace”. Therefore, if you want to register a business name with the words; engineer, medical, dental, bank, cambio, pharmacy or university, for example, you will need to produce certification from the relevant professional or regulatory body upon submitting your application for registration. This is not an exhaustive list. 

I truly hope this helps persons who are desirous of starting a business.

*This article does not constitute legal advice and is intended for informational purposes only.

For comments or questions, you may contact the author Carissa Mears, Attorney-at-law at carissa.mears@gmail.com or connect with her on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/carissamears.

About the author: 

Carissa Mears is an attorney-at-law. She has served as an Adjunct Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies Mona, The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean and The Caribbean Maritime University. She is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors of the St. Catherine Primary School. She is passionate about making legal issues understandable to the general public. 

 

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