Before you incorporate your new business in the Bahamas you must finalize your company name. It’s a big decision as the name you choose is so much more than a name, it’s a key piece of your branding. There are a few things to consider before you begin brainstorming your options.
Bahamas Naming Restrictions
Under The Bahamas Business Registration Act you must avoid names that could be viewed as offensive in any way. You might be trying to make a fun play on words, but your registration may be denied if the Bahamas Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority find it to be offensive.
Be Mindful Of Additional Licensing Requirements
Some business types require additional licensing. If your business does not fall into one of these regulatory categories, avoid words to your name that would commonly be associated with a regulatory category. For example, words like “academy”, “university”, or “education” if you aren’t an actual school. Also avoid words like “bank” or “insurance” if you are not actually in these two industries.
Pre-Existing Business Names
One of the reasons you should brainstorm and narrow your options down to 2 or 3 is because there may already be an existing business with the same name you want. So, once your short list is approved check to see if the name already exists.
If the business name you want has been reserved but the company is not yet incorporated you may be able to wait it out, as the name will be held for 120 days. Then you can file an appeal to reserve the name for yourself. You can also file an appeal for the name you want if the company has been dissolved.
The Government of the Bahamas is strict about identical names, which can be frustrating as you search for the perfect name, but these strict rules are for your protection too. It helps to protect you from being exploited by companies who may attempt to impersonate you and benefit from your established branding. This keeps you and other businesses from being sued for the tort of passing off.
Reserving A Company Name
Before you can reserve a company name you must ensure it is not already being used. However, you should search for more than just the precise name you are hoping for. These tips will help.
- Search for both your full and partial business name, as well as close variations. For example, if you are considering naming your business ThinkTank Tech you must also search for “Think Tank Tech”, “Think Tank Technologies”, “Tank Technologies” and other similar variations.
- Search for similar sounding names with creative or foreign spelling. For example, the word “Tricks” could be spelled “Trix” or “TRX”.
- Search for sequence variations. For example, if you are thinking of naming your business “Smith and Wright” search for “Wright and Smith”.
- Search for names with similar meanings. If your proposed business name is Blue Motors Gaming, search for “Blue Motors”, “Blue Automotive”, and “Blue Machine”.
- Mixing up the type and case of the letters, or adding spacing, or punctuation marks won’t help you get around a similarity. For example, trying to replace “Who” for “Who?”
As you can see there are multiple variances and similarities to consider beyond ensuring the name you want is available. However, there are some similar words that you may disregard when naming your business.
Similar Words And Names That You May Disregard
Some words are commonplace in business titles and therefore not exempt from name restrictions. This includes but is not limited to:
- The word “The”. Countless businesses can have this name without being viewed as a similarity. This also means that you can’t add “the” or the other variations below to your business name to differentiate.
- Legal business elements and suffixes fall into the same category, such as Limited/Ltd., Incorporated/Inc., Corporation/Corp., and Private/Pte.
- Common business-related expressions and names such as “international”, “worldwide”, or “global”.
- Plurals of the above words, expressions, suffixes, or legal elements.
Your Trading Name And Legal Name May Vary
If you’ve found the perfect name to brand your business but it’s not available, not to worry as your trading name may vary from your legal name. For example, your legal company name may be “Grand Group Ltd.”, but your website, social media, advertising, and trade name may be “Grand Technologies” or even a name with far fewer similarities. If you go this route, we still advise that you ensure there are not any competitors in the same industry with a similar name; again to avoid the torte of passing off.
If your trade name and legal name vary, you will still need to disclose your legal name on your website, contracts, invoices, and other official documents.
Found The Perfect Business Name! Now What?
Once you find your perfect name it’s time to register your company. The team at SCGIBC simplifies this process for you, taking care of everything for you remotely. That’s right, you can register your new company without traveling to the Bahamas. Reach out today to get started!