I will outline the circumstances where a business needs to register a business name, how to register the name and what you need to do when you receive your business name registration cert.
If a business trades under a business name which is not the registered name of the company or the name of the owner (if a sole trader) then the business name should be registered with CRO.
Do I need to Register my Business Name?
Many business owners register their business name in order to get a .ie domain. However, it is a legal requirement to register a business name where the following apply:
- A sole trader trades under a name which is not the owner’s name. For example, if Pat Jones operates as a sole trader under the name Great Results Consultancy, he will need to register this name.
- A partnership needs to register the partnership name if this name differs from the surnames of all the partners.
- A company is required to register a business name if it trades under a name which is not its registered name. For example, ABC Limited might trade as The Old Mill restaurant.
Remember that registering your business name offers no protection for that name. Many businesses can register the same name. However, be careful when naming your business so that you don’t attract a solicitors letter, i.e. don’t name your bookshop Easons, even if that is your surname.
If you do need some protection for your name, see the Irish Patents Office website. There is a link to a searchable database of trademarks.
How do I Register?
The relevant forms for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies can be found on the CRO website. The form can also be completed online at www.core.ie which offers a much faster turnaround time. Fees for paper forms are €40 and for electronic submissions €20.
Once registered, your details will be searchable on the CRO website.
What Happens Next?
When the form has been processed by the CRO, a business name registration certificate will be issued. There are three main uses for the cert:
- Displayed in your place of business, it shows customers/clients and other callers who is behind your business.
- It lets your bank know that if a cheque is made out to the business name that it is for your business, so remember to send your bank manager a copy.
- It allows you to register a .ie domain name.