The Registration of Business Names Act 1963 (“the Act”) requires individuals, partnerships and body corporates, who wish to trade under a name that differs from their true name, to register that business name with the Companies Registration Office (the “CRO”). The purpose behind the act reflects the position that the legislation doesn’t allow businesses to hide their true name and thus run the risk of defrauding their consumers.
When does a business name need to be registered?
- Where an individual uses a business name which differs in any way from their surname.
- Where a partnership uses a business name which differs in any way from the true names of all the partners who are individuals.
- Where a company uses a business name which differs from its corporate name.
- Where a person having a place of business in Ireland carries on the business of publishing a newspaper.
Please note the following:
- The chosen name for the registered business is not final until approved by the Companies Registration Office.
- Only residents in the Republic of Ireland can register a business name as a sole trader. If you are not a resident in the Republic of Ireland, a letter of business permission form would need to be sent to the Department of Justice.
- Registering a business name does not protect the name from being used by someone else – as a company name registration would. There can be multiples of one business name in the Republic of Ireland.
- A registered business name does not automatically mean the name will be an appropriate and acceptable company name due to their different requirements.
Where does a registered business name need to be displayed?
- When the certification of registration is granted by the Companies Registration Office, a copy of the certification must be displayed in a noticeable position in the business. If there are multiple locations it would need to be displayed in the prominent place of business along with every branch office, or place where the business is carried out.
- A company needs to show its registered business name on all corporate documents e.g. letter headings, stationary, resolutions etc.
- If the business is a body corporate, additional information needs to be disclosed on documents such as the full name of the company, the registered number and the address of the registered office.
Sanctions for a breach of the Act
Section 11 of the Act requires a body corporate or a person to disclose their true name on business documentation, failure to do so can result in a summary conviction.