Companies Act 2013: Naming Guidelines For A Company

Last Updated at: Oct 30, 2020
In April 2020, the MCA extended the expiry of names reserved by companies for incorporation/changes due during lockdown 2.0. Also, the period of reservation for names expiring between April 15th and May 3rd, 2020 has been extended by 20 more days after expiry.


On 28th September 2020, the Finance Ministry notified the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020 which seeks to amend the Companies Act, 2013. These amendments reduce the total number of penal offences from 134 to 124. The amendments also allow a certain class of public companies to list overseas directly.


While choosing a name for your company, many things might come to your mind and you could be highly confused. There are a set of rules that have to be followed when it comes to naming a business. And, these rules are defined in the Companies Act 2013. It is important to read it before naming your business.

A private, one-person or public company needs to follow the same set of rules for naming their business. All of them are contained in the Companies Act, 2013. None of them is particularly surprising or arbitrary — and you may even call it common sense — but do read them before selecting a name for your company or you may end up delaying the incorporation procedure or even paying resubmission fees.

Listed below are some of the legal services provided at Vakilsearch. If you find them useful, feel free to contact us.


1. Absolutely Unique Name

The name you select for your company should be completely different from any other company in existence. By completely, we mean even minor tweaks would not be sufficient. It should be completely different. This includes plurals (turning ‘Autocar’ to ‘Autocars’), punctuation marks (‘Auto Car’ to ‘Auto-Car’), joining words (‘Autocar’ to ‘Auto Car’), change in tense (‘We Can’ to ‘We Could’), phonetically similar names (‘AT&T’ to ‘ATNT’), misspelled words (‘Hindusthan Lever’), addition of dot com or dot in and changing the order of an existing name.

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2. Congruent With Purpose

The name should not mislead the public by featuring an industry it does not deal with (inserting ‘Financial’ in the name of an FMCG company) and if the business is engaged in financial activities, the activities in particular should be reflected in the name (chit fund, financial services, etc).

3. Names Implying Foreign Connection

If your name hints at an association with a foreign government or political party, contains ‘British India’ or the name of a national or international hero, it will be rejected.

4. Vague Names
The abbreviated name of the promoters, a random arrangement of letters or any other vague name (such as Asia or Arabian Sea) will not be approved.

5. Names that require Regulator/Government approval

The inclusion of words like insurance, bank, mutual fund require the approval of regulators that govern each subject (IRDA for insurance, for example). Similarly, a company that wishes to include the word Authority, Board, Commission, National, Union, Central, Undertaking, Federal, Republic, Rashtrapati, President, Khadi and Village Industries Corporation, Small Scale Industries, Financial, forest, Municipal, Panchayat, Development Authority, Prime Minister or Chief Minister, Minister, Nation, Forest corporation, Development Scheme, Statute or Statutory, Court or Judiciary, Governor, Development Scheme will need government permission.

6. Undesirable Names

The name should not violate section 3 of the Emblems Act 1950, the name of a registered trademark, unless the owner or applicant has given written consent, or contain offensive words.

You might have thought that it could be complicated to name your business as per the Companies Act 2013. But over here, you would have understood that there is no complication involved in it and that it is all related to common sense. Do follow the same to avoid any delays in the procedure.