Register Business name South Africa
Have you found a business name? Here is how to check the availability.
One of the major changes brought about by the New Companies Act that will affect start-ups is the availability of business names.
Under the new Act, name reservation is no longer mandatory before registering a company.
If a proposed name is rejected the company may still be registered and the registration number then becomes the name of the company at incorporation until an appropriate name has been reserved. Furthermore, symbols are allowed in company names and all languages are accepted.
To register a business name, you need to complete a CoR 9.1 form. The fee for a manual application is R75 for each name, while electronic is R50. You should indicate up to four alternatives to be considered for reservation in the listed order while only one will be registered.
You are also required to indicate whether any word, number or other element constitutes a registered trademark, and provide supporting documents for an associated name. The applicant of a name reservation must be the applicant on the new company registration documents, and will need to include a certified copy of their ID.
Searching and securing a company name
The new process does not require business owners to check that the name is available before the business can be registered. The CIPC will check the name against existing registered businesses and reject the names that are too similar. It is still possible, however, to check whether the company name you prefer is reserved but clicking on ‘Additional Services’ on the CIPC’s website. You will then be re-directed to the old CIPRO website and will see an entry field under ‘Name Search’ on the left of the webpage.
Related: When Do I Register a Trademark
Alternatively, you can reserve a name on the CIPC’s website. By doing so you will be informed of its availability. To reserve a name online you need to do the following:
Step 1: Visit CIPC Site
Log onto the CIPC website
Step 2: Register
Register as a Customer. If you are not an existing customer, click on ‘Customer Registration’ to register and complete the required fields and submit.