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There are many steps to address when starting a business.
The first one is to select the right company name for your Hong Kong company.
Many entrepreneurs may first look at their company name from a marketing perspective only.
But there are actually many other legal and administrative aspects to consider with the objective that your proposed name will not be rejected or challenged after registration (which would cost time and money).
How do I know if my Company Name is Available?
The first priority is to do a company name search to check if the proposed name that you have in mind is available for registration.
You can do this by visiting the website of the Hong Kong Company Registry’s Cyber Search Centre or Company Search Mobile Service.
This company name search tool is completely free.
You can also perform a business registration search with the Inland Revenue Department.
Can my Company Name be in Chinese?
Your Hong Kong company can have an English name format or a Chinese name format or both.
However, a combination of English and Chinese characters in the same name is prohibited.
If you select a Chinese name format, please note that it shall be registered in traditional Chinese characters (simplified characters are not currently accepted for registration).
If you register a Hong Kong limited liability company, the proposed name will finish by “Limited” in English or “有限公司” in Chinese.
It is not possible to use a contraction such as “Ltd.”
The name of your Hong Kong company shall be sufficiently unique and distinctive.
You will not be able to register a certain name for your company if it is a duplicate of a name already used by another company.
The problem will be the same if your proposed company name is too similar to the one of an existing company.
In this respect, you should pay attention to symbols and abbreviations that you may use in your company name.
For example, the following will be considered the same:
- “&”, “and”
- “Hong Kong”, “HK”, “Hong Kong”
- “FE”, “Far East”
- “ABC”, “the ABC”
Do I need to Register My Company Name as a Trademark?
Avoid using a company name that has already been registered as a trademark by one of your competitors.
You do not want to start your company, open a bank account, start doing business and later receive a warning letter or a court order requesting that you change your company name.
At the time of registering your company name, the Companies Registry will not check if it is identical or similar to existing trademarks.
Please also note that the above-mentioned Hong Kong Company Registry’s Cyber Search Centre or Company Search Mobile Service name search tools do not check for trademarks.
Verifying that your company name does not violate a trademark can be checked on the public Online Search System of the Intellectual Property Department of Hong Kong.
After registering your company name, it is a good idea to register it as a trademark.
We can assist you with trademarks availability search and registration in Hong Kong and Mainland China if you need.
Pay attention to not selecting a company name format that may be seen as too close to the one of government agencies.
Avoid company names including words such as “Government” (政府), “Department” (部 門), “Bureau” (局), “Authority” (委員會), “Council” (議會), or “Commission” (公署) in their title.
This may cause lengthy questions and lead to the rejection of your company name proposal.
Names subject to pre-approval
A pre-approval will be required if your company name format includes references to “chamber of commerce”, “kaifong”, “levy”, “trust”, “trustee”.
Your proposed company name cannot be offensive or otherwise contrary to public interest.
What if I Already Have a Company Outside Hong Kong?
A company that is registered outside of Hong Kong , known as non-Hong Kong company, but intends to have a place of business in Hong Kong shall register with the Companies Registry within one month.
If the original corporate name of that non-Hong Kong company is in Chinese characters or in Roman script, the company will be registered with the Hong Kong Companies Registry using the exact same corporate name.
On the contrary, if the original corporate name is in another alphabet (such as Arabic, Greek, Hebrew), then the company will need to register a domestic name in Roman script or Chinese with the Companies Registry.
The domestic name will be selected using a certified translation.
I’ve De-registered My Company, Can I Restore it Again?
In the rare cases when a company that was deregistered applies for restoration, it will reappear in the Companies Registry under its original name.
Please note, however, that in case another company has registered the same name, the restored company may within 12 months from restoration be requested by the Companies Registry to change its corporate name.
Can I Change My Company Name?
At any time during the life of your business, you may want to change of company name.
A company name change may be done by passing a special resolution of the general meeting and submitting to the HK Companies Registry a Form NNC2.
Upon completion of the name change procedures, the Companies will receive a Certificate of Name Change issued by the Companies Registry and indicated the company’s original name as well as its new corporate name.
The company will also receive a new Business Registration Certificate.
Once the name change is effective, the company shall notify its bank and other business partners of its name change.
Have a name in mind? Register it today with Air Corporate!
With Air Corporate, focus on your business while we take care of the rest.
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