Starting a business and want to protect your name? Here’s how…


There are two areas of protection that need to be considered – the company aspect and the trademark aspect. Regarding the company aspect, you will need to know how you intend trading.

For example:

  • As a sole proprietor using a trade style;
  • As a registered company;
  • As a registered close corporation.

If you do not intend to register a company or close corporation but to operate as a sole proprietor using a trading style, it is recommend that you apply to register the name of your business as a defensive company name in order to block the Companies Register.

If you want to register a company or close corporation, you need to apply to reserve the name and, if it is available, to thereafter register the company or close corporation. The registration of a company, close corporation, or defensive company name should prevent the Registrar from approving a company or close corporation with a confusingly similar name. It does not enable you to stop someone from using the name as a trading style or as a trade mark. This can be done by filing an application for a trademark registration. Before filing a trade mark application, we recommend that you instruct us to conduct a trademark availability search.

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