Everyone who starts a company in Singapore must select a company name which is deemed suitable for the company's business purposes. However, there are certain names which are prohibited from use on legal grounds. This FAQ will explain why these names may not be used by a Singapore company.
Singapore’s company laws require that all companies in Singapore have a name which has been officially registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). A company based in Singapore can be run under any name regardless of its businesses activities. However, the name which is to be selected must not violate the Companies Act; if it does, it will be rejected.
For your information, we at Paul Hype Page & Co do provide services for the incorporation of a Singapore company. Our incorporation team will work with you to enable the complete setup of your company. We will also ensure that your new company in Singapore fulfills all of the compliance requirements that exist in the country.
The Companies Act statesthat ACRA, unless it has received approval from any superior authorities,will not register a company name in certain circumstances. There are important reasons as to why such company names may not be used in Singapore.
Some of the company names barred from use in Singapore are those deemed to be undesirable. These names may include obscene language, names which cause offense to one’s religion, or any other names deemed to be offensive in any way. It is important that such names are not used as company names in Singapore because if they were to make their way into the public sphere, they would imply that the owner of the company endorses such sentiments as expressed in the name of the company, regardless of what the company owner’s genuine beliefs and ideologies are.
Any name which is exactly the same of that of any sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company, limited liability partnership, public company, or any other business entity which has been registered in Singapore is not allowed to be used by a new business. Such has to be the case because the use of the name of a business which has already been registered and incorporated would infringe on the rights of the other business to the name in question. The use of such a name might thus cause the new business to be sued.
The name which is selected by a new business is also not to be identical to any name which has already been reserved. This fact is corroborated by legislation such as the Business Registration Act, the Limited Liability Partnership Act, and the Limited Partnership Act. In such a situation, the existing business which has already reserved a particular name can be seen as having claimed the name before any other business was able to do so. Thus, the name can be assumed to be already in use even if the business operations of that business have not yet commenced. Once again, the use of such a name by a new business would infringe upon the rights of the existing business to that name and might therefore also bring about a lawsuit or other legal action.
Any name which has been barred from use by any government authorities may not be accepted by ACRA. This fact holds true even ifevery regulation related to the naming of new businesses in Singapore is followed to the letter. The reason why such names are not to be used is due to the fact that ACRA is a part of the Singaporean government and carries out its functions and duties on behalf of Singaporean government authorities. Therefore, it is not allowed to contradict the word of the government on any matters related to company names.
Business owners in Singapore might find it frustrating when the name which they have carefully selected for their new company remains unapproved. However, it is important for such owners to take note of why the selected name was not approved, reconsider the name, and finally select a new name for the company which will be much more likely to receive approval. Only after receiving official approval can the owner of the new business commence business operations in Singapore.