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Guide To Selecting Company Names According To The Companies Act

The Companies Act (Cap 50) provides the following guidelines for companies to assist them in coming up with acceptable names. The goal of companies’ names is not just to give the public an idea of their products or services, but also to set themselves apart from all other businesses (especially their competitors). The company name will also be used in all legal processes the company needs to comply with.

The Companies Act stipulates the following criteria that would make a proposed company name unacceptable:

A company name contains undesirable words. These include obscene or religious names.
A company name is identical to another business entity, regardless of nature (can be limited liability partnership, corporation, or another company).
A company name happens to be something that the Minister has directed the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Singapore’s business Registrar, not to accept.

On the issue of identical names, the following are disregarded in evaluating a proposed name:

The word “the” as the first word of the proposed name;
The suffixes “Limited Liability Partnership,” “LLP,” Berhad,” “Bhd,” “Limited,” “Ltd,” “Sendirian,” “Sdn,” “Private,” and “Pte.”
The words “company,” “and company,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” “Asia,” “Asia Pacific,” “International,” “Singapore,” “South Asia,” “South East Asia,” and “Worldwide,” as they appear at the end of the name. Exceptions are made, however, when corporations are related to each other.
The plural version of a name;
The case and type of letters, spacing, as well as punctuation marks.

The Companies Act interprets “&” and “and” as the same.

To illustrate further, here are some samples:

“The Flying Dutchman Pte. Ltd.” is considered identical with “Flying Dutchman Pte. Ltd.” Note that since the word “the” is ignored when at the beginning of the name, the two company names will be read as identical.
“Tristan And Sons Pte. Ltd.” Will also be interpreted as identical with “Tristan & Sons Pte. Ltd.”
“Das Rhinegold Pte. Ltd.” is identical with “Das Rhinegold International Pte. Ltd.” Since “International” will be ignored under the rules, the remaining words make it identical with the previous name.