Agadi Nwanyi wanted to register a company and what easily came to mind was Agadi Nwanyi Nig. Ltd, you can imagine his disappointment when he realized the name had been registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) already.

Choosing a company name off the top of your head might seem like a walk in the park, until you get a bunch of rejections from the CAC.

Here are a few tips to guide you when choosing a company name.

  • It has to be Unique & Memorable

The more unique  your company name is, the greater the chances of it being approved by the CAC. The uniqueness of your company name can be conveyed through the business you want to provide. Be sure to choose a name that stands out from the rest, create your own words. Some have been known to create a new word from a combination of 2-3 regular English words or use numbers in choosing a name. 

  • Avoid names that are similar to other brands

You need to carefully select your company name, so it does not position your business as a downgraded version of an existing product due to similarities with an existing brand. If the name is similar to an existing name, it will likely get rejected; and should it get approved in error, the CAC has the discretion to withdraw that approval after the documents have been submitted for registration, which we at DIYlaw have experienced a number of times. Here’s a tip, do a quick search HERE to see if a similar name exists before deciding on a name

  • You can use more words to differentiate your company name

When incorporating a company, adding words that show your company’s services can help in differentiating it from existing names. For instance,a catering business instead of just using  MY COMPANYNAME LTD, can use MY COMPANYNAME CATERING SERVICES LTD.

  • Certain words just won’t fly at the CAC

There are certain words that are not approved for commercial use by the CAC. If you want to use such words, you have to first seek the approval of the Registrar-General. Some of such words include Chamber of commerce, Cooperative, Municipal, Chartered, Federal, National, Regional, State, Government, e.t.c. 

  • If your name shows you are a professional or specialist, you are going to have to prove it

If using professional words to distinguish your services such as consulting, advisory, advertising, legal, technology, accounting, architecture etc ensure you have some form of qualification or certification to show proficiency. For instance, if legal – a call to bar certificate; if education – NCE or B.Ed.; if Engineering, COREN etc.