In supercession of all the previous circulars and instructions issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs from time to time regarding name availability, the applicants and Registrar of Companies are advised to adhere following guidelines while applying or approving a name:
1. While applying for a name in the prescribed e-form-1A, using Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), the applicant shall be required to furnish a declaration to the effect that:
(i) he has used the search facilities available on the portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for checking the resemblance of the proposed name(s) with the companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) respectively already registered or the names already approved.
2. There is an option in the e-form 1A for certification by the practicing Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries and Cost Accountants, who will certify that he has used the search facilities available on the portal of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs for checking the resemblance of the proposed name(s) with the companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) respectively already registered or the names already approved and the search report is attached with the application form. The professional will also certify that the proposed name is not an undesirable name under the provisions of section 20 of the Companies Act, 1956 and also is in conformity with Name Availability Guidelines, 2011.
3. (i) Where e-form 1A has been certified by the professional in the manner stated at ‘3’ above, the name will be made available by the system online to the applicant without backend processing by the Registrar of Companies (ROC). This facility is not available for applications for change of name of existing companies.
(ii) Where a name has been made available online on the basis of certification of practicing professional in the manner stated above, if it is found later on that the name ought not to have been allowed under provisions of section 20 of the Companies Act read with these Guidelines, the professional shall also be liable for penal action under provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 in addition to the penal action under Regulations of respective professional Institutes.
(iii) Where e-form 1A has not been certified by the professional, the proposed name will be processed at the back end office of ROC and availability or non availability of name will be communicated to the applicant.
4. The name, if made available, is liable to be withdrawn anytime before registration of the company, if it is found later on that the name ought not to have been allowed. However, ROC will pass a specific order giving reasons for withdrawal of name, with an opportunity to the applicant of being heard, before withdrawal of such name.
5. The name, if made available to the applicant, shall be reserved for sixty days from the date of approval. If, the proposed company has not been incorporated within such period, the name shall be lapsed and will be available for other applicants.
6. Even after incorporation of the company, the Central Government has the power to direct the company to change the name under section 22 of the Companies Act, 1956, if it comes to his notice or is brought to his notice through an application that the name too nearly resembles that of another existing company or a registered trademark.
7. In addition to above, the user shall also adhere to following guidelines: –
i. It is not necessary that the proposed name should be indicative of the main object.;
ii. If the Company’s main business is finance, housing finance, chit fund, leasing, investments, securities or combination thereof, such name shall not be allowed unless the name is indicative of such related financial activities, viz., Chit Fund/ Investment/ Loan, etc.;
iii. If it includes the words indicative of a separate type of business constitution or legal person or any connotation thereof, the same shall not be allowed. For eg: cooperative, sehkari, trust, LLP, partnership, society, proprietor, HUF, firm, Inc., PLC, GmbH, SA, PTE, Sdn, AG etc.;
iv. Abbreviated name such as ‘BERD limited’ or ‘23K limited’ cannot be given to a new company. However the companies well known in their respective field by abbreviated names are allowed to change their names to abbreviation of their existing name (for Delhi Cloth Mills limited to DCM Limited, Hindustan Machine Tools limited to HMT limited) after following the requirement of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 1956. Further, if the name is only a general one like Cotton Textile Mills Ltd., or Silk Manufacturing Ltd., and not specific like Calcutta Cotton Textiles Mills Limited or Lakshmi Silk Manufacturing Company Limited, the same shall not be allowed;
v. If the proposed name is identical to the name of a company dissolved as a result of liquidation proceeding should not be allowed for a period of 2 years from the date of such dissolution since the dissolution of the company could be declared void within the period aforesaid by an order of the Court under section 559 of the Act. Moreover, if the proposed name is identical with the name of a company which is struck off in pursuance of action under section 560 of the Act, then the same shall not be allowed before the expiry of 20 years from the publication in the Official Gazette being so struck off since the company can be restored anytime within such period by the competent authority;
vi. If the proposed names include words such as ‘Insurance’, ‘Bank’, ‘Stock Exchange’, ‘Venture Capital’, ‘Asset Management’, ‘Nidhi’, ‘Mutual fund’ etc., the name may be allowed with a declaration by the applicant that the requirements mandated by the respective Act/ regulator, such as IRDA, RBI, SEBI, MCA etc. have been complied with by the applicant;
vii. If the proposed name includes the word “ State”, the same shall be allowed only in case the company is a government company. Also, if the proposed name is containing only the name of a continent, country, state, city such as Asia limited, Germany Limited, Haryana Limited, Mysore Limited, the same shall not be allowed;
viii. If the proposed name contains any word or expression which is likely to give the impression that the company is in any way connected with, or having the patronage of, the Central Government, any State Government, or any local authority, corporation or body constituted by the Central or any State Government under any law for the time in force, unless the previous approval of Central Government has been obtained for the use of any such word or expression;
xi. If a foreign company is incorporating its subsidiary company, then the original name of the holding company as it is may be allowed with the addition of word India or name of any Indian state or city, if otherwise available;
x. Change of name shall not be allowed to a company which is defaulting in filing its due Annual Returns or Balance Sheets or which has defaulted in repayment of matured deposits and debentures and/or interest thereon;
These guidelines and revised e-form 1A are likely to be implemented with effect from 24th July, 2011.