Picking a name
The number one thing that you must have when registering your company is a company name. Though the process of picking one may be hard, future you will be thankful that you spent time to take care of this. There have been instances where businesses have failed largely due to a bad company name.
Picking a name is just one of the many steps to take when incorporating your company. Read on to find out how to choose the right company name. If you need assistance with incorporation, reach out to us for help.
Register your company name
In Singapore, you need to reserve and register your company name before you can start your business properly. You will need to send your proposed name to the Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) for approval. This is done through BizFile+ and requires a $15 fee.
The application will also require you to specify the primary and secondary activities of your business. You can classify your business according to the Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) code.
Your company name will be reserved for 120 days after it has been approved. You will need to register or incorporate your company within these 120 days, after which the name will be made available to the public to register/
How to choose a name
Here are some tips that will help you stand out from other competitors and give you a higher chance of an approved application.
Find that sweet spot between being too vague or too meaningful. Boring names can be forgettable among the sea of other competitors in your industry.
Don’t use keywords in your business name. Using plain keywords like General Finance doesn’t work anymore. Instead, try using more descriptive keywords to communicate what your business is about.
Dare to use puns or play with words to draw attention to your company. The best would be if they are both creative and are still related to the service that you’re offering. For example, the name Flickr is a play on the word “flicker” and at the same time hints that the company is involved with photography.
Keep it simple
Keep your company name short and sweet – a long company name will be hard to remember. You want your company name to sound pleasant and appealing to customers. Your company name should also be easy to pronounce. It’s alright to be clever, but be sure to not overdo it.
Don’t imitate competitors
ACRA will not allow names that are similar or almost identical to existing businesses. This includes reserved names as well. If the name you have chosen is reserved, you can take your chances and wait for the 120-day deadline to end.
Avoid using your name
Unless you are an established brand or have some following behind you, avoid using your name. This is as using your name usually does not communicate any meaning behind your service and won’t mean anything to potential customers. It can also cause problems in the future if you want to expand your business.
Avoid words that may require additional licenses
Some words may trigger regulatory bodies to conduct inspections on your businesses. Most of the time, this means that you will either have to remove a word in your name or acquire more licenses.
For example, if your name includes the words “school” and/or “academy”, the Ministry of Education might conduct a review and approval of the name. The same possibility applies to other terms like “bank”, “university” and “insurance”.
Getting the right name
To ensure that your name has not been taken yet or reserved, it’s best to conduct a quick check on Google or ACRA’s Bizfile+. This will help you save the time and money of having to apply and wait for approval.
If you need more help, simply reach out to us where we’ll be able to help you with anything from creating a suitable brand name to bookkeeping.