Who needs to register a Business Name?

Business name is a name under which any business is carried on. According to the Registration of Business Names Act 1963, it is a legal requirement that individuals or companies who wish to trade under a name that is different as their own name, register the business name with the CRO (Companies Registration Office).

Specifically, registration of a business name is required if:

  • An individual trades under a business name which differs in any way from his/her true surname. It makes no difference whether the individuals first name or initials are added.
  • A partnership does not trade under the true names of all partners who are individuals and/or the full corporate name of all partners which are bodies corporate.
  • A company trades under a name which is not its full corporate name.
  • A person who, having a place of business in the state, carries on the business of publishing a newspaper.


Why register a Business Name?

Sole Traders/Partners most likely will use a business name because they do not want to trade under their own name(s). Also, a good idea to have a business name is when you are trying to build a brand.

Limited Companies often use business names if the company name they want is not available with the CRO. Sometimes, a company may want to have few different businesses within the same company and therefore, will register a business name for each different division.


Important things you should know:

  • To register a business name, the place of business address must be in Ireland.
  • Business name registration is not the same as business registration. If you want to register as a Sole Trader, you need to register as self-employed with Revenue before starting your trade.
  • If you are switching from Sole Trader to Limited Company and you have a business name already, you need to de-register your business name as a Sole Trader and register it again as a Limited Company. In the case if your business name is not available as a company name you might register your company under a different name and keep the business name to use as a ‘Trade As’.
  • After a business name registration, the CRO will issue a Certificate of Registration. You should display it in your business premises where the public can see it. If you have a few different outlets, display a copy in each one.
  • Once a business name has been registered any emails, letterheads, stationery, cheques etc. must show both the proprietor of the business name, i.e. the individual, partnership or company, and the business name itself.
  • You will need to present a copy of business name certificate when opening a bank account in your business name and for some registrations, i.e. registering domain name ending .ie
  • Business names are not classified as registered until approved by the CRO, so before you spend any money on stationary or advertising, check that your business name is available and if anyone else has rights in the name you have chosen.
  • It is important to understand that if you registered your business name as a sole trader or general partnership no protection is given a to the registered name (unlike a company name), meaning that it can be duplicated by others. Also, business name registration does not imply that the name will necessarily be acceptable later as a company name.


We are here to help you choose, check availability and register your business name. Contact our professional team for assistance.