Selection and verification of the business name
The selection of business name is one of the most important steps in establishing a company. A distinctive and memorable business name will contribute to the renown and success of a firm.
Restrictions on business names
The following restrictions have been imposed on business names in Estonia, which should be taken into consideration:
- the business name must include an indication of the company’s form of business (such as OÜ or “osaühing” at the beginning or end of the name);
- the business name of a FIE must include the entrepreneur’s given name and surname;
- the business name may not include the name of a person who is not a shareholder/partner;
- the business name may not be similar to other companies’ business names already entered into the register;
- the business name may not be similar to already registered trademarks, unless the companies are operating in different areas of activity.
Besides local companies, European Community trademarks have legal protection in Estonia:
- a company’s business name and area of activity may not be in conflict;
- the business name may not be contrary to good morals;
- Clear distinguishability of business name.
The requirement that a business name be clearly distinguishable is not limited by the specific number of letters or syllables that must be different. In some cases, merely one letter is sufficient to be different, while in another case, even three letters will not be enough. It is not just the appearance of the word that must be different but the pronunciation as well. Nor are differences in declensions, conjugations and other grammatical word endings considered differences.
A company’s business name may not be too short and should also reflect the company’s main activity (such as goods produced, services) and location of the company or shareholders/founders.
Verification of business name
You can verify the distinctiveness of you preferred business name. You can do so in the name query section of the e-Business Register information system, where the new name is compared to those already entered in the register. The court maintaining the register makes a decision regarding the distinctiveness and suitability of the business name.