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What's in a name? Well, actually a lot

May 24, 2019 20:10 IST

Choosing your company’s name? MCA lists examples to avoid any duplication. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs made it clear that the use of different phonetic spellings, including the use of misspelled words of an expression, would be treated as same.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

William Shakespeare advised against fighting over names, but the suggestion is infructuous when companies are incorporated.

To avoid disputes, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has come up with illustrations of names which may or may not be incorporated if there are similar names of existing companies.

Say, if there is a company named Green Technology Ltd, you cannot incorporate another firm with a modified name such as Greens Technology Ltd or Green Technologies Ltd.

 

The rules were there - “Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014”.

Now illustrations have been added to these rules by amending them.

These will also expedite incorporating companies.

To further illustrate the example given above, the rules say Pratap Technology Ltd is the same as Prataps Technology Ltd and Prataps Technologies Ltd.

However, SM Computers Ltd is not the same as SMS Computers Ltd.

“Now you have clear-cut illustrations. This would help avoid confusion.

"So if your company's name is rejected by the ministry, and the rejection is not in sync with the rules, you can dispute that,” said Rachit Sharma, expert of Company Law at Taxmann.

Providing examples, the MCA said ABC Ltd was the same as A.B.C. Ltd and A B C Ltd.

Similarly, TeamWork Ltd is the same as Team@Work Ltd and Team-Work Ltd.

Also, if you change the tense of a word in the name, it would be taken as the same name.

As such, Ascend Solutions Ltd is the same as Ascended Solutions Ltd. and Ascending Solutions Ltd.

In the same way, Speak English Solutions Ltd is the same as Spoken English Solutions Ltd.

The ministry made it clear that the use of different phonetic spellings including the use of misspelled words of an expression would be treated as same.

So, Chemtech Ltd is the same as Chemtec Ltd, Chemtek Ltd, Cemtech Ltd, Cemtek Ltd, Kemtech Ltd and Kemtek Ltd.

Similarly, Bee Kay Ltd is the same as BK Ltd, Be Kay Ltd, B Kay Ltd, Bee K Ltd, B K Ltd and Beee Kay Ltd.

If one adds a host name such as www or a domain expression such as net, org, dot, or com, it would not mean a new name.

For instance, Ultra Solutions Ltd is the same as Ultrasolutions.com Ltd. However, Supreme Ultra Solutions Ltd is not the same as Ultrasolutions.com Ltd.

In case one changes the order of words in a name, it would not be taken as a new name. As such, Ravi Builders and Contractors Ltd is the same as Ravi Contractors and Builders Ltd.

The ministry clarified adding an article - a, an, the - in the existing name.

So, Congenial Tours Ltd is the same as A Congenial Tours Ltd and The Congenial Tours Ltd.

However, Isha Industries Ltd is not the same as Anisha Industries Ltd.

A slight change in spelling would not qualify as the new name, the ministry said.

So, Color Technologies Ltd is the same as Colour Technologies Ltd.

Also, Disc Solutions Ltd is the same as Disk Solutions Ltd but it is not same as Disco Solutions Ltd.

If you translate the name of a company into Hindi or English, it would be taken as the same name.

For instance, National Electricity Corporation Ltd is the same as Rashtriya Vidyut Nigam Ltd.

But, Hike Construction Ltd is not the same as Hike Nirman Ltd.

Then, there is a list of undesirable names, for which the approval of the Central government is required.

One such undesirable name is British India, which reminds us of the colonial era.

There is a dedicated unit set up by the MCA - Central Registration Centre (CRC) - which approves the names of companies.

“Detailed illustrations will serve as ready-made guidance for both practising professionals and CRC, thereby further easing the incorporation process,” Sharma said.

Indivjal Dhasmana in New Delhi
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