Choosing the Perfect Company Name

Numberz HK Pick company name

There are certain restrictions on company name registration. Generally, a company name will not be registered if it:

  • is identical to a name already in the Index of Company Names held by the Registrar of Companies
  • is identical to a name of a legal person that’s under an ordinance
  • the registrar deems its usage to constitute a criminal offense
  • the registrar deems its usage to be offensive or against the public interest

Additionally, some company names require approval by the Registry before they can be registered if they contain words or phrases listed in the Companies Ordinance or if they make it seem like the company is linked to a government department or agency.
If a name is identical to a name that’s subject to a name change directive, then it cannot be registered unless the Registrar approves it.
When considering whether a corporate name is “identical,” some words and their abbreviations won’t be taken into account. For example, the words “company,” “limited,” “public limited company,” and the characters “公司”, “有限公司”, “無限公司”, and “公眾有限公司” when they’re at the end of the name are not considered in determining if a name is identical to another. The following phrases are considered identical: “and” and “&”, “Hong Kong”, “Hong Kong”, and “HK”, “Far-East” and “FE.”
A Chinese character is considered identical to another Chinese character only if the Registrar thinks the characters can reasonably be used interchangeably based on their use in Hong Kong.
You can search for a company name at no cost using the Company Registry’s Cyber Search Centre, Company Search Mobile Service, or Public Search Centre.
Company names that combine English words or letters with Chinese characters cannot be registered. A company name can be registered solely in English, in English and Chinese, or solely in Chinese (using traditional characters). According to Section 102 of the Companies Ordinance, the last word of a limited liability company’s English name must be “Limited.”
A company can change its name once incorporated by passing a special resolution. Within 15 days of adopting the resolution, a “Notice of Change of Company Name” (NNC2) form with the required fee must be submitted electronically via the e-Registry portal or in hard copy.
If you fail to comply with the name change order given by the registrar, you and/or your company’s managers may be subject to legal action. The penalty for non-compliance is up to $100,000, with an additional $2,000 daily fine for persistent violations. The registrar can also change the company name with the company registration number.
If your company name is registered, that doesn’t mean you automatically have the right to use it as a trademark to promote or sell your company’s goods and services. You need to apply for trademark registration with the Trade Marks Registry to secure protection under the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap 559).

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