How to Check Company Name Availability on MCA?

Published On: Jul 26, 2019Last Updated: Jul 19, 20226.4 min read

People often confuse a Business Name with a Brand Name. For instance, Paytm is a brand name while its actual business name is One97 Communications Limited. Your company name must be unique and not conflict with any existing business name in India. This is why it is important to visit the MCA portal and conduct a company name search. Keep reading to know how to check company name availability in India. To help you with the process of choosing your company name, the MCA website has the facility to check company name availability.

Remember, starting a company is a step-by-step process. The first step of this process is to register a company name. The company name generates goodwill in today’s competitive market. Which in turn will increase the number of consumers. So, selecting a company name is a very important step in process of Incorporation.

Hence, we can say that there is a loop starting with the Name and ending with Sales.  

The Process to Check Company Name Availability 

The first step is to open the Check Company Name tab on the MCA Website for the company name search. After which, you will see this page:

Source: www.mca.gov.in

As you can see above, the process to check the company name is quite simple. The second step to conduct a company name search is to enter your proposed company name (can add more than one name). You should not enter the suffix i.e. LLP or Pvt. Ltd. in this column. The next step is to enter your Business Activity. For Example: if you are selling clothes, add clothing in the activity type section.

To check company name availability, click on search. On clicking search, you will see all the results with a similar name. If a similar name does not already exist and the name is available, it will show an error “Entered Company/LLP name does not exist.” 

Trademark Search

After the company name search, you should also check if a related trademark is available for your proposed name. You can check for Registered Trademark for your proposed name as shown in the image above. You will be redirected to the IP India Portal when you click on the CHECK TRADEMARK dialogue box. Once there, open the trademark search where you can search if there is an existing trademark similar to your Company name. Search for existing trademarks by entering the Name and Class for goods and services. Also, remember to conduct a search for “Phonetic” trademarks. As a result of which, you will get to know about the Trademarks that have a similar sound to your proposed company name. If you’re not sure what class your goods or services belong to, use our trademark class search tool.

Application of Name

You can apply for the name with MCA if the title seems available. If the name is very unique, then you can directly use the name in the form of incorporation of the company. Further, a separate name application can be filed if the chances of availability of your proposed names are less. In this name application, you can apply for a maximum of two names. If MCA does not approve any of the two proposed names, the applicant gets one more chance to use any other two names.     

Now the question arises: how to choose a company name during the registration of a private limited company

How to Choose a Company Name: Key Factors to Consider

The Laws governing the Incorporation of Companies provide certain restrictions on what can and cannot be used as a Company name. So, before you check Company name availability on the MCA portal, you should consider the following things;

The proposed name must not resemble the name of an existing Company or LLP

When choosing a company name, any name that exists already cannot be registered for another Company. Even little modifications such as a change in spelling, adding articles (A, THE, etc), changing the tense, using the plural or singular form of an existing name, similar sounding (phonetic) name, etc. cannot be considered as a new name.
For Example,

a)  Disc Solutions Ltd. is the same as Disk Solutions Ltd.
b) Hena Enterprises is the same as THE Hena Enterprises.
c) Ravi Technology Ltd. is the same as Ravi technologies Ltd. and Ravi’s Technology Ltd.
d) Ascend Solutions Ltd. is the same as Ascended Solutions Ltd. and Ascending Solutions Ltd.
e) DK enterprises Ltd. is the same as Dee K enterprises Ltd. and D Kay Enterprises.

Central Government considers certain words to be undesirable for a Company

The list below provides certain words that are restricted by the Central Government unless prior permission is granted for the same,

  1. Prohibited words under section 3 of The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
  2. Use of trademarks registered under the Trademark Act, 1950.
  3. Terms considered offensive by any class of Individual(s)
  4. Use of words ‘British India’.
  5. Any word that implies an association of your Company with the Central or State Government.
  6. Any term that denotes your company’s association with an Embassy or Foreign Government.
  7. A word that signifies an association with a National Hero or esteemed person. For instance; “Mahatama Gandhi Enterprises” cannot be the name of a company.
  8. Only a Government Company can use the term ‘State’ in its name.
  9. The name of your company cannot be only the name of a State, City, Country or Continent. Such as Mizoram Pvt. Ld., or New York Enterprises, etc.
  10. It is prohibited to use the name of an Enemy Country (as listed by the Central Government).

The description also Matters!!

When choosing a company name, the name of your company can not be only the words that describe your business activity. For example, a silk manufacturer cannot name his company as “Silk Manufacturers Pvt. Ltd.”
You must also keep in mind, that in order to use words such as “Bank” or “Stock Exchange” you need prior authorisation from regulatory authorities, such as RBI or SEBI respectively. Further, if your business activities include any financial facilities such as Insurance, Investment, or Finance, these words must be a part of your Company name.

Using the name of a Dissolved Company

Using the name of a Company already dissolved is allowed after the passage of a certain time period. For a Company, if 2 years have passed after dissolution, and in the case of a dissolved LLP, if 5 years have passed, you can use its name for your own company.

A tip from LegalWiz.in: If you’re still wondering how to choose a company name that is effective and are unable to come up with a unique word, you can always use a combination of two generic words to create a unique one ;) Online Word Combiners might come to your aid!

Hope this helps you understand how to choose a company name for your business. Now after considering all the abovementioned factors, you can move ahead to the MCA Portal and check company name availability.

Conclusion

This was the guide to conducting a company name search. We hope this helped you understand how to check company name availability in India. You can easily check company name availability on the MCA portal following the abovementioned steps. Though, it should be noted that MCA has the final authority over accepting or refusing the proposed names.

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*Last updated on 19/07/2022

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CS Shivani Vyas
About the Author

CS Shivani Vyas

Shivani is a Company Secretary at Legalwiz.in with an endowment towards content writing. She has proficiency in the stream of Company Law and IPR. In addition to that she holds degree of bachelors of Law and Masters of commerce.