Protecting your company name
What steps are required in order to protect my company name?
To register the name of your company go to the Brønnøysund Register Centre.
If you register a name that directly describes the activity in which your company is engaged, you will only have protection against names that are completely identical. To prevent others from using a similar and potentially confusing name, you should choose a distinctive name.
Do you want to protect your name against competitors?
- Choose a distinctive company name. In other words, a name that does not describe what type of business you are involved in. You will then be in a position to prevent others registering a brand or company name that can be easily confused with yours.
- A couple of good examples of distinctive company names are "Freia AS" and “Ruter AS”. These names do not describe the goods or services that are being provided. They are purely imaginary names.
- The more distinctive and imaginative a company name is, the greater the protection it will have vis-à-vis other business names and trademarks.
- Check if a trademark is owned by others
The advantages of a descriptive name
- Your company name can describe the business sector in which you are involved.
- It can be easier for you to advertise your goods and services, as your customers will be able to identify which business you are in much more quickly simply by seeing your company name.
The disadvantages of a descriptive name
- This may give you problems vis-à-vis your competitors. You cannot prevent others from owning a similar descriptive name for their company. Other businesses can register their company name as long as it is not identical to yours.
Example: if you select a name such as "Pipe Laying Services AS", you cannot prevent others registering names like "Pipe Laying Services 1-2-3 AS", or "Grünerløkkas Pipe Laying Services AS".
- You could end up getting your competitors' mail, or they yours. Even though your business is a legally valid entity (a judicial person) with an organisation number, and you can of course still sign documents, enter into contracts etc., without a problem, this could lead to practical problems in terms of your mail delivery.
- Marketing your goods or services: It can be difficult to stand out in the market. A company name without a distinctive identity is worth less, because you cannot prevent others registering a company name which is very similar, but not identical, to yours. People who may be attracted by your brochure might go to one of your competitors because they mix up the two company names.