What's in a business name? Some tips on getting this first step right.

What's in a business name? Some tips on getting this first step right.

To help you get that right, here are some quick tips and guidelines for how the UAE authorities approach approving a business name registration.


Check your brand or proposed name against the UAE National Economic Register
This will give you some idea of any similar names which may conflict with your own.

Now that you have a name in mind, let’s take a look at the next steps when it comes to getting approval.

Quick Tips For Getting Your Business Name Approved Easily …

Free zone and mainland authorities each maintain their own database of business names registered in their own Register and they tend to work in isolation, however some common rules apply to how your trade name application will be reviewed and approved.

Don't be surprised if your new business name is a little longer that you planned.

Tip 1 – Your name says what it does!
A little like a tin of beans clearly marked ‘Beans’, your business name must contain some reference to the main activity it will be carrying out … for example if you are setting up a marketing agency, then you’ve got it, your name should contain either ‘Marketing’ or ‘Event’s to reflect the activity.

Tip 2 – Avoid those restricted names!
Unless you are a government entity, certain references to the ‘UAE’, ‘Emirates’ and individual names of the emirates are prohibited as well as some country names, references to religion and other sensitive words. Make sure you review those prohibited names and banned names in Abu Dhabi and other emirates. Each free zone will set their own restrictions and be sure to check its website for the latest list.

Tip 3 – Don’t be surprised!
In our experience, the authorities will almost decide on the final form of the business name themselves and it can be much longer or differ greatly from your application, so don’t be surprised if that short name you set you heart on takes up a lot of space on your letterhead!

Tip 4 – Branch names are the same!
The rule for a branch registration is quite straightforward … the name must match that of the ‘parent’ company subject to any changes enforced due to the restricted names policy.

Tip 5 – The end!
The last word on your business name will reflect the legal form of your business and this is set by the authority. Those differ when comparing mainland to free zone registrations and if your business has a single shareholder, it will also end with ‘sole proprietorship’ … let’s hope all of that fits on your business card!

Good luck with your new business venture and as always feel free to contact us for any tips and advice.