Choosing the correct name for your business can help with its success and this can sometimes be a challenging process. There are sometimes legal and local restrictions on what you can choose.More importantly, when dealing with individuals and companies operating across multiple countries and in different languages, it is challenging to decide on a name, which suits multiple cultures. So what should you consider to ease the process?
1. Check domain availability
With the digital landscape and presence ever so important these days, it is imperative that a domain in the potential name of your business is available. If you cannot find a domain or the domain name is considered as exclusive, it could become very costly. You could instead take a domain with a .qa domain but it is always better to have a .com domain, especially if your target audience is outside of Qatar.
2. What are the legal constraints
You must check with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) as to what constraints they have, this updates on a regular basis so it is best you visit to ask. All names must mean something in Arabic and therefore must be translatable, consequently ‘made up words’ are not allowed. If you are setting up a branch office or representative office, then these will carry the name of the parent company. .
3. Look out for premium words
There are certain words which are considered premium which may be restricted or for example, ‘International’, ‘Global’, Gulf, Middle East and in particular ‘Qatar’, this is reserved for government and quasi government entities, Qatar i.e. Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Steel, etc.
4. Make sure you have alternative names upon application
Sometimes, your first choice may be rejected or already registered, therefore you should have at least two alterative names in mind. Having options will avoid your application being stalled and avoid you choosing an alterative in haste.
There are two ways to reserve a name, either in person at the MOCI or on line where up to three options can be submitted in order of preference.
5. Find out the translation
Being in a multicultural environment, it is imperative that you find out what meaning your name translates to in Arabic and other languages. The last thing you want is your name to mean something offensive or humorous in another language!
6. Referring to your trade activity in the name.
Unless your name carries a trademark, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will insist that some of the activities of the company are included in the name, so typically, if you have a trading company, you will be called ABC Trading LLC rather than ABC LLC, occasionally these names can become quite long.
It should be noted that at the time of the name reservation, either in person or on line, the activities of the company must be stated and listed at the same time, therefore the necessary research must be done to ensure what activities are required and whether or not these require any special permissions.
These simple steps will ensure a smooth process of choosing a trade name you are happy with and will be beneficial to your business.
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— Venture Partner (@venturepartnerq) July 23, 2019