If a sole trader trades under a name other than his/her own name, then he/she needs to register a business name. For example Kevin Mulcahy is a sole trader who runs a cafe called “The Daily Grind.” He will need to register this name so that suppliers, government departments and the public is aware of who the legal entity is behind the business.
Remember that companies who trade under a name other than the company’s own name also need to register the trading name.
Business names can be registered by submitting one of the following forms to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) together with the appropriate filing fee (€40 paper / €20 electronic filing):
Form RBN1: for an individual
Form RBN1A: for a partnership
Form RBN1B: for a company
Is the name available?
Before you spend any money on stationery or signage, check that your business name is available. In fact, wait until you have the certificate of registration in your hand if at all possible.
Do a search online. Check the register of companies and the register of business names for free on the CRO website (www.cro.ie). Search the registers at the Patents Office (www.patentsoffice.ie)
Once you submit the form to register a name, the CRO does not check the name against the registers for duplications. However, if you register a name that is already in use by someone else, for example calling your restaurant “McDonalds” (even if your name is McDonald), then you can expect to get a letter from their solicitor.
Certificate of registration
Once you register your business name, you will be issued a certificate. You should display a copy in your business premises where the public can see it. If you have a few different outlets, display a copy in each one.
Your bank will need a copy of the cert and you will need the cert for registering a .ie domain name.
Remember that the business name must also be shown on all business letters, emails, leaflets etc.
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