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I want to register a company (small game studio), but in my country (and in the others too, I suppose) does exist a company with the same name, but their scope of work is completely different from game development (e.g. web design). So the question is - should a company name be unique worldwide, if it has clients all around the world (which happens if you distribute your product digitally) or there is a distinction between same named companies with different business direction?

The country is Ukraine, but since the studio will distribute a digital product (well, games) all over the world then I assume, that its name should be unique worldwide?

  • It'd be best if you can specify your country, otherwise answers are likely to be from all over the world. – jimsug Sep 1 '15 at 6:32
  • Well partly this is actually what I want - the question itself is about how the conflicts between company names are handled around the world, particularly if the company's clients are spread across the globe – Daniel Sep 1 '15 at 10:40
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Registration

Generally, within a given jurisdiction, company names must be unique; the registrar will not register a company with an identical name. There can be multiple companies with the same name across jurisdictions (i.e. worldwide).

So, if there is a company ABC Pty Ltd in Australia then that is the only company of that name in Australia. You could register ABC 2 Pty Ltd or ABC (Web Design) Pty Ltd or any variation you like - subject to ...

Trade Marks

If the company name is a trademark in your jurisdiction then its use without authorisation in the field in which it is registered is off-limits. For example, anyone who registers a company containing "Cadbury" if they are going to operate in the confectionary business had better be prepared for a long and expensive lawsuit.

Passing Off

There is a tort of passing off which involves essentially acting in a way which will make people believe you are or are associated with someone else when you are not. The other person can take action to make you stop or for damages.

  • Thank you! And what about similar names? You are saying that if there is a company named ABC, then name ABC 2 is valid, right? But I have read that one may not register a name that's too similar to the other, in this particular case ABC 2 will be considered as too similar to the ABC. Could you explain this in detail? – Daniel Sep 1 '15 at 8:14
  • Wherever you register the company, (1) they should have documentation what names you can and can't use, and (2) they should just reject your application if they don't like it. In the UK, I would expect an application for "ABC 2 Pty Ltd" to be either successful and legal, or to be rejected. It's perfectly legal to apply for any name. This may be different in your country, I'd hope it isn't. – gnasher729 Dec 12 '16 at 12:09

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