Are you planning to start a business? Before you register your activity, choose the right name for it - original and well reflecting the nature of your activity. You can't call your company arbitrarily. See what the rules are regarding the name of your business.
Name of the activity
One of the most significant information is the firm of the entrepreneur, that is the name, under which you will be entered in the register. According to regulations, the firm of a natural person is its first and last name. This means, that the firm (name) of the entrepreneur provided in CEIDG must include at least the first and last name of the applicant - for example John Smith. It is possible to add other elements to the name, for example indicating the scope of activity - John Smith key maker. It is also possible to add a fancy name, for example: John Smith Black Pearl.
The name of the business should be well thought over. You can be registered in the CEIDG under only one entry. It is not possible for one entrepreneur to be entered in the CEIDG multiple times under different firms (names). It is troublesome in case of including words indicating the scope of activity in the name, when you conduct non-complementary activities, for example John Smith key maker, lawyer, or John Smith dental service, car repairs.
The CEIDG application can also include an abbreviated name of the activity. An abbreviated name does not need to include the first and last name of the entrepreneur. Referring to the earlier examples, the abbreviated name of the name John Smith - Black Pearl may be just the fancy expression - Black Pearl.
Data on the invoices and bills drawn up by sole traders must include the first and last name of the entrepreneur. Thus, you cannot use only the abbreviated name on those documents, when the first and last name is not included.
Name of civil law partnership
If the partners in the partnership are natural persons, the name of the partnership should include at least the first and last names of all partners together with the name “civil law partnership” (spółka cywilna or s.c.)
Name of companies in the National Court Register KRS
In case of companies entered in the KRS, different rules apply depending on the form of the company. A rule applied to all forms of companies is the necessity of indicating the legal form at the end of the name (for example: registered partnership, limited liability company, joint-stock company).
Here are examples of names, taking into account that there are three partners involved - Smith, Taylor and Jones.
In case of a registered partnership (spółka jawna - sp. j.), the name must include the last name of at least one partner. Smith, Taylor, Jones sp. j. or Smith sp. j. Smith hairdressing services sp. j.
In case of a professional partnership (spółka partnerska), the name must include the last name of at least one partner, and if last names of all partners are not included, also an addittion "and partner" ("i partner") or "and partners" ("i partnerzy"). Legal advisors Smith and partners, Sworn translators Smith, Jones and partner.
Note, a professional partnership can be established only by representatives of liberal professions.
In case of a limited partnership (spółka komandytowa - sp. k.) and a limited joint-stock partnership(spółka komandytowo-akcyjna - s. k. a.), the name must include the last name of the general partner (the entity liable with all of her/his assets for the partnership's commitments). If the general partner is a partnership - it's full name, together with the legal form should be provided. Smith printing services sp. k., Smith and Jones textile wholesalers s. k. a., and when the general partner is a limited liability company (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością - sp. z o.o.) "Black Pearl", then the full name of the limited partnership or a limited joint-stock partnership is for example "Black Pearl textile wholesalers limited liability comapny sp. k.".
In case of a limited liability company (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością - sp. z o.o.), the name does not have to include the names of shareholders - the name, as a rule, is free to establish.
Restricted and misleading names
Use of particular parts of the name is restricted exclusively to entities which provide services in a particular field. For example such words as "bank" or "insurance brokers".
The name of the entity also cannot mislead as for the scope of its activity.
An entrepreneur also cannot impersonate another entrepreneur. Conducting activity on the same market - for example selling goods of the same nature (e.g. carbonated drinks), a new entrepreneur cannot name his company Coca-cola or Pepsi.
Company availability search
Before starting your business, it is worth checking whether the name of the company you have chosen is used by another Polish or foreign company. To do this, you should check the availability of a registered trademark (company name). If after checking the availability of the company there is a collision-conflict (the result is negative), it means that the name is already used and registered by another entity. For the security of your business, you should either choose a completely new name or change it.
or in EU search engines:
You can also use the services of a patent attorney who is professionally responsible for trade mark registration capacity.
Polish registers (KRS, CEIDG)
If you want to find out whether there are already registered companies with the same or similar name as yours and how many such companies are in the Polish business registers, i.e., check the KRS or CEIDG database