Simple ways to protect your company name

Simple ways to protect your company name

Being able to protect your company name from your competition is important, by putting in place a few measures can help protect your business identity:

One of the most important steps in forming a new company is choosing the name. The company name may hold personal significance, reflect a renowned history or be pivotal to what you are selling. But what if another business set itself up with a similar name to yours, or worse still, used your chosen company name before you had the chance to protect it yourself?

Being able to protect your company name from the competition is extremely important, but putting in place a few simple measures can help protect your business identity:

1. Register the company

In Zimbabwe, you can not reserve a company name with the intention of registering the company later, therefore your best bet will be registering your company as soon as your preferred company name is approved for registration so as to avoid any disappointments. The company name is only reserved for 21 days only and from there it will be available to other people for registration. Once a company has been registered, no one can claim to it or its company name.

The first steps to securing your business name should be to legally register the company. A quick company name search can be performed to check the availability of your proposed company name for registration.

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Did you know? The Zimbabwean law now requires companies with trade names to get them registered.

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2. Register a domain

Domain registration is not directly linked to company registration. Even if you have legally registered your company in Zimbabwe, your competitors can still register a domain in your company name.

Unless ordered through our Digital Company Registration Package, you will need to register the domain name separately. While the benefits of having an online presence are well publicised and evidenced, you may not be planning on setting up a website for various reasons. None the less, it is worth considering simply to protect yourself from any negative consequences, reputational or otherwise, of others registering under your company name.

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3. Consider similar names

Once your company has been registered, you may wish to consider protecting yourself against other businesses registering with similar names. One way of doing this would be to register a company or companies with similar names yourself and keep the companies dormant. The usual annual statutory obligations still apply to companies that are dormant, but the company does not need to be trading.

There is still some protection in place to prevent “Passing Off”, where one party may try to use the goodwill associated with a different company to their own advantage. Common law action covers the goodwill associated with a trademark, domain names, signs, and other descriptive materials. If this situation arises, the company that is already in existence must show that:

  • That they are well-established and have a good reputation
  • That the name in question does relate to your business
  • That there is misrepresentation by the other company
  • That you (the existing company) have suffered because of the new company

How can we help you?

To discuss how Numeri can help you with registering your company, call, WhatsApp, text or complete our contact form or use our live chat and one of our experts will contact you.


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