Every business needs a name to differentiate itself from other businesses.

Watch a video summary on Choosing a Company or Business Name

Choosing a name

Once you have decided on a name for your business or company, you should check if the name has already been registered through BizFile+. The proposed name cannot be identical to one that is registered by existing entities.

On the BizFile+ portal, type in your proposed business name in the search bar at the top of the page and click the “Search” button.

If the company name has already been registered, please consider other names or add words to differentiate your proposed name from the registered entity. However, some words as listed in Table A will not qualify as sufficiently different. These words will be disregarded when we assess whether a name is identical to another entity registered with ACRA.

Table A: List of words that will be disregarded during the assessment of identical names

The (at start of name) Asia Asia Pacific Associates 
Company And Company Corporation  Group
Holding/ Holdings Incorporated International   Partner/Partners
Partnership/Partnerships  Singapore  South Asia  South East Asia 
 Trading  Worldwide   Berhad or Bhd  Limited or Ltd
 Limited Liability Partnership or LLP Limited Partnership or LP Private or Pte  Public Accounting Corporation or PAC
 Sendirian or Sdn  .co   .com  .edu 
 .gov  .net  .org   .sg 

Here are some examples of identical name applications that will be rejected.

Existing business name in our register Name Application that will be rejected
Morning Caffeine Pte Ltd Morning Caffeine International Pte Ltd
Morning Caffeine Pte Ltd The Morning Caffeine Pte Ltd
 Morning Caffeine Pte Ltd  Morning Caffeine LLP

You should also avoid selecting names that are undesirable (i.e. vulgar, obscene or offensive) or bear similarity to government bodies or are protected by law. For instance, names containing “Temasek” are not available for registration.

Read our policy statement on business names and name complaints

Registering a name

You can register a business name via Bizfile+ for $15.

After your name application is approved, we will reserve the name for 120 days. If you do not proceed to register the business or incorporate the company within this period, the reservation will expire and the name will be released for anyone to register.

Some name applications may be referred to Referral Authorities for approval (e.g. if your proposed business name has the word “school”, it may be referred to the Ministry of Education). The processing time for referred applications may take between 14 to 60 days.

Find out more about Referral Authorities.

If you intend to apply for charity status, visit the Charity Portal for more information on the naming criteria and other guidelines.

Specifying your business activity

As part of the name application, you must specify the primary and secondary activities of your business by choosing the most relevant Singapore Standard Industrial Classification (SSIC) code corresponding to your intended business activity.

The SSIC refers to the national standard developed by the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) to classify all registered firms into the respective industries based on their principal economic activity. 

Some business activities may require your company after it has been registered, to apply for additional licences or permits before you can start your operations. Find out more on GoBusiness for licences and permits. 

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