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Selecting a company name

Before you set up a company, you can reserve its name on the OBRS. This is an optional procedure as you can proceed to register a company or businessname without reserving its name first. There are strict guidelines on how tochoose and reserve a company name. Once you have reserved a company name and itis approved by CIPA, no other company can incorporate with an identical oralmost identical name. The reserved name shall be valid for a period of 30 working days, withinwhich you are required to register it. Failure to register the name within 30 days shall render the proposed name invalid and a new application shall bemade.

Rules for selecting a  Name for your Company

The Registrar is mandated to examine names and the following conditions may lead to the application being unsuccessful:

  • A name that is identical or almost identical to, the name of a registered company; registered external company; statutory corporation; a name registered under the Registration of Business Names Act.
  • A name that is identical or almost identical to a name reserved under the Companies Act (CAP 42:01); Business Names Act; and that is still available for registration.
  • Names which are calculated to mislead the public or cause offence to a person or any class of persons or is suggestive of blasphemy or indecency.
  • Names that suggest the company would be carrying on business of real estate, whose names may include “real estates”; & “estate agents”. The use of such names would only be through prior consent from the Real Estate Advisory Council (REAC).
  • Use of a name which would contravene the Banking Act (CAP 46:01). The use of words restricted under section 3(2) of the Banking Act including “bank”; “finance”; “loan”; “credit”; “savings” or any of their derivatives. Therefore, these words and their derivatives would only be utilized through prior consent from the Central Bank (Bank of Botswana).
  • Except with the Minister’s written consent, no company, including an external company, shall be registered under a name which includes – The word “Authority”, “Commonwealth”, “Co-operative”, “Government”, “National”, “President”, “Presidential”, “Region”, “State”; combined words “United Nations”; or any other word which suggests, is likely to suggest, that it enjoys the patronage of the Government or of a statutory corporation, or of the Government of any other State or of a department of any such Government or of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN).
  • A name or word registered under the Industrial Property Act (CAP 68:01) or copyrighted works.
  • Use of famous names and places; historic names; and names that are in the public domain; without prior consent from the rightful owners.
  • Names of existing organizations in and outside Botswana, without consent from the owners.
  • Use of names of famous people, without consent from the owners.
  • Use of an individual’s full name {first name(s) plus family name} as name of a company or business without the addition of another word or suffix to differentiate from the name of the individual(s).
  • Names which are suggestive of an organization being formed to be a “Trust”, “Foundation”, “Club”, “Religious Organization” & a“Society”. These organizations can be registered through other Government Departments and Agencies.

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