Requirements to the Name of Entities in Ukraine

Every new legal entity (company) must have its own name, as being unnamed the company cannot be separated from the thousands of other companies, it cannot open its own bank account, enter a contract, etc. In addition, the company name is a very important part of the business, because thanks to their names companies can promote their brand in the market, shape the perception of consumers, a name can become a trademark, etc. This article will help to determine the regulatory requirements of current legislation of Ukraine concerning the names of legal entities (companies).

The first requirement concerning the name of the company is the fact that the name has two parts: business legal structure (a) and, directly, a name (b). Business legal structure is a legal framework that defines the relationship between the founders (participants), property liability regime of responsibilities of the company, the order of creation, reorganization, liquidation, administration, distribution of profits, possible sources of funding, etc.

Current legislation of Ukraine defines the following legal structures of legal entities (companies with a view to profit):
- Limited Liability Company;
- Additional Liability Company;
- Public Company;
- Privet Join Stock Company;
- Private Enterprise;
- State Owned Company;
- Individual Entrepreneur.

Other business legal structures, such as a non-governmental organization, civil society organizations, charity organizations, trade unions, political parties, religious organizations, law firms, law office, etc., are non-profit organizations, so there is no sense to concentrate on them.

Own name of the entity (company) can consist directly from the name of its own legal entity and provide an information about the goals, form, method of formation, depending on the legal entity, other information according to requirements to names of specific legal forms of organization established by Civil, Commercial codes of Ukraine and laws of Ukraine (for example, the presence of the word “bank” or “insurance company” only in the names of financial institutions that have the appropriate license, etc.).

Separately, we want to draw your attention to the basic requirements for the legal entity name:

- A legal entity may have, in addition to its full name, an abbreviated name;
- A name of the legal entity is in the state language, and additionally in English (optional);
- A name of the separate subdivision have to contain the words “separate subdivision” ( “Branch”, “agency, “affiliate”, etc.) and indicate belonging to a legal entity that created this separate subdivision;
- According to the Law of Ukraine “On conferment of the proper names, anniversary and holiday dates, names and dates of historical events to legal entities and property “, entities may use in their names the proper names, anniversary and holiday dates, names and dates of historical events.

However, in addition to the requirements of the legal entity name there are some restrictions, such as:

- The proper name of legal entity cannot contain any reference to the legal form of organization;
- A name of the legal entity cannot be similar to the name of another legal entity;
- In the name of the legal entities, it is prohibited to use full or abbreviated names of state authorities, local authorities and derivatives of these names, historical public names, a list of which is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, except the names of the state-owned legal entities;
- It is forbidden to use terms, abbreviation, derived terms, which are prohibited by the laws of Ukraine;
- A name of the company cannot point its accessory to some ministries and other central executive bodies and public organizations;
- It is forbidden to use the term “credit union” and such entities are not subjected to state registration under the names that include this term, if these legal entities are established in a different order than it is provided by the Law of Ukraine “On credit unions”;
- The word “bank” and derived from it are allowed to use in the title only for legal entities that are registered by National Bank of Ukraine as a bank and have banking licenses. The only exception is international organizations operating in the territory of Ukraine in accordance with international treaties ratified by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and laws of Ukraine;
- The words “insurer”, “insurance company”, “insurance organization” and their derivatives are allowed to use in names only by those entities that are licensed to conduct insurance business;
- It is allowed to use the word “State”, “national” or derivatives in name in condition that the only owner/shareholder of a company is the state;
- According to the Law of Ukraine “On voluntary activity”, it is prohibited to use the word “voluntary organization” in its name and activities for the legal entity that is not classified as a voluntary organization,
- Other specific prohibitions concern mainly non-profit organizations.

As for the rules of writing of own names, they are:
- Own name of the legal entity is taken in quotes and notes after business legal structure of the entity;
- Writing the name (business legal structure and own name) of legal entity letters of Ukrainian and Latin alphabets are used;
- In the name of a legal entity, punctuation (quotation marks, dot, comma, colon, parentheses, apostrophe, hyphen, dash, slash, exclamation mark, question mark, number, plus, equal sign, asterisk, et commercial); numbers (Arabic and Roman); large and small letters of Ukrainian and Latin alphabets can be used.

We hope that this article will help people interested in registration of their own company in Ukraine to determine the name of the company. In any way, if you have any questions or problems, you can contact the local lawyers in Ukraine who will help in many areas.

Author: Natalia Kotiuzhynska

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