Company name 

A company name is the name that any enterprise must have as its official name when registrering in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises. The name is to be used as identification of the enterprise in all connections, and it should always be used when signing on behalf of the enterprise. As a minimum, a company name must consist of at least three letters from the Norwegian alphabet. Names of countries, counties or local authorities cannot be used as company name.

The company name for sole proprietorships must contain the proprietor’s last name, and the company name for enterprises must contain an indication that clearly defines the type of enterprise, e.g. the company name for a limited company has to contain the indication “Aksjeselskap” (limited) or the abbreviation “AS” (Ltd.).

Exclusive rights to a company name in Norway may be obtained by using it or registering it in the Register of Business Enterprises. If the right is established by registering the name in the Register of Business Enterprises, the name must be used within a year from the time the notification of registration was received at the Register of Business Enterprises if the protection is to be maintained. The exclusive right expires the day the company name is no longer used. An exclusive right to a company name implies that the proprietor can keep others from using and registering an identical company name. If the company name complies with the requirements for distinctive features which are in force according to the Trademarks Act, the proprietor will also be able to prevent use and registration of similar company names when the names might be confused in regular commerce. This implies that the proprietor of such a distinctive company name has protection mainly against similar company names which are used or registered for enterprises of the same or similar type.

The Register of Business Enterprises conducts a limited check of the company name and will primarily check if a new company name is identical to a previously registered company name. A registered company name should not be in violation of a prior distinctive business name, a prior trademark right, someone’s name or the name of a property etc. If a proprietor of such a prior right believes that a newly registered business name is in violation of this right, he can demand that the registration be cancelled by administrative re-examination. A demand for such a re-examination must be submitted to the Industrial Property Office within 3 years from when the decision of registration was made.

We assess whether or not a new company name is in violation of your name and can submit a demand for re-examination of the decision to the Industrial Property Office. If necessary, we bring the case before the courts.

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