Business start-up and company name: companies have to pay attention to this

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Under the commercial law term of "company" we do not mean that Company as a whole, but only the name under which the businessman occurs in business transactions (§ 17 HGB). This results in various duties.

Business start-up and company name: Companies have to take this into account Business start-up and company name: Companies must be aware of this

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Why is the choice of company name so crucial?


Choosing the right name is for everyone Company of crucial importance - especially in an age of domains whose value increases with age and linking in the network and makes a change difficult.

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In addition: Every company name, every company, every company is a brand with a certain recognition value. If you change it later, this recognition value is lost. And that's bad for marketing and brand image.

A little anecdote


When I chose my company name a few years ago, I took care that it was at the beginning of the alphabet.

Granted, a name with A would have been even better. But I did not want some meaningless name but something that also characterizes my professional focus. And these are jobs and education. And: Work blog I did not like it - although there are now synonymous.

Later on, this strategy paid off: After I found myself in various lists of job and career blogs, I realized why the domain, but was a good choice: the name begins with B. And B is in the alphabet and thus on each list quite far ahead. With success, as you can see today.

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A company may only be managed by a merchant


Now, of course, my company is not a company. Since the link between the company concept and the Kaufmann property is based on the HGB, a company can only be managed by a merchant registered in the commercial register.

Nevertheless, the topic name choice is basically interesting for all self-employed, for example, even when it comes to the registration of their own domain - as mentioned above.

Therefore, the following are permitted for merchants:


  • Name company (for example: "Müller GmbH", "Schmitz OHG", "Manfred Krause eK")
  • Sachfirma (for example: "Top Vermögensanlage GmbH", "Die Durstlöscher OHG")
  • Fantasy company (for example: "ABC GmbH", "Luxuria OHG")
  • Combination (for example: "Luxuria Vermögensberatung GmbH")

Small entrepreneurs and GbR must occur with proper names


Other companies (so-called small businesses or small businesses and the company civil law) are under the trade regulations in principle obliged to occur in business transactions with first and last name (§ 15 b para. 1 Trade Regulation - GewO).

All company names which have a distinctive and distinctive character and which mislead non-essential business relationships are permissible. In addition, the company name must also contain a precise legal form information (for example: GmbH, OHG, registered merchant - eK-)

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Illegal company names


On the other hand, a company name with pure generic terms is inadmissible (for example: "fashion business eK", "snack eK"). Prior to the registration of the company name, a limited examination is carried out by the commercial register (§ 18 para. 2 sentence 2 HGB).

Only with a clearly identifiable misleading in the company name the commercial register will therefore refuse the registration. However, the naming may also result in competition law consequences. According to the provisions of the Unfair Competition Act (UWG), defense or injunctive relief claims of a competitor against the leadership of a company name may arise.

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