11 January 2023

On 6 December 2022, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (“CCM”) issued the revised Guidelines on Company Names which incorporate the previous version issued in October 2022 (“Guidelines”).  

Notably, the Guidelines have been revised to allow, after two years from the date of dissolution, the reusing of the company name of a company that has been dissolved by court order or voluntarily wound up.

The key principles under the Guidelines are summarised below:

Principles and characteristics applicable to new words without known meaning

An application for the use of a new word without a known meaning in a company name will not require consent from an existing company whose name bears the same word, unless there are additional words in the new name that suggests some relationship with the existing company.

Identical names

In determining whether a company name is identical to another, the following shall be disregarded:

  • “The”, where it is the first word of the name;
  • “Sendirian”, “Sdn”, “Berhad”, “Bhd”, “PLT” and “Perkongsian Liabiliti Terhad”;
  • The following words and expressions where they appear at the end of the name: “Company”, “Co”, “Syarikat”, “Corporation”, “Corp”, “Perbadanan”, “Incorporated”, “Diperbadankan”, “Incorporation”, “Incorp”, “Inc”, “Pemerbadanan”, “Holding”, “Group”, “Kumpulan”, “Malaysia”, “(M)”, “Msia”, “Consortium”, “Konsortium”, and “Consolidated”.

Company that has been struck off and limited liability partnership (“LLP”) that has been dissolved

A company name that is the same as that of a company that has been struck off pursuant to section 549 of the CA 2016 can be used seven years from the date of striking off. LLPs are able to utilise the name of a dissolved LLP two years from the date of dissolution under the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2012.

Use of names prohibited under Minister’s Direction

The Registrar of CCM may not accept certain names for registration unless prior approval of the Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism has been obtained. Such names include those that suggest a connection with a member of the royal family or royal patronage, such as “Royal”, “King”, “Queen”, “Prince”, “Princess”, “Crown”, “Regent” or “Imperial” (“royal connection”) unless:

  • the word refers to the name of a location such as “Putra Nilai” or “Taman Mahkota”;
  • the word indicates the product itself or the size of the product such as “king-sized roof” or a brand such as “Musang King”;
  • the word refers to the name of the individual or the name of the director; or
  • in his discretion, the Registrar finds that pursuant to the reasons given by the applicant, the name does not indicate a royal connection.