Choosing a name
A good business name can improve your company´s visibility. The name can be a deciding factor for your target market to remember you - and understand who you are.
Some people believe that the best names are those that describe what you do, while others prefer more abstract or made-up names. Many big companies use abstract names (IKEA, Apple, Rema 1000), while smaller companies within a specific industry and/or with a more defined geographical profile often choose a more descriptive name.
A descriptive name can be advantageous because it is informative and gives a clear association to who and what you are. This might make it easier to find your company online.
However, a descriptive name can also cause problems. Other people will be entitled to use names that are very similar to yours, and it can become difficult to distinguish your business from those of others. For example, if you register the name Blomsterbuketten AS, others will be able to register Blomsterbuketter AS. And if you decide to call yourself Valdres bilsørvis AS, you may find out that Valdres bilservice AS also operates in the same sector. A business name containing a geographical name or a specific business sector might also be problematic if you wish to expand other geographical areas or other business sectors. Narvik Bil AS is not necessarily a good name if you wish to expand operations and sell caravans in Harstad.
A name that describes which industry or geographical area you are operating in might be less than ideal if you are looking to expand your operations. Narvik Bil AS is not an ideal name if you want to expand your operations and start selling caravans in Harstad.
It is important to consider whether the name will give you the identity you are looking for, and whether it could be confused with the names of other businesses. The name should also be suitable for use on the internet and be available in the channels you want to use.
Find out whether the name is available
At navnesøk.no, you can find out whether the name you want to use is available as a domain name, enterprise name and trademark in a single search. If you want to secure the right to a name we suggest you follow this sequence:
- Register the domain name
- Register the enterprise name
- Register any trademark
It is often more difficult to find a good domain name which is available than it is to find an enterprise name which is available. Once you have found one or more domain names you want to use, you should therefore register it/them immediately in order to prevent other people from using them. Some enterprises follow the announcements from the Brønnøysund Register Centre looking for recently registered businesses. If the business has not secured a domain name connected to the business name, these enterprises might register the domain and demand payment in return for releasing the domain.
If you choose a name that is identical to an enterprise already registered in the Register of Business Enterprises, you will have to obtain the consent of the people who own the name and then enclose this consent when you register the enterprise. Thorough preparation will reduce the risk of you having to change your enterprise's name after you have spent time and money establishing a name and logo.
Navnesok.no is a joint venture between Norid, Norwegian Industrial Property Office, and The Brønnøysund Register Centre.
Requirements concerning enterprise names
An enterprise's name must contain at least three letters from the Norwegian alphabet. The name cannot only consist of the name of a country, county or municipality. Certain special laws impose limitations on the right to use particular terms in an enterprise's name. Examples of words that cannot be used freely are bank, savings bank, pharmacy and stock exchange.
Some titles are reserved for individuals and enterprises which possess particular qualifications. Examples of such titles are lawyer, registered auditor and state-authorised auditor, state-authorised estate agent and master.
It is possible to use a different name for your business than your official enterprise name. You could for example use this name on signs, as a logo or a domain name, etc. For example, the sole proprietorship Per Holm could register Grillbua as the name of its business. However, the official enterprise name of Per Holm must still be included on all business documents such as letters, websites and invoices.
You can register marketing names either at the same time as you register the enterprise or later. Whenever you register such names, you must use the Coordinated register notification. The fact that a name has been registered as a marketing name does not prevent other people from registering the name as an enterprise name. We recommend that you either register the marketing name as the name of the enterprise or as a trademark. If you use "Grillbua" as a marketing name you might be infringing on other registered trademarks or other registered enterprise names.
Important considerations to take into account when choosing a marketing name:
At navnesok.no, you can find out whether the name you are considering using is available as a domain name, enterprise name and trademark.
Protecting a name
In order to protect your enterprise name, you can register it in the Register of Business Enterprises. If you have a sole proprietorship, it is the full name, including your surname, which will be protected.
You can also opt to trademark-protect the enterprise name with the Norwegian Industrial Property Office.