Guide to Select Company Names in Malaysia

To set up a company in Malaysia, the very first step is to get your company name checked and reserved. Email us your proposed company name at enquiry@comsetup.com.my to check the availability of your company name for FREE.

The Companies Act 1965 (the Act) provides that before a new company or the change of name of an existing company is registered, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs or the Registrar of Companies must first approve the name or the new name of a company respectively.

The Act also provides that, except with the consent of the Minister, a company shall not be registered by a name that, in the opinion of the Registrar, is undesirable or is a name, or a kind of name, that the Minister has directed the Registrar not to accept for registration. A similar provision also applicable to a foreign company setup and Limited Liability Partnership setup.

General Requirements of a Company Name

A company name will not be available if the name is –

(a)  undesirable or unacceptable;

(b)  identical to an existing business entity under the registers kept pursuant to laws administered by the Companies Commission of Malaysia;

(c)  identical to a name reserved under the registers kept pursuant to laws administered by the Companies Commission of Malaysia; or

(d)  a name of a kind that the Minister has directed not to accept for to be registered.

General Principles and Characteristics of Names which can be considered as Company Name

  1. Names shall use the correct language and spelling.
  2. Use of a mixture of Bahasa Malaysia and English words are allowed provided it is to describe the type of business and must in proper grammar.
  3. Name contains words other than the Malay or English Languages, the meaning of such words must be given.
  4. Names which are not blasphemous or likely to be offensive to members of the public.
  5. Names which do not resemble elements of religion.
  6. Name which are too general, for example “Technology Sdn. Bhd.” or “International Sdn. Bhd.” are refrain from using.
  7. Names of directors who are specified in the application form for incorporation can only be used as company names. Proof of relationship must be given if other individual names are proposed to be used. Similarity, consent letter must be obtained from the group of companies whose individual names proposed.
  8. The meaning of created or coined words must be given.
  9. The name refers to the name of the director or owner.
  10. Symbols that are allowed to be used in the name of the company is limited to 5 symbols only and must be appropriate to the usage of a name:

(i)    “ & ” [include “dan”, “and” and “N”]
Eg:   D&T Services Sdn. Bhd.

(ii)   “ . ” [“dot” symbol]
Eg:   A.B.C Trade Sdn. Bhd.

(iii)  “ – “ [“hyphen” symbol]
Allowed only for double words or common words that use a hyphen.
Eg:   Kupu-Kupu Design Sdn. Bhd.
Eg:   Focus Re-Engineering Sdn. Bhd.

(iv)   “ ‘ “ [“apostrophe” symbol]
Eg:   Mum’s Recipe Sdn. Bhd.
Dato’ Yusoff Yahaya Trading Sdn. Bhd.

  • Name is not an acronym that can be confused with names that are associated with the following:

(a)  Stands for the names of the institutions of higher learning
Eg:  UiTM, UTM, UM, UKM, UPM, UUM, USM, UIA, UNIMAS,
UMS, UIAM, UPSI, UMT, UMP, UTEM, UNIMAP, UTHM.

(b)  Is the name stands for Federal government agencies or State and Government owned Companies (GLC).
Eg:  SSM, CCM, JKR, JPA, JPM, BNM, KPDNKK, SEDC, PKEN,
SIRIM, TNB, PNB, FELDA, FELCRA, PETRONAS, SKM,
MYCC, MIDA, KWSP, LHDN, PERKESO, MARDI, RISDA

Undesirable or Unacceptable Names

In determining whether a name is undesirable or unacceptable, the Registrar of Companies has full discretion in exercising it. The Registrar may determine that a name is undesirable or unacceptable if—
(a)   contains words of an obscene nature;
(b)   it is contrary to public policy including names which are set out in general requirements above;
(c)   it may likely offend any particular section of a community or any particular religion; or
(d)   names that are misleading as to the identity, nature, objects or purposes of a company or in any other manner.

Names or Words Prohibited under the Direction of Minister

  • Names suggesting connection with a member of the Royal family or Royal patronage including names containing such words as “Royal”, “King”, “Queen”, “Prince”, “Princess”, “Crown”, “Regent” or “Imperial”;
  • Names suggesting connection with a State or Federal government department, statutory body, authority or government agency or any municipality or other local authority, including names containing such words as “Federal”, “State” or “National”;
  • Names suggesting connection with any ASEAN, Commonwealth or foreign government or with the United Nations or with any other international organization or cartel including names containing such words as “ASEAN”, “UNESCO”, “NATO”, “EEC” ,“OPEC”;
  • Names suggesting connection with any political party, society, trade union, co-operative society or building society;
  • Names including the following words or any words of like import: “Bank”, “Banker”, “Banking”, “Bumiputra”, “Bureau”, “Chamber of Commerce and Industry”, “Chamber of Manufacturers”, “Chartered”, “College”, “Consumer”, “Council”, “Credit”, “Exchange”, “Executor”, “Fair Price”, “Finance”, “Foundation”, “Fund”, “Guarantee”, “Institute”, “Insurance”, “Investment”, “Leasing”, “Made in Malaysia”, “Prime”, “Registry”, “Treasury”, “Trust”, “Unit Trust”, “University”.

Prohibition as to the Use of Undesirable Names

In determining whether a name is an undesirable, the Registrar of Companies has set a few criteria by virtue of some fixed general principles, including any other laws which also make provision on the control of usage of names that are associated with activities regulated by the said laws, names that are associated with activities regulated by Government Agency and for national and public interests. The following criteria must be adhered to:

Names suggesting connections With Activities Controlled By Other Laws

  • Banking And Financial Institutions Act 1989
    “bank”, “deposit-taking”, “finance”, “merchant bank”, “discount house”, “money broker”, “foreign exchange broker”, “Financial”, “Factoring”, “Leasing”, “Development finance”, “Building credit” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Securities Industry Act 1983
    “stock exchange”, “stock market”, “securities trading market” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Futures Trading Industry Act 1993
    “futures exchange”, “futures broker”, “futures trading adviser” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Insurance Act 1963
    “insurance”, “assurance”, “underwriter” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Money-Changing Act 1998
    “money changer”, “foreign exchange” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Valuers, Appraisers And Estate Agents Act 1981
    “estate agent”, “house agent”, “property agent”, “land agent”, “house broker” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Takaful Act 1984
    “Takaful” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Accountant Act 1967
    “taxation”, “tax”, “accounting”, “Public Accountant”, “Auditor”, “Tax consultant”, “Tax advisor” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Medicine (Advertisement and Sale) Act 1956
    “Private clinic”, “Clinic”, “Private Radiological clinic”, “private medical laboratory”, “alternative medicines”, “traditional herbs”, “tabib”, “treatment’, “hair clinic”, “hair loss”, “homeopathy”, “traditional medicine herbs” and “medical hall” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Any other laws as being notified to the Registrar of Companies from time to times.

Names containing such words which are prohibited under the aforesaid legislations can be considered if the applicant or the promoter of the company obtains the necessary written approval from the agency which regulates the relevant legislation. The consent letter shall be annexed to the application form for name search.

Names suggesting Connections With Activities Regulated By Government Agencies Or Professional Bodies

  • Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA)
    Words such as “Labuan Offshore”, “Offshore Company”, “Labuan Trust Company” or such words of the same meaning;
  • Malaysian Architect Board
    Words such as “architect”;
  • Ministry of Education Malaysia
    Words such as “college”, “institute”, “university”, “school” or such words of the same meaning;
  • Department of Co-operative Development
    Words such as “co-op”, “Co-operative” or such words of the same meaning;
  • Department of Civil Aviation
    Words such as “aviation”, “airways”, “airlines”, “air” or such words of the same meaning;
  • Malaysia Engineer Board
    Words such as “engineer”;
  • Malaysia Institute of Accountants
    Words such as “accountant” or “taxation”;
  • Prime Minister’s Department
    Word such as “dinar”;
  • Ministry of Primary Industries
    Word such as “Pusat Serantau Pengurusan Hutan” (“Information Centre for Forest Management”);
  • Jabatan Kemajuan Agama Islam Malaysia
    Words such as ”Crypto”, ”Muttaqim”, ”Mustaqim”, ”Ehram Mukjizah”, ”Wakaf”, ”Amil”, ”Baitulmal”, ”Halal”, ”wasiat”, ”faraid” or such words of the same meaning;
  • Corporate Application Section, Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM)
    Words such as “Amanah” and “Trust” for formation of trust company.

Names containing such words suggest association with activities regulated by the Government Agency or professional body as aforesaid can be considered if the applicant or the promoter of the company obtains the necessary written approval from the relevant government agency or professional body. The approval letter shall be annexed to the application form for name search.

Names Which Usage Is Being Controlled And Limited Due To National And Public Interest

  • Government-linked companies and famous established names that are registered under Trade Mark Registration Act
    Example: “Astro”, “DIGI”, “Berjaya”, “Chase”, “HICOM”, “Petronas”, “Intrakota”, “Celcom”, “Pernas”, “Perodua”, “Modenas”, “Telekom”, “Kenyir”, “Kulim Hi-Tech”;
  • “Cyber” or any words of the same meaning;
  • “Putrajaya” or words of the same meaning;
  • “MSC/Multimedia Super Corridor”;
  • “Middle Man”;
  • “Malay Reserve”;
  • Words which resemble gambling activities such as “sweepstake”, “lottery”, “fortune teller” or such words connoting the same meaning;
  • Words such as “liquor” and the like words; and
  • Words from the Government slogan such as “Vision 2020”, “Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah”, “Jatidiri” , “Kuala Lumpur 2001”, “Kuala Lumpur 2006”, “Kuala Lumpur 2008”, “Malaysia Boleh”, “Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya” (“Then, Now and Always”) and others being introduced from time to time.

Essential point to note when submitting Name Search Application

  • Clarify the meaning of any single letter of the alphabet contained in the proposed company name.
  • Give explanation if the proposed company name is not in Bahasa Malaysia or English.
  • If the name contains an individual’s name, state whether it is the name of a director and attach a copy of his / her identity card.
  • If the name applied for has a connection with a company that has already been registered, consent must be obtained through a resolution from the relevant company. The resolution has to be signed by all the directors of the company and, if it is an extract of the resolution, it has to be signed by one director and secretary.
  • If the name contains a Trademark, the applicant needs to obtain an approval letter.
  • If the name applied for is for a change of name, the applicant needs to state the existing company’s name and company number that is seeking for a change of company name.
  • State the nature of the business to be carried out.
  • For incorporation of a new company, please ensure that at least two promoter’s name and identity cards or passport number are stated.

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