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Reserve a company name with CIPC online in nine steps

by , 23 August 2013
You can use the CIPC name reservation option to register a defensive name thanks to the Companies Act. The purpose of registering a defensive name is to protect it from use by other companies if, for instance, you want to open your own business at a later stage. In other words, it helps you reserve your company name so no other company can use it. But how do you actually reserve your company name?

According to the Practical Accountancy Loose Leaf, you can register any name as a defensive name if you can prove to the Companies Commission you definitely have an interest in that name, which doesn't depend on any other factors.

For example, let's say Lucy Nielsen, a copywriter who's currently working at a large multinational company wants to open her own copywriting agency in the next two years.

She then registers a defensive name on CIPC, this is a CIPC name reservation – Lucy Nielsen Copywriting Services. She has an interest in this name as it contains part of her own name.

And she can register a defensive name for two years and then renew the registration for a further two years. This means no other company will be able to use Lucy's defensive name. She's reserved it.

But how do you go about registering?

Want to reserve a company name? Use nine steps

Step #1: Register on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commissions (CIPC) website (www.cipc.co.za)

Step #2: Once you've registered on the CIPC website, login.

Step #3: Select name reservation and proposed name.

Remember, your company name must be in any language and include any letters, numbers, translations of foreign words, punctuation marks and symbols.

Step #4: Fill in form CoR.9.1, which you'll see after you've clicked on proposed name.

Note that most of the fields are prepopulated based on the information you give when you register with CIPC.

You only need to complete the following fields:

  • Name reservation type (remember to select 'Proposed Name' from the drop-down menu);
  • The names you want to reserve (You can select up to four names);
  • Official language;
  • Registered trademark;
  • Restricted names;
  • Any similar names (only answer yes to this question if you're willing to accept any names similar to those you choose if your chosen name isn't available).

If you want to reserve your name electronically, deposit R50 into your virtual CIPC account before you click submit. If you don't, the system won't let you proceed with your application.

If you want to submit this form manually, the reservation fee is R75.

Step #5: The system will do a preliminary search of names they have on their system. It'll let you know if there are any such names (or similar) on its system.

Step #6: Decide if you want to stick with your original names or pick new ones

Step #7: Your application is processed.

The system will bring up a screen showing your:

  • Assigned tracking number;
  • Fee paid;
  • Application date;
  • Reference number.

Print this out and keep copies.

Step #8: The application is sent to the processing team

The CIPC name reservation processing team will process your application and email you to confirm or reject the reservation. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Step #9: Wait for your cor9.4 form. This confirms CIPC has accepted your name reservation. Your company name is officially reserved. You'll use this form when you officially register your company name.

Well there you have it. It's that easy to reserve your company name online.

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