When choosing a business name of a legal entity that needs to be registered in Serbia, respecting certain regulations is a must. In our country, there are rules that define whether a business name of a legal entity will be proper and accepted, or would the registration form for the establishment of a company be denied.
Laws in Serbia that determine these rules and that must be respected are:
- the companies law
- the law on the registration procedure in the Business Registers Agency.
If you want to start a company, the first step before the opening is choosing a field of work, e.g. the job you’ll do. Right after you determine what exactly your company will do, you can initiate the procedures for establishing a company in Serbia, drafting the founding act and adopting general legal acts of the company.
The second step is picking an adequate company name, which should give away the first information about you (as a legal entity). The name should send a clear message to future clients and buyers - what does your company do, what does it sell or what services it offers.
The laws of the Republic of Serbia protect the identity of business entities, in order to prevent eventual misconceptions about the identity of a legal person and the quality of his product or service. During the choosing of a name, the rules and legal regulations must be met, so the application would not end up denied.
The difference between a business name and a company name in Serbia
First of all, it’s very important to note that there is a difference between a business name and a company name in Belgrade (in Serbia), because they are two different terms.
A business name is the main identification of a business entity, ie. the full name under which a legal entity is operating. It has to be unique, irreplaceable with the business name of a different company and it should not cause confusion about that legal entity, nor his area of work.
On the other hand, the company name in Serbia makes a difference between the two companies that are engaged in similar jobs or have similar names. The company name is a name that the legal entity is using in order to differ by identity from other companies and business entities that are engaged in the same or a similar job.
What does a business name of a LLC and of an entrepreneur consist of?
A business name of a company consists of a few mandatory elements:
- the name of a company,
- legal form (entrepreneur or ltd),
- the headquarters of the company activity (city or municipality).
Unlike a company, an entrepreneur can only do business under his name and surname. The business name of the entrepreneur must include:
- name and surname of the entrepreneur
- the activity he does,
- legal form,
- headquarters location.
The entrepreneur has no legal obligation to add a company name in addition to his name. However, in practice, the name proved to be a practical solution because in this way he stands out, i.e. the legal entity stands out. This is true whether it is an entrepreneur or a company, because a business name and a name makes him more recognizable comparing to the competition.
Companies have another option, which is, after the founding of the company, they also add a registered abbreviated business name to the whole, which does not consist of the headquarters location. This is not mandatory, but is only possible if that is what a legal entity wants.
What does a company name in Belgrade / Serbia consist of?
According to the Companies Law of Serbia and by the rules of the Business Registers Agency in Belgrade, two companies may not have the same name, nor can they have a similarly similar name. So the names must be different. All similarities are checked in accordance with the standards and criteria of the Business Registers Agency and it is therefore important that the rules are respected.
The two names must not be the same, so that there are no undesirable consequences about the misinterpretation of the identity. It is also very important that the names do not duplicate, but to be different.
The same rules apply to companies that would have similar names. In other words, the name for which a registration form for the establishment of a company is submitted may not be similar to the name of another company, as it may cause a misconception about identity. If a registration form not sufficiently different from the existing one is submitted, the Business Registers Agency will reject this application.
When applying for registration of a business name in the Business Registers Agency, it is first checked whether there is a company or an entrepreneur in their unique registry with the same or similar name, who simultaneously performs the same or related activity. The Business Registers Agency has the authority to examine each application individually, in order to properly examine all the elements, and then assess whether there are some similarities with the other business name.
The activity of the legal entity as a name criteria
The activity that the company does is another very important factor that is examined when it comes to choosing the right name of the company. If the name for which the registration form is submitted is related by activity, that is, if these two activities are the same or similar, the criteria for selecting the name will be more stringent as the activity itself will also be taken into consideration.
Headquarter as a name criteria
The headquarters of the legal entity in Serbia, or the location where the company would be registered is one of the criteria for selecting the business name and the name of the legal entity. This condition is crucial only in specific situations - if the application for establishment and the name of the company is submitted in a place where there is already one company with the same or similar name, and which also performs the same or similar activity. In this case, the headquarters of the legal entity is also taken as the criteria for selecting a business name.
Useful tips for selecting a business name in Belgrade
Tips that can be helpful for a business name:
- make sure your chosen name is trademarked,
- check in the Business Registers Agency which names are available,
- avoid words that have a too narrow sense, but freely choose names that have a width,
- try to imply with your name about what do you do, as much as possible,
- short names have proven to be good because they are easier to pronounce and remember,
- choose words that are easily and simply pronounced, whether they’re in Serbian or English,
- a prominent name attract attention, they are easier to remember, they convey the idea of success and build a good first contact with potential clients.
Your business name should convey a clear message about what the legal entity does and what potential clients can expect from you. When selecting a name, be aware of these few details, which, although not from the legal framework, are very important. They can affect recognition and success, and this can help your business.
The procedure for opening a company in Serbia is not complicated, but it is certainly a recommendation to consult with an experienced bookkeeper or a legal entity about all strictly professional or legal procedures, so that you do not make a mistake.
In the end, our legal team is at your disposal and we can advise you if the business name that you have chosen is legally correct for registering a company in the Business Registers Agency, and if it is not - how it should be properly devised.