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Rules for Setting a Malaysia Company Name: Guidelines for Naming a Company (2023)

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How to Set Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing

If you’re considering setting up a business in Malaysia, whether it’s starting an e-commerce business or a food catering business, you are likely listing out a few things you need to take into account.

This process will most likely include choosing a company name that can best reflect your brand and business.

You may be surprised to discover that naming a company is not as simple as it seems. There are rules when it comes to company names in Malaysia, and it’s important to follow them.

Let’s go over the basics of company name rules in Malaysia to help inspire your company name ideas Malaysia.

Related: How to Start a Successfull E-commerce Business

Important Rules for Naming Your Company in Malaysia

What You Cannot Do

The Name for the Malaysian Company Cannot Already Be in Use

SSM Website e-info | Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing

Whether the company name already exists or has been reserved is the first thing the SSM officials will look at when reviewing your business name.

The first thing you should do if you want your company incorporation process to go smoothly is use the SSM e-Info portal.

On SSM, search company names that are already in use. If the name of the company appears on the list after doing a basic name search SSM, it has already been registered by another company. As long as the name isn’t registered, it can be a good option.

The Name of Another Existing Business Organisation Cannot be Identical to the Name of Your Malaysian Company

Sephora Dupe | Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing
Source: Says.com

Another SSM checklist to look out for is to not have identical names or the same meaning to an existing company name. This is especially if the existing business entity operates in a similar industry to yours.

Some of the factors the SSM name search guidelines consider as identical:

  • The word “The”. Example: The Lemon Sdn Bhd and Lemon Sdn Bhd are interchangeable.
  • Plural names. Example: Lemon Sdn Bhd and Lemons Sdn Bhd are interchangeable.
  • Spacing and punctuation. Example: L-E-M-O-N Sdn Bhd, L E M O N Sdn Bhd and LEMON Sdn Bhd are interchangeable.
  • The word “and” and the symbol “&”. Example: Lemon & Herb Sdn Bhd and Lemon and Herb Sdn Bhd are interchangeable.
  • Synonyms. Example: Lemon Food Sdn Bhd, Lemon Meals or Lemon Dishes are interchangeable.
  • Similar Root Words. Example: Lemon Renovate or Lemon Renovations are interchangeable.
  • Direct Translation. Yellow Lemon and Limau Kuning are interchangeable.

No Words With the Same Meaning of “Business” or “Company” May be Used in the Company Name

SSM Sample Corporate Information | Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing

This is obvious as the term “Sdn Bhd” will be automatically appended to the end of it, and the Sdn Bhd meaning already is business or company. This is why your business name cannot contain same meaning words such as:

  • Corporation
  • Sendirian / Sdn
  • Sdn bhd company
  • Company
  • And company
  • Co
  • And Co

The Company Name in Malaysia Must Not Use Confusing Acronyms

There’s nothing wrong with using acronyms for the name of company in Malaysia. However, it must not be the same as those that are already well known locally or can be confused or mistakenly associated with:

  • Names of higher learning institutions. Example: UiTM, UM, UKM, UPM, UTM, UTHM, etc.
  • Names of federal, state, local government organisations, government-owned companies (GLC). Example: SSM, JKR, JPA, JPM, BNM, KPDNKK, SIRIM, TNB, etc.

Abstain From Using Offensive Words for Company Name Malaysia

Your company name cannot contain any words that are profane, objectionable to the general public, or mimic parts of any religion. Even if you intend to use words of the same meaning or even foreign languages for SSM checking name, it can still be rejected.

There Cannot Be Any Gazetted Words in Malaysian Company Names

Gazetted words are words meant to announce or publish in publications. This includes:

  • Words that suggest a connection to the royal family. Example: Sultan, Royal, King, Queen, Crown, etc.
  • Words that suggest involvement with a municipal, state, or federal department of government or an agency of the government. Example: Federal, State, National, etc.
  • Words that suggest a link with an international organisation or a foreign government. Examples: OPEC, NATO, EEC, ASEAN, UNESCO, etc.

Unless a letter of authorisation is received from the appropriate authorities or ministries, it is not possible to use any of these words.

There Cannot Be Any Restricted Words for Public Interest in the Company Name

In the interest of the country and the general public, certain words have been restricted and cannot be used. This includes words that are:

  • Under the Trade Mark Registration Act, where renowned established names are registered. Example: Unifi, Celcom, Berjaya, HICOM, Telekom, etc.
  • Related to drinking, smoking, or gambling. Example: Sweepstakes, lotteries, alcohol or liqour, vape or vaporizers, etc.
  • Alluding to a relationship with political rhetoric. Example: Keluarga Malaysia, Wawasan 2020, 1Malaysia, etc.

Any Phrases That Allude to Associations With Legal or Regulated Activities or With Governmental or Professional Organisations are Prohibited

Your desired company name in Malaysia cannot contain any terms that imply associations with activities that are restricted by Malaysian law.

However, if it is necessary as part of your creative branding or field of work, you can obtain a written consent from the necessary governmental organisations and professional bodies.

Examples of legal acts that you need to look out for include:

  • 1989 Financial Institutions Act. Example: Financial institution, bank, money broker, lease, credit, etc.
  • 1983 Securities Industry Act. Example: stock exchanges, markets for trading securities, stock markets, etc.
  • 1993 Futures Trading Industry Act. Example: Futures exchanges, brokers, trading advisors, etc.
  • 1963 Insurance Act. Example: insurance, underwriting, etc.
  • 1998 Money-Changing Act. Example: currency exchange or international exchange.
  • 1981 Estate agents, Valuers, and Appraisers Act. Example: real estate agents, home brokers, property agents, etc.
  • 1984 Takaful Act. Example: Takaful
  • 1967 Accountant Act. Example: Tax, accounting, auditor, taxation, etc.
  • 1956 Medicine Act for Advertisement and Sale. Example: private medical facilities, private medical laboratory, alternative therapies, hair loss, etc.
  • Any additional laws that may occasionally be communicated to the Registrar of Companies.

What You Can Use In Company Name

You Can Use Foreign Language in the Name

Using single terms such as Catering or Computer for your company name is not recommended. However, you can consider using words in a different language instead, whether it’s in French or Swahili.

It’s important to note that you still need to explain what those words represent and how they relate to your organisation. You can do this by linking an online dictionary that explains the definitions of the words you’re using during the application process.

For example, Eat Tori is made up of an English and Japanese word – Tori means chicken in Japanese and so the business should be about selling chicken products.

You Can Use the Name of the Directors

SSM Sample Current Shareholders | Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing

You’re welcome to name your company based on the names of your directors that are listed on the company incorporation form. If you’re using other names that are connected to the directors, you will need to put it in the form, as well as how the person is connected, along with a letter of consent.

You Can Use Various Symbols

As long as it is used correctly, you’re welcome to use symbols in your Malaysia company name. This includes:

  • The “&” symbol. Example: Lemon & Herb Sdn Bhd
  • The “.” symbol. Example: L.H. Sdn Bhd
  • The”-” symbol. Example: Lemon-Herb Sdn Bhd
  • The “‘” symbol. Example: Lemon’s Herb Sdn Bhd

Why Your Company Name Is Important

Now that you’ve gone through the rules of choosing the right Malaysian company name ideas, it’s important to consider the importance of your company name and how it plays a role in becoming the best business in Malaysia. This includes:

Branding & First Impression

Different Brands and Their Branding | Malaysia Company Name | One Search Pro Marketing
First impressions can make or break your brand. Source: Qualtrics AU

A company’s name is one of the most important factors when it comes to branding and first impressions. A good name will instantly create trust and goodwill among potential customers, making them more likely to buy from you.

Additionally, a well-chosen company name can help define your industry and set you apart from your competitors.

Business Strategy and Target Audience

A company’s name is one of the most important aspects of its business strategy. It should be unique and memorable, so that potential customers can easily identify it when searching for a product or service.

Furthermore, a well-chosen and relevant target audience can help you create content, enabling opportunities for Search Engine Optimization and Marketing Campaigns specifically tailored to reach your target market.

Defining Your Service Or Products

Your company name should reflect who you are as a business and what you offer your customers. Try to choose a catchy and descriptive name that accurately reflects your product or service.

In this way, when people see your company name, they know what to expect. Done right, when they see a similar product or service, they will recall your company name instead!

Promote Your Company Name And Brand

In the end, the decision to pick a business name should follow the rules and fit your brand perfectly.

However, no matter how good your ideas are, whether it’s branding vs marketing, it’s hard to keep people’s attention if your brand does not stand out from others in any way possible.

One thing you can do is consult a professional agency that we have at One Search Pro. Just leave all the worrying behind and get in touch with us! Contact us today for a free consultation.

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