Take action to protect your business name

21 March 2018

A business’ name and brand will often be one of its greatest assets: if you have set up a business, and are trading under a company name other than your own, you must register your Business Name with the Companies Registry.

If you have previously registered a Business Name, but not completed an Annual Declaration in the last 12 months, you should send a declaration to the Registry as soon as possible to prevent the name being removed from the Register.

Why Register

Registration of a Business Name with the companies Registry will:

  • Protect and secure the Business Name in the Isle of Man - Companies Registry will not approve or register another name that is the same or deemed too similar to your registered name;
  • Ensure transparency - Lets your customer know who they are doing business with and how and where they can get in contact with you, whilst also building the business’ reputation;
  • Differentiate your business - Once registered you will receive a certificate of registration from the Companies Registry: this will help you open a bank account for your business;
  • Comply with the law - If you are carrying out business under a name other than your own name there is a requirement to register the name under the Registration of Business Names Acts 1918 & 1954.

Who Needs to Register?

If you are a sole trader, partnership, or company trading under a name other than your legal name, you must register you name.

For example:

  • John Smith, a sole trader, who operates a catering business under his own name, does not need to be registered;
  • Joanne Smith, a sole trader, who operates an interior design business as ‘Joanne Smith’s Interior designs’ must be registered;
  • ABC Widgets Limited, a Limited Company, trading as ‘Customised Engineering’, must be registered. 

How to Register

Registration is simple and costs £50.  The registration forms can be found here https://www.gov.im/categories/business-and-industries/companies-registry/forms

Don’t let your Registration lapse

Once a Business Name is registered there is an ongoing requirement for the business owner to ensure that the registration is maintained and contains accurate and current information.

Most importantly you must make an Annual Declaration that the Business Name is still being used, otherwise the Registry may remove the Business Name from the Register.

During the coming months Companies Registry will be writing to confirm a business is still active where the owners of that Business Name have not submitted an Annual Declaration within the last 18 months.  If a reply is not received the registration will be cancelled.

Business owners who have changed residential or business address should update the Register as soon as possible to avoid missing the letter.

Need to know more

More information and copies of the required forms, including an Annual Declaration form can be also be found on our website:


A practice note outlining your obligations under the Registration of Business Names Act 1918 is available at:


Any enquiries should be addressed to the Companies Registry.