You can gain exclusive rights to a business name either by registering it in the trade register or by establishing it in use. However, registration is the easiest and most secure way of gaining exclusive rights to a business name, and is valid nationwide.
Once you have submitted a notification to the trade register on registering a business name, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) will examine whether the name is valid for registration. The name is compared with, for instance
other similar names
place names and
Thereafter, the person or team in charge of processing the notification will take a decision on the name.
There may be unexpected obstacles to using the business name you have selected. You should therefore not have the name printed, for instance on advertising signs or stationery, before it has been approved by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and registered in the trade register.
In order to save time and speed up the registration process, a company may submit alternative business names to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). In such a case, the first suitable name of the listed business names will be registered. You can notify the trade register of alternative names using a special form.
Use of the new name before registration is not recommended. If the name cannot be registered in the trade register in the required form, premature use of the name will incur additional costs if the company has had the new name printed on forms, advertisements, signs etc.
Changing a business name
If a company changes its name, the trade register must be notified of the change without delay. The new name will be registered with the information service of the Finnish Business Information System (BIS), as soon as registration is complete. For this notification, you should use the form specific to your form of business, available on the website of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). You can use the same form for adding the company’s auxiliary business name to the register.