Rules & regulations to choose a business name in UAE

September 13, 2023

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Your company name is one of the most integral parts of your business as it defines what you do and sets the scene for every interaction you have with your customers. Your business name comes before you, so you must carefully consider its branding, marketing and web implications during your business setup in UAE.

Lori Greiner, an American inventor and entrepreneur believes,

“Business name should be catchy and memorable. It should help people understand what your business does. If your name reflects your products or services you will have much better chance to be found (via Google search), so choose wisely.”

If you are in the process of deciding a name for your business in UAE, you will be relieved to know that UAE does not place many restrictions in choosing company name. The rules are pretty straightforward and not unusual. Let’s get acquainted with them before you invest your time and resources in naming your business in UAE.

Business Name Rules and Regulations in UAE

  1. Your business name should not contradict your company’s activity. It should be preferred to reflect it.
  2. Your company name should not already been reserved or protected by copyright by a similar business in UAE.
  3. The name should not contain obscene or indecent words, and must not be offending to the general public even if it is a person’s name.
  4. The name should not indicate God’s names or his divine attributes neither in Arabic nor in English e.g. Al Qader, Al Aleem, Al Razzaq etc.

Restricted Names

  1. Some words are restricted such as UAE, Emirates, City`s names, Districts, and Airports Codes of UAE.
  2. Names of continents, countries, and cities are also not allowed in business name; however, nationalities can be used in the company name e.g. European, African, Italian etc.
  3. Trade name cannot begin with International, Middle East, Global etc. nor can it be translated.
  4. Business name cannot be similar to government`s organizations names or it`s abbreviations.
  5. The names must not contain any sign of global political organizations, religious sectarian e.g. FBI, Vatican etc.
  6. Companies must use Google to search their proposed name to make sure that it does not belong to others.
  7. Business name cannot fully or partially contain any of the local of global active brands or government projects such as: Toyota, Samsung, KFC etc.

Industry-specific Notes

  1. The word “Commodities” can be approved only if the company trades in more than one commodity or practices General Trading activity. Moreover if the proposed name specifies the activity such as “ABCD
  2. Agri/Agro Commodities”, then the name can be reserved.
  3. The terms “ME” or “CO” are prohibited for individually owned companies unless they come as part of a word like “LCME Trading”, “ATCO Services”.
  4. Some words will involve a specific approval to continue with the company name reservation process such as the word “Capital” needs approval from the Central Bank, “FX” needs approval from DGCX.

First names and translations

  1. Individual first names of Arabic origin can be used if the name belongs to one of the recommended shareholders. Family names can be used only if the first name is included and must be a name of one of the proposed shareholders.
  2. Business names are phonetically translated not literally.

Operating name

  1. Adding an Operating Name is an available option for the companies which allow them to use their brand or short name and to make it legal.
  2. Operating Names cannot carry any restricted terminologies.
  3. Operating Name must not contradict it`s company`s name and must conform with above mentioned rules.
  4. The name would not be approved if it is similar to DED/Local active company that performs similar activities.

Subsidiary, Joint Venture and Branch Name

  1. Subsidiary`s Name must not be as similar to its parent company`s name. Legal Type and Suffix are not considered as part of the name, and must fulfill all above rules.
  2. Joint Venture`s Name can be held in reserve as similar to the parent company`s name upon submitting NOC and/ or Justification Letter whichever is needed depending on the case.
  3. Branch`s name must be the exact similar of its parent company`s unless it contains restricted words (Legal type not included).

Once you have decided your company name, next phase is to register it. KWSME can help you in registering you company name in UAE.

For more information, visit KWS Middle East OR call our business setup consultants at 00971-(04) 871 4313 OR email us at

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