With effect from 1 September 2009 it will be possible to apply to the Irish Registrar of Companies (the Registrar) to reserve a specified name for a company which is to be incorporated by the applicant at a later date. Previously, an application to incorporate a company in Ireland has always been accompanied by the caveat that any proposed name for such a company could not be guaranteed by the Registrar.

Section 59 of the Investment Funds, Companies and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2005 (the Act) permits the reservation of a specified name for a period not exceeding 28 days, as determined by the Registrar.

The Registrar shall not permit the reservation of a name where, in its opinion, it is undesirable. It should be further noted that, in accordance with the Registrar’s policy, the proposed company name should not be identical or similar to the name of a company already registered. In addition, an applicant should ensure that the proposed name does not conflict with names on the business names register maintained by the Registrar and the trade marks register maintained by the Irish Patents Office. These registers may be checked in advance of making an application under Section 59.

Section 60 of the Act provides that an applicant in whose favour a specified name has been reserved under Section 59 may apply to the Registrar, before the expiration of the original reservation period, to reserve the specified company name for up to a further 28 days, as determined by the Registrar, if the Registrar considers it appropriate to do so. It would appear that an applicant may be able to make an application under Section 60 more than once.

Where a specified name is reserved, a company will not be incorporated using that reserved name save on the application of the applicant in whose favour that reserved name has been reserved. A private limited company can be incorporated within five working days.

Applications under Section 59 and Section 60 will be subject to a prescribed fee of €25.