• Ashton Corporate Services

11 criteria to follow when naming your Sdn Bhd company in Malaysia

Unlike applying for a website domain name, which has less restrictions and is available on domain registrars, you should follow the business naming standards established by the Companies Commissions of Malaysia (SSM) when naming your company to maximise the likelihood of company name approval during the company incorporation process. Even if your company name was authorised, the SSM has the authority to order that it be changed if they consider the name should not have been registered in the first place. These are the 11 rules to keep in mind while choosing a name for your business.


1. The business name must not already be in use

This is one among the first things the SSM officers look at when determining if your company name is available or has been registered. Aside from hiring a company secretary to do the research for you, another simple option is to use the MYDATA portal or the SSM e-Info portal to look up company names. If the company name has already been used by another business organisation, it will appear on the list.


2. The company name shall not be equivalent to the name of another business organisation that already exists

While it is obvious that no two businesses should have the same name, a name that is identical to yours should be avoided as well, especially if the other firm is in the same industry as you. SSM considers the following criteria when deciding whether a company name is similar to another:

  • With or without the word "The" as the initial word in the business name. The XYZ Sdn Bhd, for example, is believed to be the same as XYZ Sdn Bhd.

  • The plural form of the company's name. Donut Sdn Bhd, for example, is considered the same as Donuts Sdn Bhd.

  • Letters and punctuation marks are separated by a certain amount of space. All of the company's single letters will be combined into a single word. X-Y Z Sdn Bhd, for example, is the same as X Y Z Sdn Bhd and XYZ Sdn Bhd.

  • The symbol ‘&' is regarded to be synonymous with the word ‘and.' X&Y Sdn Bhd, for example, is considered the same as X and Y Sdn Bhd.

  • Synonyms. XYZ Development, for example, will be regarded the same as XYZ Building and XYZ Renovation.

  • Stem words have the same meaning as their root terms. XYZ Development and XYZ Developing, for example, are synonyms for XYZ Develop.

  • Translation in its most literal sense. Satu Dua, for instance, is One Two's equal.


3. No words that have the same meaning as the word "company" are allowed in the company name

Words that have a similar meaning as the word "company" cannot be used in your company name because the term "Sdn Bhd" will be automatically appended to the rear. Some instances are as follows:

  • Sendirian/Sdn

  • Company

  • And company

  • Corporation

  • Co


4. The name of the company can be written in English, Bahasa, or even a foreign language

It's best not to use single words that are overly broad, such as 'technology' or 'computer.' In your company name, you can use words from several languages. If your company name includes terms from other languages, you should explain what they signify and how they connect to your firm. In addition, to support your application, you should offer a link to an online dictionary that explains the meaning of the words. Similarly, made-up names that do not appear in the dictionary should be explained. Here are some name explanation examples:

  • For a fruit-selling company, ABC stands for Apricot Berries Collections.

  • ABC is made up of two words: Abs, which refers to the human body's abdomen, and C, which stands for Vitamin C. The company sells supplements to bodybuilders.

  • Toko Kaas is a combination of two Dutch words: Toko refers to an Indonesian store (https://www.interglot.com/dictionary/nl/en/translate/toko), and Kaas refers to cheese (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/dutch-english/kaas). Indonesian owners will run the business, which will market dairy products.


5. The company name can be made out of the names of the board of directors

In your company name, you can use the names of the directors listed on the company incorporation form. If other people linked to the directors' names are to be used, proof of relationship must be provided along with a consent letter.


6. Certain symbols may be used in the company's name

Symbols are fine as long as they are used correctly. These are the characters that can be used in the company name:

  • And & For example, X & Y Sdn Bhd.

  • Full stop . For example, X. B. Sdn Bhd.

  • Hyphen – For example, X-Y Sdn Bhd.

  • Apostrophe ‘ For example, X’ Y Sdn Bhd.


7. The company name should not be an abbreviation that is easily misunderstood

While the use of acronyms in your company name is permitted if an explanation of the acronyms is provided, acronyms that can be confused with the following names should be avoided:

  • The names of the colleges and universities. For instance, UiTM, UTM, UM, UKM, UPM, UUM, USM, UIA, UNIMAS, UMS, UIAM, UPSI, UMT, UMP, UTEM, UNIMAP, UTHM, and so on.

  • Names of federal and state government agencies, as well as government-owned companies (GLC). SSM, CCM, JKR, JPA, JPM, BNM, KPDNKK, SEDC, PKEN, SIRIM, TNB, PNB, FELDA, FELCRA, PETRONAS, SKM, MYCC, MIDA, KWSP, LHDN, PERKESO, MARDI, RISDA, and others are examples.


8. No indecent terms are allowed in the company name

Words that reflect religious components, are considered objectionable to the public, or are profane are not permitted in your company name.


9. The company name shall not contain any words from the gazette

Certain words have been gazetted and cannot be used unless a letter of authorization from the appropriate authorities or ministries has been received. These are some of the several types of gazette words:

  • Words that imply a relationship to members of the Royal family or patronage from the Royal family. Royal, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Crown, Regent, Imperial, and so on are only a few examples.

  • Words that imply a link to a federal or state government department, agency, or local government. For instance, federal, state, and national governments.

  • Words that imply a link to a foreign government or an international organisation. ASEAN, UNESCO, NATO, the EEC, OPEC, and other organisations are examples.


10. The company name must not include any restricted words due to national or public interest

For the sake of national and public interest, there are some words that should not be used. Controlled terms include the following:

  • The Trade Mark Registration Act allows famous established names to be registered. For instance, Astro, DIGI, Berjaya, HICOM, Petronas, Telekom, and so on.

  • Words that imply a link to behaviours such as gambling, drinking, or smoking. For example, Sweepstakes Lottery, Liquor, Vape, and so forth.

  • Words that suggest a link to government rhetoric. For instance, Vision 2020, Malaysia Boleh, 1Malaysia, and many more.


11. There must be no words in the company name that imply a connection to activities that are regulated by laws, governmental authorities, or professional bodies

Words in your company name that imply connections to regulated activities under Malaysian legislation are forbidden. You can, however, get written consent from relevant governmental agencies and professional groups for the SSM to be considered. Here are some rules and regulations with word usage examples:

  • Banking And Financial Institutions Act 1989. For example, bank, finance, money broker”, financial, leasing, credit, and so on.

  • Securities Industry Act 1983. For example, stock exchange, stock market, securities trading market, and so on.

  • Futures Trading Industry Act 1993. For example, futures exchange, futures broker, trading adviser, and so on.

  • Insurance Act 1963. For example, insurance, assurance, underwriter, etc.

  • Money-Changing Act 1998. For example, money changers, foreign exchange, etc.

  • Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981. For example, estate agent, house agent, property agent, house broker, and so on.

  • Takaful Act 1984. For example, takaful, and so on.

  • Accountant Act 1967. For example, taxation, tax, accounting, auditor, tax consultant, etc.

  • Medicine (Advertisement and Sale) Act 1956. For example, private clinic, private medical laboratory, alternative medicines, traditional herbs, Tabib, hair loss, homeopathy, and so on.

  • Any additional laws that are periodically communicated to the Registrar of Companies.




Even though your company name is composed of simple words, it is best to explain the meaning of the name and how it connects to your firm. Keep in mind that, while you can follow the requirements to boost your chances of acceptance, the SSM retains the last say on whether or not your company name is approved. A brand name is not the same as a company name. As a result, you can run businesses under several names with comparable commercial natures within the same corporation.




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