Trade Names and how to use them

Using a Close Corporation/Company Name t/a (trading as) Another Name

When you select a name from the Close Corporation/Company List, bear in mind that you can use the Close Corporation/Company name trading as another name of your choice.

Naturally you cannot use someone else’s trading name, but if you are fairly certain that nobody you are aware of is using a trading name that you want to use, you can use it (although, obviously, at your own risk). You can then acquire what is called “a common law right” to the use of the name.

If however, someone approaches you and can prove that they have been using that trading name before you, you may have to change your trading name. If they cannot prove it, but you can show that you started using the name first, then you continue using the trading name, and that other person can be asked to stop using it.

If you are using the trading name in a town which is, for example, 1000 miles/kilometres away from the town in which the other person uses it, and that doesn’t affect either of your businesses, it can be agreed (even verbally) that you both just carry on running your businesses as you have been.

If you want to be sure that you have the registered right to a trading name then you can apply to change the name of your selected Close Corporation / Company (simultaneously with its purchase) to the name you want to trade with, or you form a new Close Corporation / Company from the start. See our Order Forms for details. When changing or acquiring the name of a Close Corporation / Company it is your responsibility to ensure that your new name does not conflict with other company / corporation / registered / trade / trademark names in your country.

Many people, however, choose to use a Close Corporation / Company Name and trade as Another Unregistered Name of their choice. This is often done when a person has been a Sole Proprietor t/a Their Trading Name, and many clients know the trading name. Such a person has already built up Goodwill surrounding the trading name and a Common Law Right to the use of the name.

The following is a sample of one of our Letterheads. Although we have registered a trading name “CC’s Instant” (=Close Corporations Instant) as a trademark, this is a rather expensive process and may not always be necessary, especially if you have a trading name which includes your name/surname, you have been using the name for some time, or you have done your research which shows no one else seems to be using the name:

The following letterhead shows how you can use a Close Corporation / Company name and still trade as your own Trading Name. (Remember: you cannot register a “Close Corporation / Company name t/a Another Name”. You just assume – start using – the trading name in conjunction with your Close Corporation / Company name, obviously at your own risk as described above.)

Close Corporation/Company name usage tip:

Let’s say you have a Close Corporation/Company with the name Kembul CC.

You can trade with the name as it is: “Kembul CC”

If you really like the name “Kembul”, but you wish to embellish on it for trading purposes, you could trade, for example, as follows:
“Kembul CC t/a Kembul Pump Supplies”.

If you are not mad about the name “Kembul”, you could trade, for example, as follows: “Kembul CC t/a Thompson’s Pump Supplies”, assuming your name is Thompson, or “Kembul CC t/a Anything Pump Supplies”, assuming you have checked out the name represented by Anything for possible use by others.

Go up again for Letterhead Example

A handy way of checking on some usage of trading names by others is to search through local and other telephone books for the trading name you want to use. Although this is not a foolproof method it does give some indication.

You can obviously use more extensive methods, like phoning your local Telecom/Telephone Enquiries and asking them for the telephone number of the trading name you want to use.

Just say, for example:
“I’m looking for a business called ‘Quick Computer Services’.”
Then you could say:
“I’m not sure where it is in the country, so could you please check the major centres for me…[then you name the major centres]”
If you get no phone number, there is a fairly good chance such a name is not being traded with, although the name could be in use in a smaller centre, but you might decide that this does not worry you, and you feel okay about using the trading name.
Obviously if you are given a phone number by Enquiries, then the name is in use, and you should do further research on another trading name.

The best procedures for checking on trade names will differ from country to country. If the above advice does not apply to your country, or if you would like to share with us the best procedure for your country, kindly send us an email to Site eMailer, informing us of your country/town/city name and your advised procedure.

If you want to check whether or not your proposed trading name is being used in South Africa by a registered Company or Close Corporation, we can do a search of the Government Computer for you.

Please use the Trade Name Search order form.

We do as thorough a search using the Government Computer System as we know how. We will not, however, be held responsible for possible computer downtime delays or any erroneous data / information, whether actual or alleged, in connection with such a search and/or the interpretation of results.

Afrikaans examples

ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT between the Members and a Close Corporation

There are still over 1.5m valid, active CC’s in SA, so it is important to get your ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT in order.

Association Agreements are made between a CC and its members. It is not compulsory for you have a written Association Agreement, but it can be helpful in “keeping things clear” if there is more than one member in a CC.

This sample Association Agreement is provided as a guide only. It should not be substituted for current legal counsel on this matter. No responsibility shall be taken by eCC, its servants or associates for the misuse or misapplication hereof.

This contract is the property of Kaltan Trust (South Africa), who holds the Copyright © 1999-2011. This copyright is effective 50 years after the death of the author. Permission: You may use one copy of the agreement per order.

Click here to order a sample Association Agreement

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New earnings threshold to come into effect on 1 July 2011

The Department of Labour has during May 2011 increased the earnings threshold for employees, which exists in terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (“the BCEA”). The threshold has since 2008 been an annual remuneration of R149,736.00 (one hundred and forty-nine thousand, seven hundred and thirty-six rands), which has now been increased to R172,000.00 (one hundred and seventy-two thousand rands).

An employee’s “earnings” means his or her “regular annual remuneration before deductions”, i.e. the employee’s own contributions to income tax, pension, medical insurance and similar payments, but expressly excludes similar contributions made by the employer in respect of the employee. Such remuneration does not include subsistence and transport allowances received, achievement awards and payments for overtime worked.

For employers, the effect of this amendment is that any employee earning more than R172,000.00 per year will now fall outside the scope of certain basic conditions of employment which would ordinarily apply in terms of the BCEA. These affected conditions of employment would accordingly not apply to such employees, unless otherwise agreed to between the employer and the employee.

via New earnings threshold to come into effect on 1 July 2011: a practical reminder – Lexology

SARS employees might abuse their position

COLIN WOLFSOHN: Look, their whole principle of separating and making our ordinary Tax Act simpler, without these administrative provisions, is very good, no question about it. We understand where SARS is coming from in terms of cases of genuine crooks or people, as we say, like an Enron kind of case. We are concerned on a practical basis though, whether all these provisions…because this Act is written in the basis where everything is perfect and we’ve seen, unfortunately, cases in the past where you might have SARS employees who don’t interpret these legislations pieces totally accurately and, if I can use the wrong wording, might abuse their position. That kind of situation concerns us but hopefully with proper training of SARS officials that things will improve. 

via What the new Tax Administration Bill covers – Tax | Moneyweb

We have had instances where SARS employees have abused their position and unfairly interpreted the VAT Act to the total and unnecessary disadvantage of the taxpayer. Arrogant and unprofessional behaviour like that should never have been allowed to take place. It echoes the harshness and intolerance of Apartheid racism.

You cannot just say what you like on the Internet

Free speech on the Internet can have consequences

Free speech on the Internet can have consequences

Taipei – A Taiwanese woman was ordered to compensate a noodle shop Tw$200 000 ($7 000) for defamation after criticising the store as unclean and its food as “really bad” on her blog, a court said on Friday.

Liu Ying-hui escaped a 30-day jail term, with the high court deciding to grant her a two-year suspended sentence after she agreed to compensate the shop, according to the verdict released by the court.

Liu was convicted of defaming the shop in February for commenting on her blog in 2009 that its food was “really bad… too salty” while the owner was a “bully” and the stop was “unclean with cockroaches”, the verdict said.

A district court in central Taiwan ruled that her remarks “crossed the boundary of an appropriate review” since she had failed to prove her allegations.

It was the latest of a number of controversial rulings involving Internet commentaries, after a teacher was ordered to pay her dentist Tw$1.5m for calling him a “rat’s dropping” in March, according to local media.


via Blogger fined over bad review: News24: Sci-Tech: News

What does Pty Ltd stand for?

  • What does “PTY” stand for?

    “PTY”, usually used in conjunction with “Ltd”, thus “(Pty) Ltd”, stands for “(Proprietary)”. “PTY” representing “Proprietary” means “private ownership”. This illustrates one of the main features of PTY LTD Companies: that is, their shareholders are not publically declared, only their directors. Thus the ownership is private.

  • What does “Ltd” stand for?

    “Ltd” as used in the designation of a private or public company, for example, either “Bilkovo (Pty) Ltd” or “Bilkovo Ltd”, stands for “Limited” and refers to the limitation on the liability of company shareholders and directors.