What is a trading name?


A trading name is a name that a business (sole trader / partnership / company) uses to trade as and which differs to their full legal name.

For example, ‘John Smith’ is a legal name. If John wanted to his sole trade business to trade as “Smith Toys”, he would need to register this as the name of the business with CRO (so it would ultimately link to him).

Similarly, a limited company might be called ‘John Smith  Toys Limited’ and trading as ‘Smith Toys’, the company would then need to register the trading name so it can be identified as the business behind the trading name.


Use these forms to register


The following CRO forms are used to register a trading name:

  • RBN1 (for sole traders)
  • RBN1A (for partnerships)
  • RBN1B (for companies)


Electronic filing costs €20 and paper filing costs €40.


Things to look out for


Some words are not allowed in a business or trading name – e.g. you cannot use “limited”, “ltd”, “teoranta”, “teo”, “incorporated”, “inc” or “company”. Similarly, the word “Associates” or “Group” in a business name implies more that one, that is, a partnership. It cannot be used in the name in the case of an individual application (RBN1).


Transfer of Ownership


Ownership of a business name cannot be transferred from one person to another using the form RBN2. The existing owner must complete an RBN3 to cease trading under the name. The new owner must complete an RBN1 to register the business name in his/her own name.


Use of website domains as registered names


The registration of business names ending in a domain name suffix such as “.ie”, “.com”, “.net” or prefix such as “www” is considered undesireable, for the purposes of section 14(1) of the Registration of Business Names Act 1963. Proof of domain name ownership is required to process these applications. You can check if your .ie domain name is available and register it online at www.iedr.ie/.

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Mark Sweetman, ACA

Mark Sweetman, ACA

As a Chartered Accountant I've built my experience working within the SaaS and digital technology industries, growing early-stage businesses from the inside. I help digital entrepreneurs understand their companies and ensure they have all the tools they require to succeed and thrive. I love adopting new tech solutions and making use of these to increase efficiency within our clients' businesses.