South Africa Business Name Search

To launch your South African business venture, you need to stand out from the crowd with a great name. Settling on the perfect name, checking if it’s available, and registering with the government can be a hassle.

Lucky for you, we’ve created this handy guide for anyone wishing to register a South Africa business name. Read on for helpful ways to prepare for and carry out your official business name registration. 

Generate Business Name Ideas

Before getting into the registration process, you need to develop a brilliant name that reflects your brand. Here are some simple tips to make this process more straightforward.

This might seem counterintuitive when trying to find an original name, but researching your competitors is a great first step to creating your perfect business name. Consider which business names within your industry are the most striking and why. 

Try out various language techniques, like rhythm or alliteration, and come up with a list of bold keywords you wish to include. Avoid choosing overly common keywords or keywords that are complex or difficult to pronounce. 

Take these keywords to one of our many business name generators and let the magic of technology take care of the rest. These generators will give you various suggestions, arming you with a selection of potential names.

How to Search for Available Names in South Africa

You can take precautions to ensure that whatever name you choose will not be rejected by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). 

We advise conducting a web search and a trademark search before submitting your name reservation application. This is a great first step in getting a general sense of whether your proposed business name is already registered and therefore unavailable. 

The CIPC website combines the name search and name reservation process into one. You need to create an account and use the name search tool to compare your proposed name against registered business names in South Africa. 

If your proposed name is unavailable, you’ll be notified of the reason. For example, if it contains prohibited words or is already registered. A green flag will appear if your name is available, and you can continue the process to reserve your business name. 

How to Register a Business Name in South Africa

To register your business in South Africa, you must reserve a business name. Visit the CIPC website, click the ‘On-line transacting’ tab and then ‘New E-Services.’ From here, you can start your name reservation application. 

You can add up to four names to your application to increase the chances of success. Once you’ve completed your application, you’ll receive confirmation of whether your request has been approved within a few days. 

Once you’ve reserved your business name, you’re finally ready to register your business with the South African government. This can be done using the CIPC New E-Services platform, on the website, via any participating bank, at self-service terminals or using the CIPC mobile app. 

To find a corresponding domain name, use our Instant Domain Check. 

Policies and Procedures for Registering a Business Name in South Africa

You’re well on your way to registering your South Africa business name. Now is a good time to get to know the policies and procedures involved to make sure you don’t make any errors. 

  • You can register private, public, non-profit, personal liability, state-owned, external and cooperative companies. 
  • Companies can register online if all the directors are South African citizens with an RSA Identity Document / Smart Card. Contact the CIPC directly for guidance if you don’t fall under this category. 
  • You can’t reserve a business name which is too similar or the same as any name on file, and you also need to avoid offensive or prohibited language when creating your business name. 

South Africa Business Registration Office
Phone:086 100 2472
EmailLodge an enquiry via the Enquiry System
Address:The dti CampusBlock F77 Meintjies StreetSunnyside Pretoria
Opening Hours:8.00 am – 3.30 pm, Monday – Friday

How to Use an Online Portal to Register Business names in South Africa

Online filing is the fastest and easiest way to register your business name in South Africa. All you need to do is create an account and use either the CIPC Customer Portal or BizPortal. 

You can complete the name search, name reservation and business registration process using the same system. Once you’ve completed all these stages, you will receive a company certificate within a few days. 

How Costly is it to Register a South Africa Business Name?

Reserving a business name costs R50, and registering your company costs R125 to R475, depending on your entity. If you want to trademark your business name or seek legal advice, there may be additional costs. 

Why Registering a Business Name in South Africa is Important

Registering a business name in South Africa is essential for four key reasons. 

  • Business Name Protection. Registering prevents others from using your name, giving your brand originality. 
  • Tax Purposes. You need a registered business name to pay tax, which is a legal requirement.
  • Financial Assistance. It’s easier to open a company bank account and manage your finances with a registered business name.
  • Business Compliance. To adhere to legal requirements and ensure business compliance, you must register your business name.

Support for Registering a Business Name in South Africa

To access support when registering your business name in South Africa, refer to the CIPC website. 

They have a list of useful contacts to help you set up your new business in South Africa. They also have video tutorials and step-by-step guides to the business name registration process and step-by-step guides. 

If you still require further help, you can contact the CIPC at 086 100 2472 or submit an online enquiry. 


To register your South Africa business name, you need to follow a few basic steps. 

  • Come up with a great name that encapsulates your business and check it is available. 
  • Reserve your business name for a maximum period of 30 days.
  • Secure your business name by officially registering your business with the CIPC.

Following these steps will ensure that your business starts off on the right foot. Registering your business name adds credibility to your business, makes managing finances more straightforward, and adheres to legal compliance. 

If you want to start a business outside of South Africa, refer to our list of business name search pages to find out how the registration process differs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Useful information:

- You will need to create an account as a customer before you can begin registering your business.

- Applications you will need to upload to reserve a business name or register a company can be found on the Company Forms and Fees page.

- Depending on how you choose to register, the fee for reserving a business name may either be R50 or R75.

To register your business name, you'll need to prepare and file a document with the following details:

- The applicant's name and customer code.

- The address of the applicant.

- The business name.

- The required fee for your chosen method for applying.

  (Source: Application For Defensive Name Registration)

The CIPC makes it very easy to see what names aren't available, thanks to the business name database and convenient program that you can use to make sure your business name is available before you apply.

Use these resources as much as you need, and be careful to create a name that is unique. If you need to, you can include a few different name choices in your reservation application to give yourself better chances for having a name approved.

If the name you want is already taken, it's best to come up with something new and unique.

If you're still unable to find a business name that suits you, try using our business name generator to get unique name ideas (click here to find our business name generator).

To access support when registering your South Africa business name, visit the CIPC website. Here you can find handy step-by-step guides for every aspect of the process, as well as an FAQ section and YouTube videos.

The online application process can be completed in around 20 minutes. You’ll receive your Name Reservation confirmation within seven and twenty-one days and your Company Certificate within five days after that.


Matija Kolaric

Matija Kolaric

Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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