Business Name Reservation in Estonia: Things to Consider

From March 1, 2024, important changes in the Commercial Register Act and the Commercial Code entered into force in Estonia, also bringing the possibility of reserving a business name. Both natural and legal persons can reserve a business name.

To avoid malicious reservations, one business name reservation per person is allowed for six months, which can be extended once by three months for a good reason, no later than 5 working days before the expiration date. It is not possible to book the same name repeatedly.

Why to reserve a business name?

  • Reserving is a good way to protect the value of your brand name and investments made in the brand;
  • It is possible to confirm the availability of the business name;
  • Additional time for legal actions – reserving gives the possibility of holding the desired name for a short time, thereby giving, for example, time to plan and complete the actions necessary for the registration of a legal entity. This allows the necessary paperwork to be completed without having to risk giving up the chosen name during the process;
  • Increase brand recognition – by reserving a business name, companies can start building brand awareness even before their goods or services debut.
  • Reserving a name before registering a trademark (which is a time-consuming and paid process) allows you to partially protect your registered trademark in advance.

The steps required to reserve a business name:

  1. Prepare a business name reservation application in the e-Business Register portal.

When preparing the application, it is important to include the following information:

  • The legal form of the company on which the reserved business name will be used. The reserved business name can only be used in the chosen legal form. If you reserve a business name for an OÜ (e.g. “OÜ X”), it is possible to get protection only for the name “OÜ X” and not for the name “AS X” for the duration of the reservation – a separate reservation must be made for this.
  • The main area of activity of the legal person that will use the reserved business name. The name cannot be used by a legal person with a different area of activity, although this does not exclude activities in other fields. When reporting the field of activity to the register, the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK) is used.
  • Reservable business name and form of name. The business name of the company must be clearly distinguishable from other business names of companies entered and reserved in the register. The name may not contain another person’s protected trademark without notarized or digitally signed consent. The business name must not be misleading regarding the legal form, the field, or the scope of activity of the entrepreneur. Also, the name must not conflict with good manners. Name form refers to the way in which the legal form is presented in the name. The name forms can be, for example, the following: Osaühing X, osaühing X, X osaühing, X Osaühing, OÜ X, X OÜ.
  • When reserving a name as a natural person, you must also add an e-mail address to which the necessary documents and information can be sent. When booking as a legal entity, there is no need to add an email address, as it can be found in the business register.
  • Additional documents. If necessary, you can add, for example, the consent of the trademark owner to use the name protected as a trademark.
  1. Sign the application.
  2. Pay a state fee of 150 euros.
  3. Submit the application to the e-Business Register.

What else to notice?

  • A company wishing to use a reserved name must obtain consent from the person who reserved it. The name of the person who reserved the business name can be seen in the name search query of the e-business register. The consent must be attached to the application for entry of the reserved business name in the commercial register.
  • To adopt the reserved business name, you must submit an application for registration or change, where you can choose the desired name. The application must be signed (or a document of consent must be attached) by the person who reserved the name (in the case of a legal entity, a person entitled to represent, for example, a management board member). The application must be submitted no later than 5 working days before the reservation expires.
  • If the company with the reserved business name has not been entered in the business register during the validity of the business name reservation, the registrar deletes the reservation on its own initiative.
  • A business name reservation may be cancelled by submitting an application to the registrar. The paid state fee is not refunded in case of cancellation of the reservation.

Our specialists are ready to help you if you have additional questions or need additional assistance.