Prohibited Business Names

Prohibited Business Names & Logos – Must Know for Entrepreneurs

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Prohibited Business Names & Logos

Choosing a business name for a company or business is one of the first step in starting a business preceding the registration of logo and trademark. While choosing a name for the company or business, Entrepreneurs must be aware of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, under which certain words and marks require prior approval of the Government for usage. In this article, we provide a list of prohibited business names and logos in India.

Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950

No one can use or continue to use, names or marks listed below without the prior approval of the Central Government or State Government in any trade, business or in title or any patents, trademark or design.

Name, Emblem, Seal of Flag of the Government

Name, emblem or official seal of the Government of India or of any State or Central Government, or any other insignia or coat-of-arms used by any such Government or by a Department of any such Government is prohibited from use as business name or logo.

The Indian National Flag or any name which suggests the patronage of the Government of India or the Government of a State or connection with any local authority or any corporation or body constituted by the Government cannot used as business name or logo.

Name, emblem or official seal of the President, Governor, Sadar-i-Riyasat or Republic or Union of India. The name or pictorial representation of Rashtrapati, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Raj Bhavan.

Names “Ashoka Chakra” or “Dharma Chakra” or the pictorial representation of AshokaChakra as used in the India National Flag or in the official seal or emblem of the Government of India or of any State Government or of a Department of any such Government.

Name of the Parliament or the Legislature of any State, or the Supreme Court, or the High Court of any State, or the Central Secretariat, or the Secretariat of any State Government or any other Government Office or the pictorial representation of any building occupied by any of the aforesaid institutions.

Government & Organizations

Name, emblem or official seal of the following organizations cannot be used in connection with a business name or mark.

  • United Nations Organization
  • World Health Organization.
  • St. John Ambulance Association (India), and the St. John Ambulance Brigade (India), consisting of the device of a white eight pointed cross embellished in the four principal angles, whether or not the device is surrounded or accompanied by concentric circles or other decoration or by lettering.
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  • International Civil Aviation Organization.
    • ICAO Logo
      ICAO Logo
  • International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol.
    • Interpol Logo
      Interpol Logo
  • World Meteorological Organization.
  • Tuberculosis Association of India.
  • International Atomic Agency.
  • Bharat Scouts and Guides.
  • International Olympic Committee.
  • Sri Sarada Math and Ramakrishna Sarada Mission consisting of a Swan (facing right) floating on water, with a Lotus in the foreground and the rising sun in the background, the whole being encircled by a wild serpent (facing right) with the words superimposed on the bottom portion.
  • Rama Krishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission consisting of a Swan floating on waters, with a lotus in the foreground and the rising sun in the background, the whole being encircled by a hooded serpent, with the words superimposed on the bottom portion.

Important Leaders & Personalities

The name of pictorial representation of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or the Prime Minister of India or the words “Gandhi”, “Nehru” or “Shivaji”, except the pictorial use on calendars where only the names of the manufacturers and printers of the calendars are given and the calendars are not used for advertising goods.

Government Medals & Badges

Medals, badges or decorations instituted by the Government from time to time or the miniatures or replicas of such medals, badges or decorations or the names of such medals, badges or decorations or of the miniatures or replicas thereof.

Online tool to check company or business name availability in India.

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