Picking a name for a new company in Cambodia is relatively straightforward, though there are a few pitfalls to keep in mind. First and foremost, choose a name that resonates with your customers. This is mostly a question of marketing, though you should also be sure that the name isn’t translated into Khmer to mean something silly or inappropriate.

From a legal perspective, the main concern is choosing a name acceptable to the Ministry of Commerce when you incorporate (see here for more on that). Though there’s no public list of acceptable names, you can submit proposals to see if they’d be approved, before going ahead with the incorporation. The Ministry checks three main things:

  • That the name, or a similar name, isn’t already registered by someone else. This is a good thing, as once your company’s name is registered, the Ministry will prevent others from coming along and registering something too close to your own.
  • That the name isn’t generic or too descriptive. Names like “Rice Processor Co. Ltd.” aren’t registerable because a competitive marketplace needs to allow others to use those terms too. Adding a personal name or some arbitrary words would probably work – like “Mike’s Rice Processor” or “Tiger Rice Processor”.
  • That the name isn’t offensive, absurd, or otherwise inappropriate. The Ministry has some discretion here, but common sense is usually a good guide.

After registering the company, if you’ll be selling products with your name or logo on it, it’s a really good idea to also register them as trademarks. That’s a separate matter, see here for more on that.

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