Company formation and accounting in Latvia
Last updated: 2012-07-10
A firm is a name of a company/merchant (person registered in the commercial register of the Republic of Latvia). Any company can be identified by its name/firm (and by registration number). So it is important to have different names/firms.

According to the Commercial law of the Republic of Latvia a firm (name) of a merchant must be clearly and certainly different from other firms, recorded and declared for entry in the Commercial register and other registers maintained by the Register of enterprises.

Firms (company names) are not clearly and certainly different if the only difference is the spaces and punctuation between letters or numbers or the use of uppercase and lowercase letters. For example, according to the Commercial law, the firm "company" and "c.o.m.p.a.n.y" are identical.

A governmental notary of the Register of enterprises decides (determines) if a firm of particular company differs from firms that are already recorded and declared for entry. If a firm is not different, a governmental notary postpones registration and the company must change a name (firm) to comply with legislation requirements.

If firms are similar, a governmental notary, making the decision (postpone registration or not), judges if the firms are so similar that may mislead third persons and harm the company.

Sometimes the only difference between firms is only one letter. In the Commercial register there are registered firms where the only difference is one letter. And in some cases if to translate such firms from Latvian to, for example, English, translated name would be identical. A governmental notary has no obligation to postpone registration in such cases.

What harm may cause a similarity of firms? For example, using a firm, similar to well known firm with good reputation one may get/take over the well known company's customers and partners.

If a management of a company believes that a firm/name of another company is so similar that interfere with the operation of his company, then the management can dispute registration in the Register of enterprises and the management also has rights to go to the court with a claim to terminate the usage of the firm/name and to compensate losses.

If you register new company or change a firm of already registered company, you can check the firm distinctness in a website of the Register of Enterprises

Choosing a firm for your company, you must also check trademarks registered in Latvia. If in a firm you want to use a registered trademark, you must get written permission from the owner of the trademark.

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