Checking the Availability of a Company Name with CIPC

Checking the Availability of a Company Name with CIPC


One of the major changes brought about by the New Companies Act that will affect start-ups is the availability of business names.

Under the new Act, name reservation is no longer mandatory before registering a company.

If a proposed name is rejected the company may still be registered and the registration number then becomes the name of the company at incorporation until an appropriate name has been reserved. Furthermore, symbols are allowed in company names and all languages are accepted.

Related: 20 Brilliant Brand Logos

To register a business name, you need to complete a CoR 9.1 form. The fee for a manual application is R75 for each name, while electronic is R50. You should indicate up to four alternatives to be considered for reservation in the listed order while only one will be registered.

You are also required to indicate whether any word, number or other element constitutes a registered trademark, and provide supporting documents for an associated name. The applicant of a name reservation must be the applicant on the new company registration documents, and will need to include a certified copy of their ID.

Searching and securing a company name

The new process does not require business owners to check that the name is available before the business can be registered. The CIPC will check the name against existing registered businesses and reject the names that are too similar. It is still possible, however, to check whether the company name you prefer is reserved but clicking on ‘Additional Services’ on the CIPC’s website. You will then be re-directed to the old CIPRO website and will see an entry field under ‘Name Search’ on the left of the webpage.

Related: When Do I Register a Trademark

Alternatively, you can reserve a name on the CIPC’s website. By doing so you will be informed of its availability. To reserve a name online you need to do the following:

Step 1: Visit CIPC Site

Log onto the CIPC website

Step 2: Register

Register as a Customer. If you are not an existing customer, click on ‘Customer Registration’ to register and complete the required fields and submit.

Step 3: Payment

Before filing your documents you must ensure that you have enough funds available for the required transactions. Deposits may either be made at the CIPC walk-in centre in Pretoria, bank deposit or EFT payment. Once the deposit is reflecting within your account, you may continue to file your applications. You may confirm whether your deposit is reflecting by logging on to the CIPC website, clicking on Additional Services, then Customer Log In, Customers, Customer Transactions, Selecting the date period, and Show Statement.

Step 4: Login

Login as a customer by clicking on Customer Login. Type in the Customer Code and Password selected at Customer Registration. Click on Login.

Step 5: Preliminary Search

Select ‘Name Reservation’ option under Name Reservation. Complete the required fields and click Submit. Select ‘Proposed Name’ or at the drop down box at Name Reservation Type option. Provide a maximum of four possible names in order of preference. Only one name will be registered.

A name may consist of number, letters, certain special characters ( only( ) @ . ‘ ) or a combination thereof. The system will do a preliminary search on the names provided and indicate any possible comparative names or any problematic words that has been used that may result in the application being rejected.

After the preliminary search, you may either go back to amend the proposed names or continue with the name reservation application by clicking on either Amend reservation or Continue with reservation. After you amended the application, the system will conduct a new preliminary search based on the revised proposed names.

Step 6: Business Name Reservation Application

The information provided on the online application is processed and the transactional information (assigned tracking number, deducted fee and application date is reflected).

You are advised to print this document by clicking on Print in order for later reference in corresponding with CIPC. The name is only approved after the CIPC name reservation processing team has processed the application.

Once reserved or rejected, you will receive an e-mail indicating the reservation detail for use in filing other documents with the CIPC.

Click on Print in order to print or save the application.

Step 7: Reservation of Company Name

Once one of the proposed names has been approved a form CoR9.4 will be issued to the customer who filed the name reservation. Once the CoR9.4 has been issued, such may be used in registering a new company or co-operative or changing the company, close corporation or co-operative name by filing it with the required documents.

Related: Top Tips For Choosing A Domain Name

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.
  • i want to check the following names whether they are registered or not

    1. Macharora mining and construction
    2. Macharora civil works

  • George Booysen

    I would like to know whether the following company name is available, namely Shiloh Products.

  • Mureeda Kasper

    Pls check for me Ansaar Burial Services

  • chritoff malgas

    pls check for me my company mzanzi wood creations enterprise

  • Irshaad

    I can check for you and register your new companies and assist with any of your reporting requirements. E-mail me on

  • steve nyefolo

    I want to check if my company , 4U EXPRESS exists ?.

  • Cindy

    Hi i would like to know which companies have vendors on mines and is available pls.

  • Thamsanqa Ngamla Ngomane

    i would like to check whether TISSA CC in registerd or not

  • Adrian Holmes

    Hi, I wanted to register but I have no idea what my Customer Code is or where to find this out?

    Please can someone advise on how I can obtain a customer code in order to then register with CIPC?


  • Hadebe Mbongeni

    can i find out if shiselo trading entreprise is registered.

  • Nomonde

    I would like to know how much it is to register a new company with my own name
    if the company is registered today – can I use the company name in a presentation the following day?

  • Willie Snyman

    i want to know how much do I own on my bussniss RWE Electrical

  • jean

    I want to find out if cape pools & fiberglass specialist are a registered company

  • Bagudi

    I want to know whether if Starcap Transport a division of Charmcure PTY(LTD) with registration number 2013/134235/07 registered or not

  • Ceaser Mpopothi

    I want to check if my company Altravox exists

  • Luke

    I have attempted to reserve a company name with CIPC, I did the application a few days ago. When I logged on today to check the status of the application it states “9.4 Name reservation application name reservation rejected” however I have yet to receive an email from them to say its been rejected. It has been about a week from application to rejected status, is this the average time taken? should I attempt to register another name instead? or wait to receive the confirmation email?

  • Kim

    I have been trying to register a customer code on the CIPC website, it accepts my details on page 1 but then claims by ID and Surname don’t match. I’m at my wits end and have been holding for a consultant for 20 min. Can anyone help?

  • Nonceba

    I want to know. If Issibusiso samaqolo is appears as Privert Company

  • Thembani

    Hi, I would like to know after the company name has been approved, what do I do next

  • fortunate

    i want to know if my company name is already changed from this name UBUHLE BENHLANHLA CLEANING SERVICES to between this names 1.fortunate cleaning services 2. Fortunate for the women cleaning services 3. fortunate women empowerment cleaning services

  • fortunate

    i want to know if my company name is already changed from this name UBUHLE BENHLANHLA CLEANING SERVICES to between this names 1.fortunate cleaning services 2. Fortunate for the women cleaning services 3. fortunate women empowerment cleaning services