Trade Names (Business Names) in Russia

Article 1538 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation determines the procedure for providing legal protection to commercial designations (trade or business names).

Commercial designation – means of individualization of:

  • legal entities engaged in entrepreneurial activities;
  • legal entities that are not commercial organizations but have the right to engage in entrepreneurial activity; and
  • individual entrepreneurs. (Individual entrepreneurship is a type of enterprise that is owned and run by a single natural person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity.)

Commercial designations have a specific object of individualization – various kinds of enterprises, including:

  • commercial: shops, markets;
  • industrial and manufacturing: factories, plants;
  • entertaining: cinemas, theaters, casinos, etc.;

The mentioned persons may use their trade names for individualization of commercial, industrial, and other enterprises without registering them as company names and without mandatory incorporation into constituent documents and the Unified State Register of Legal Entities (this requirement is mandatory for a company name).

A commercial designation may be used by the rights holder to identify one or more enterprises. For one enterprise, two or more commercial designations cannot be used simultaneously.

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