Determining a Trade Name in Turkey

Determining a trade name in Turkey is a critical process for entrepreneurs and businesses aiming to establish their presence in the Turkish market.It is also one of the most frequent asked questions from investors for company registration in Turkey.

A trade name, or commercial name, is essential as it identifies the business and differentiates it from others in the market. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to determine a trade name in Turkey, including the legal requirements, procedural steps, and practical tips for ensuring compliance and strategic branding.

 Understanding Trade Names

A trade name is the official name under which a business operates. In Turkey, trade names are governed by the Turkish Commercial Code (TCC), which ensures that each trade name is unique and not misleading. This regulation helps maintain fair competition and protects consumers from confusion.

Legal Framework

The Turkish Commercial Code stipulates the rules for trade names to prevent conflicts and ensure clarity in the marketplace. The TCC requires that:

1. Uniqueness: A trade name must be distinguishable from existing names registered in the trade registry. This prevents businesses from using names that are too similar to those already in use.
2. Truthfulness: The trade name should not be misleading regarding the business’s scope and activities.
3. Language: While there are no strict rules regarding the language of the trade name, it should be easily understood and pronounceable by the Turkish-speaking population. However, initial word of trade name can be in foreigner language as long as it is written with the letters in Turkish alphabet.

Steps to Determine a Trade Name

1. Preliminary Search

Before registering a trade name, conduct a preliminary search to ensure its uniqueness. The Turkish Trade Registry Gazette (Türkiye Ticaret Sicili Gazetesi) is the official publication for trade name registrations. You can search the database online to see if your desired trade name is already in use.

 2. Compliance with Naming Conventions

Ensure your trade name complies with the naming conventions set by the Turkish Commercial Code. The name should not imply a different type of business or mislead the public regarding the nature of the business. For example, a sole proprietorship should not use the terms “company” or “corporation” in its name.

3. Trademark Considerations

Check if the trade name can be registered as a trademark. This step is crucial for protecting your brand legally. The Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (Türk Patent ve Marka Kurumu) provides resources for trademark searches and applications. Registering your trade name as a trademark ensures exclusive rights to use the name in commercial activities and protects against infringement.

4. Legal Entity Structure

The legal structure of your business (e.g., limited liability company, joint-stock company, sole proprietorship) can affect the naming process. Certain terms and abbreviations are reserved for specific types of legal entities. For example, “A.Ş.” denotes a joint-stock company, while “Ltd. Şti.” signifies a limited liability company.

5. Registration Process

Once you have selected and confirmed the availability of your trade name, the next step is to register it with the relevant authorities. This involves:

– Drafting Articles of Association: This document outlines the structure and operations of the business. It must include the chosen trade name.
– Submitting Documents to the Trade Registry Office: Required documents typically include the Articles of Association, proof of identity, and the completed application form.
– Publication in the Trade Registry Gazette: After approval, the trade name is published in the official Gazette, making it legally recognized.

Rule of Trade Registry for

In Turkey we are not completely free to determine the name of the company.

Company name is composed of 3 elements as below ;

[initial name] + [sector] + [company type]

The first one initial name can be a name as you wish for example Lalamove

Sector will be the business activitiy of the company and it should be in Turkish language

Company type shall be in Turkish language as well, it will be Limited Şirketi.

Practical Tips for Choosing a Trade Name Determining a Trade Name in Turkey

1. Reflect Business Identity: The trade name should convey the essence of the business. It should be memorable, relevant, and easy to pronounce.
2. Future Expansion: Consider future growth and expansion when selecting a trade name. Avoid names that might limit the scope of your business as it evolves.
3. **Domain Availability**: Check the availability of the trade name as a domain name. In today’s digital age, having a matching domain name is crucial for online presence and branding.
4. **Cultural Sensitivity**: Be mindful of cultural nuances and connotations in the Turkish context. Ensure the name is culturally appropriate and does not carry negative meanings.

 Common Challenges and Solution

1. Similarity to Existing Names: If your desired trade name is similar to an existing one, consider slight modifications or adding distinctive elements to ensure differentiation.
2. Trademark Conflicts: If the trade name conflicts with an existing trademark, consult a legal expert to navigate potential disputes or consider alternative names.
3. Legal Compliance: Navigating the legal requirements

can be complex, especially for foreign entrepreneurs. Hiring a legal advisor or consultant familiar with Turkish commercial law can streamline the process and ensure compliance.


The Role of Technology

Technological advancements have simplified the process of determining and registering a trade name in Turkey. Online databases and digital tools provided by the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette and the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office facilitate quick searches and applications, reducing the time and effort required.


Determining a trade name in Turkey involves a strategic blend of legal compliance, branding considerations, and market research. By following the legal framework outlined by the Turkish Commercial Code and utilizing available resources, businesses can successfully register a unique and effective trade name. This process not only ensures legal protection but also establishes a strong foundation for brand identity and market presence.

For entrepreneurs and businesses aiming to enter the Turkish market, understanding the intricacies of trade name determination is crucial. By conducting thorough preliminary searches, complying with naming conventions, considering trademark registration, and navigating the registration process with care, businesses can secure a trade name that reflects their identity and supports their growth.

Ultimately, the effort invested in selecting and registering a trade name pays off in establishing a distinctive and legally protected brand, paving the way for success in Turkey’s dynamic and competitive business environment.

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