I want to explain the difference between a trading name and a business name especially as it applies to pharmacy businesses. I want to use this medium to answer the questions I have been getting which bothers on trading name versus business name  from my last post on important documents you need to register a pharmacy. Most importantly, I want to explain to you how to protect both names.

But let me start with an example. The trading name of a major company in Nigeria is EMERGING MARKETS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES (EMTS). I am sure that a huge number of Nigerians have never heard about this company despite the fact that we do business with them everyday. EMTS is the corporate affairs commission registered business name for a company with the trading name ETISALAT NIGERIA.

The popular GOOGLE is a trading name for a company called ALPHABET INC. Business name is what your company is legally know as while your trading name is what your customers know you as.

What this means is that, when you want to start a company, you go to CAC and the name they most likely will approve for your will be very long. For instance you may want to own ADENIKE PHARMACY LIMITED but when you go to CAC, the most likely name they may approve for you will be ADENIKE IBRAHIM OKEKE PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES LIMITED.

The approved names are now longer because a lot of sound alike names now exist on CAC data base. So, CAC will insist that new applicants add more word to their names for it to be approved.

Now if you look at the name that they approved for the above pharmacist, it will be extremely difficult for him or her to get her customers to remember this name which is the legal name of her business.

What the pharmacist now needs to do is to get a TRADING NAME which in this case is  ADENIKE PHARMACY. To protect the name, she needs to go to ministry of commerce this time and go for TRADE MARK REGISTRATION for ADENIKE PHARMACY.

This is just like Emerging markets telecommunication services  did by registering ETISALAT NIGERIA too as a trading name.

This way, you can do business with your customers using your TRADING NAME but all your official transactions like your account name must bear your CAC given name. Its just like your own personal name.  The name on your birth certificate is your business name while the nickname your family and friends know you with is your trading name.

This is very important for retail pharmacy owners. Its important you operate with a trading name if the name given to you by CAC is too long. It makes it easier for you to build your brand identity and for your name to stick easily in the minds of your customers.

If you are still confused, call me on 08023622171 or consult a lawyer.

For more strategies on building a viable business, join our upcoming course on KANSELOR UNIVERSITY BY CLICKING HERE


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