Decree on Commercial Titles

February 13, 2014

The Ministry of Customs and Trade Decree on Commercial titles is put into effect by being published on the Official Gazette dated 14.02.2014. The Decree was based on Article 34 of the Statutory Decree on the Organization and Roles of the Ministry of Customs and Trade, dated 3/6/2011 and No.640, and Article 210 of the Turkish Commercial Code, dated 13/1/2011 and No.6102. The Decree provides the following: 1) The commercial title can be freely chosen, provided that the phrases indicating the business scope and company type are in Turkish. Phrases to be used in the commercial title will not be unrealistic or of a nature that would cause misconception of the identity of the merchant, as well as the scale, significance and financial situation of his business. Phrases to be used in the commercial title will not be against public order, national interests and morality, or impair cultural and historic values. 2) Commercial titles may include the words "Türk" (Turkish), "Türkiye" (Turkey), "Cumhuriyet" (Republic) and "Milli" (National) only in a plain, simple form and without any pre/postscripts, and subject to the permission of the Council of Ministers. Permission of the Council of Ministers will not be required in cases where such phrases are a part of the merchant real person's name or surname, which must be used in the commercial title as per Article 41 and 42 of the Turkish Commercial Code. 3) Commercial titles of joint stock and limited liability companies should include at least one of their areas of activity. Phrases indicating area of activity may not be abbreviated. Joint stock companies whose primary purpose is to participate in other businesses are obliged to include the phrase "holding" in their commercial titles. Commercial titles may include officially defined names of locations. However, inclusion of the name of any country in commercial titles will be subject to the permission of the authorities of such country. 4) A commercial title that is deregistered from the trade registry may not be registered to another merchant for five years following the date of announcement of such deregistration on the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette. 5) A commercial title will not be registered before the addition of any phrases that may be necessary in order to distinguish it from any other commercial title previously registered in any registration office in Turkey. A commercial title will not be registered before any modifications that may be necessary in order to distinguish it from any other commercial title previously registered in any registration office in Turkey, with its additional phrase under Article 46 of the Turkish Commercial Code and the first phrase indicating the area of activity are the same. Commercial titles with the same additional phrase with a previously registered title, but with a different phrase indicating area of activity may be registered without any additions for distinguishing purposes. A commercial titles with only the phrase indicating company type different from a previously registered title may not be registered without an addition for distinguishing purposes. 6) Applicants whose registration applications are rejected will have the right to object to the rejection decision within 8 days, by the commercial courts of first instance having jurisdiction over the region where the related trade registry office is located.

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