Trade mark, business name, company name and domain name serve different purposes.

trade mark is used to identify a product or service in the marketplace. It is not used to identify a business.

business name is used to identify a business that is registered with the Business Registration Office of the Inland Revenue Department of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, and may be registered by an individual, a partnership, or company or other incorporated body, or an unincorporated association. A business name is not used to identify a product or a service.

company name is the name of a company, which is a legal entity. A company name is not necessary if you trade as a sole proprietor, or as a partnership.

domain name is an internet address and is used to locate a specific website.

While each serves a quite different purpose, together, they can all be part of a branding strategy. You may therefore need all of them.

For example:

  1. Your company name may be registered as

    Hong Kong Mirage Designs Limited
  2. However, since that is a lengthy name, you may decide to also register a business name such as

    Mirage Designs

    to make it easier for your customers to recognise your business. If your company name was shorter, and a name that you were happy to be recognised by your customers, you might decide that a business name was not necessary.
  3. You decide that you want your products or services be identified in the marketplace as yours, in both Hong Kong and the Mainland China, so you register the following trade mark:

    Mirage Designs

    in both Hong Kong and the Mainland China.
  4. You also want your website to have a complementary name, so that your customers can easily find your website, you therefore register the domain name


    and to protect similar domain names so that customers are not confused, you might also consider registering the following additional domain names: