Would you invest at the Bank of Wishes - or pay a premium to be covered by Spy Insurance?

Fortunately, you don't have to make that decision - these companies didn't make it past the name registration process.

God Save The Queen Ltd, Bank of Wishes and Spy Insurance, are just a few of the more than 5500 firm names attempted to be registered, but declined, with the Companies Office last year.

In the 10 months to October there were 4032 failed name registration attempts.


Information released under the Official Information Act reveals "royal", "queen", "scout", "ministry of" and "New Zealand" were popular phrases chosen to be part of company names attempted to be registered.

While it is not required for a registered company to have the same as a business' trading name, many are the same or similar, and a company does not have to provide or mention its trading name in annual returns.

There is a number of reasons why attempted company names are declined.

According to the Companies Office, and under various laws, a registered company cannot have a name that is offensive, contrary to public policy or likely to cause offence to religious or community groups.

Company names which use words such as Anzac or Red Cross, restricted or protected by laws such as the Flag, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981, are also not permitted, along with name proposals which include symbols and numbers - unless they are used as a numerical marker such as '$2 Shop'.

Macrons are not permitted for use either, unless used in Māori names or places.

A spokeswoman for the Companies Office said all name applications were checked to ensure they are able to be reserved in accordance with the Companies Act 1993.

She said most company names were refused because the proposed name was identical or too similar to another company already registered.

As of September 30 there were 612,119 companies registered, around 400,000 are believed to be small and medium-sized enterprises.