Trade name registration in Dominican Republic.

  • By:Vianela Morillo

The registration of trade names in the Dominican Republic is an innovative, appealing and, above all, essential topic for anyone involved in an activity that merits the use of a trade name and its protection.

The registration of trade names is overseen by the National Intellectual Property Office (known in Spanish as ONAPI), which was established in May 2000. As you can see, it is a fairly new topic in the country, which started in the wake of the establishment of Law 20-00, on intellectual property.

Given that it has only been 17 years since a law was written and an institution was established to oversee this topic, there are many doubts surrounding this topic, and some people may even attempt to diminish the importance of registering trade names in the country. However, having an unregistered trade name can cause terrible consequences to your idea or business, directly or indirectly.

Registering a name or business identity does not make you subject to:

  • Tax liability.
  • No type of accounting responsibility; a name registration does not grant you a business status in any way. It is a single transaction registration for the purposes of this topic.

Additionally, you only have a single payment, which is the registration fee itself.

On the other hand, for international or global brands, it is important and extremely useful to carry out this registration in various countries, thus preventing their brand or target from being mistaken with national businesses. With the advances in modern technology, where everything is one click away, the possibility of having records with identical names would cause confusion on anyone who finds that information on the web. This confusion might result in potential clients reaching your competitors instead of your company. Therefore, international brands should register their trade name, in order to avoid confusion with other brands.


Ownership of Trade Names

The registration of a trade name and its ownership is not perpetual. It is valid for 10 years, after which it must be renewed.

Importance of Trade Name Registrations

It is very important to register your trade name in the Dominican Republic for the following reasons:

  • Identity of your product or service.
  • Guarantee that there will be no other business, commerce or company under the same name. In the event there is, you will have have the means to stop the use of said name and prevent that party from seeking compensation for damages.
  • You may establish your company at any time, using your trade name or business identity (which is a requirement).

Trade Name Holders

You can see who can become an owner or holder of a trade name below:

  • Individuals and legal entities; can be foreign nationals and foreign companies.
  • A trade name may also have several holders.

Requirements to request the registration of a Trade Name in the Dominican Republic

  1. Determine the Trade Name you wish to register.
  2. Identity document of the parties who will become holders. The accepted documents are:
  • Dominican identity card (known as cédula), for Dominican citizens or foreign nationals who have been issued one.
  • Passport, if the applicant is a foreign national.
  • Commercial Registry Certificate, in the event that a company will be the holder of said name.
  1. Applicant’s address.
  2. Business purpose pursued by the name or to which it is related.
  3. Telephone number.

The Property Certificate Title of the Trade Name is issued in five (5) business days.

Where to Request a Trade Name in the Dominican Republic

This request can be made remotely or through a law firm. If you are abroad, we can send you your Property Certificate of the Trade Name via courier.

If you want more information or a formal consultation you can contact us.

We are available




Posted in: Companies and Corporations, Foreigners in the Dominican Republic