The commercial sign is obligatorily a sign or an appellation which is used to identify and locate geographically a commercial establishment, and which makes it possible to distinguish it from the other commercial establishments.

1.Condition of attribution of a commercial sign :

To be attributed, the requested name must meet the following criteria :

  • The name requested must not be contrary to public order and good morals (It is forbidden to use words contrary to public order and good morals or terms suggesting that the business is engaged in illicit activities).
  • The name requested must not be confusing.

The name must not already be in use.

  • It must not be confusing with an existing trademark.
  • It must not imply that it is a public body or a partner of an international organization.

2.Obtaining a commercial sign :

The Central Register of Commerce held by the OMPIC issues a negative certificate attesting to the availability of the requested commercial name (name, sign and acronym if applicable). (Article 33 paragraph 2 of the Commercial Code).

The negative certificate is dematerialized. It is identified by a unique number, and does not require a stamp or signature.

3.Obligation of registration in the trade register :

Any sign and elements stipulated in article 74 of the Commercial Code whose beneficiary will not have made the registration in the Trade Register within ninety (90) days from the date of issue of the negative certificate, by the Central Trade Register service, cannot be registered in the Trade Register.

Merchants wishing to have a commercial sign must mention it in their declaration of registration in the Commercial Register. (Article 42 paragraph 9 of the Commercial Code).

4.Formalities for registration in the commercial register :

In order for the commercial sign to be valid, it is indispensable to register it in the commercial register. To do so, the person concerned must present to the clerk of the commercial register office the negative certificate dated less than ninety (90) days, as well as the declaration (model 4) in three signed and legalized copies.

The commercial sign is protected only on a local radiation. This protection is also limited to the field of activity of the commercial establishment.


Written by Nezha BELKHADIR Legal Manager