101: Using “School” or “College” in Your Company Name

By Devin Scott Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In forming companies every day, we sometimes get clients who are starting some type of school or educational institution. If you would like to use the word school or college in your company name, there are some additional requirements.

Typically, we will check a company name for our client in about 5 seconds, and then tell them whether the name is available right then and there. When using the word “school” or “college”, it is not that simple. To use these words in your company name, you will need approval from the Delaware State Board of Education. In addition, the institution may be required to become accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association approved by the United States Department of Education. These are not the only requirements, but it seems this alone is sometime enough for clients to rethink their name choice.

8 Del.C. 125 States:

“No corporation created under the provisions of this chapter organized after April 18, 1945, shall have the power to confer academic or honorary degrees unless the certificate of incorporation or an amendment thereof shall expressly provide and unless the certificate of incorporation or an amendment thereof prior to its being filed in this the office of the Secretary of State shall have endorsed thereon the approval of the State Board of Education of this State…. Approval shall be granted only when it appears to the reasonable satisfaction of the State Board of Education, that the corporation is engaged in conducting a bona fide institution of higher learning, giving instruction in arts and letters, science, or the professions, or that the corporation proposes, in good faith, to engage in that field and has or will have the resources, including personnel, requisite for the conduct of an institution of higher learning.”

If you are starting a school or educational institution and would like more information on the requirements, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is happy to point you in the right direction.

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