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Personal name requirements

The Names Act sets a number of requirements and there are certain rules for how surnames can be used and which names can be approved.

Names you cannot change to

You cannot change to a surname that someone else in Sweden already has. Neither can you take a first name as a surname. It is not possible to take a double name as a surname nor a name beginning with af, de, von or something similar.

PRV has access to a register of all existing surnames, called the population register. The surname suggestions that we receive are examined against that register.

Names must not be easily confused

We cannot approve surnames which can easily be confused with:

  • a surname that someone else already has in Sweden.
  • a well-known surname that has been used by a family that has now died out.
  • a well-known foreign surname.
  • someone else's artist name that is well known.
  • a name of a foundation, a non-profit organization or a similar association.
  • someone else's protected trade name or trademark in Sweden.
  • a title of someone else's protected literary or artistic work.

Examples of newly formed surnames which have been rejected

Anncoccozz

Section 12, paragraph 1 of the Names Act (1982:670): a name which in composition, pronunciation or spelling has such a linguistic form that it is not appropriate as a surname in this country.

Crakel, Krakel

Section 13, paragraph 7 of the Names Act (1982:670): a title of someone else's protected literary or artistic work, if the title is distinctive, or a specially created name which appears in such a work and the use of which would mean an infringement of someone else's copyright.

Asterix

Section 13, paragraph 7 of the Names Act (1982:670): a title of someone else's protected literary or artistic work, if the title is distinctive, or a specially created name which appears in such a work and the use of which would mean an infringement of someone else's copyright.

Lovejoy

Section 13, paragraph 6 of the Names Act (1982:670): someone else's protected trade name or trademark in Sweden, or another distinguishing feature which has been established for someone else in a commercial activity in Sweden.

Donadoni

Section 12, paragraph 3 of the Names Act (1982:670): a well-known foreign surname.

More information

Our customer support can give you guidance regarding personal names and name changes.
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Thinking of getting married?

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Any questions?

PRV can answer your questions about patents, trademarks, designs, periodicals and personal names.

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Swedish Patent and Registration Office | prv@prv.se | Phone: +46 8 782 28 00