Should your US affiliate have the word “America” in its name?

Should your US affiliate have the word “America” in its name?

When creating a US subsidiary or other affiliate, UK companies often include a geographic identifier in the name. Names like Acme USA Inc. or Acme US Inc. are common. Should you, however, include the word “America” in your US company name?

The answer depends. To be sure, people in the United States identify themselves as Americans. However, Latin Americans are generally taught that there are 6 continents, with North America and South America combined as one continent called “America.” (In some countries, school children are taught that there are only 5 continents – hence the 5 rings used in the Olympics.)

There is, therefore, some resentment in Latin America of the fact that the United States has appropriated the term “America” for itself. It is noteworthy, in fact, that both Spanish and Portuguese have words (Estadounidense and Estadunidense, respectively) to describe someone from the United States. But no comparable word exists in English.

If your newly created US entity will only service the United States and your company has no plans to service Latin America through any other entity, then using the word “America” in your company name (e.g., Acme America Inc.) will likely be fine. In addition, if your US entity will in fact service the Latin American market, then use of the word “America” (or “Americas”) in its name would be appropriate.

However, avoid using the term “America” in your US company name if you have Latin American customers who will be serviced from any entity other than your US entity.