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Where to use the Prefix M/s. and where not to use it? Explained

We all have seen this prefix in many documents and we know that it is used as courtesy prefix like Mr. and Ms. for gents and ladies respectively.

But sometimes we are bound to wonder 'why is this used?'. I was also confused on this as to where it should be prefixed, until one day a Corporate Lawyer while vetting a document pointed out a mistake regarding its wrong use.

Before we go in detail, let me first brief you about this prefix ‘M/s.’.


What is M/s. & its Use?

M/s. is the short form of the word Messrs which is the plural for Mister (Mr.), it is actually an English abbreviation of the French expression "messieurs" (french people use this as a courtesy title before addressing a group of men). It should be placed before an organisation's title, only if that organisation consists of a group of people or simply stating it needs more than one person before we use it.

Example



Correct Use
Incorrect Use
For Partnership Firm / Associates
For Limited Company
M/s. Ra Rao & Co.
M/s. Raghuvir & Associates
M/s. Gajalaxmi Electronics System
M/s. Reliance Industries Limited
M/s. Parle Products Private Limited

One might think as to why it should not be used before a registered company's name, as a company is in all cases owned by more than one person (except in case of One Person Company). A Company is a legal entity and is considered as  an 'Artificial person'. And therefore is treated as singular in all cases.

Violation of Law

Generally, wrong use of the prefix does not lead to violation of any laws. But it is important to write the correct form of English in documents. Writing correctly makes your document look more impressive


Hope this small but important use of terminology will help you to improve your understanding on use of M/s. prefix.

Comments

  1. Mohammad sheehab shararMarch 05, 2017 3:25 pm

    Beautifully explained... thank you .
    Sheehab Sharar,
    Bangladesh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What should we need to use for Limited companies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sir in my shopact m/s yogeshs Services
    I can issue bank account as m/s Yogeshs Services or Yogeshs Services

    ReplyDelete
  4. is it compulsory for unregistered partnerships to pre-fix M/s before it's title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not compulsory under the law. But the use of this prefix (M/s.) at appropriate places, as mentioned above, is a requirement from the point of view of proper English writing practice. Since in all partnerships (whether registered or not) more than one owner is involved, M/s. should be prefixed before title.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for your beautiful explanation.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes.. so well explained against my boss' claim

    ReplyDelete
  7. could i use M/S word as prefix for university name???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. University is a singular entity.

      Delete
  8. what is to be prefixed before cooperative housing societies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Generally, these days most of the cooperative housing societies are registered as "companies", wherein at the end of their name Limited or Private Limited get affixed. In that case, as mentioned in the article, M/s. prefix is not a necessity.

      In case a cooperative housing society is not registered as a company and is an association of some individuals, then M/s. can be prefixed before its name.

      Delete

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