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Company names when registering a company

If you instruct Incorporation Services to register your company, we will check the proposed name to see if it is available for registrationand to to see if there are any potential problems with the name in relation to any company names already registered. This is an essential part of the service which cannot be done automatically. We will advise you of potential problems.

Choosing a name for your new company

Great care must be taken when registering a company to ensure that it has a name which meets all the Companies Act requirements (which were made more restrictive in 2009), does not infringe the rights of others (who may bring legal proceedings involving both cost and disruption to the new business) and which is adequately protected against others who may seek to use the name in the future. This may involve registration of a trade mark.

Companies Acts requirements

These are very detailed and a full explanation is available here.

In summary, the new company name must:

  • end in "Limited", "Ltd" "Public Limited Company" or "PLC", or their Welsh equivalents (except for some companies limited by guarantee)
  • not be the same as one already registered (but there are very detailed rules as to what counts as being the same)
  • not contain certain sensitive words without permission
  • not suggest connection with the government or a public authority
  • not be offensive or constitute a criminal offence

Other problems with company names

Even if a name is accepted for registration by Companies House, it may still be too like the name of an existing business, leaving the company vulnerable to legal action. Please check the detailed rules on company names carefully.

 


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