How to choose a business name
Before you can register with Companies House, you'll need to choose a company name for your business. It's easier said than done for many entrepreneurs, who will often run through hundreds of names before they settle on one. This guide will help you choose the right name for your business and ensure it doesn't breach any rules.
- Choosing a name for a limited company
- Choosing a name for a partnership
- Sensitive words
Choosing a name for a limited company
When you are deciding on your business' name, you will need to make sure it ends with limited, plc or ltd for companies, or, if you are starting a limited liability partnership, LLP. Check with Companies House to make sure it isn't the same as a company already on the register, and make sure it isn't similar to a word or phrase which has already been registered as a trade mark.
- Make sure the name ends with limited, plc, ltd or LLP
- Check it isn't already registered
- Check it hasn't been trademarked
Choosing a name for a partnership
If you decide to go down the partnership route, if you are using your own names, remember one of you may choose to sell up in the future - so while Milsom & Jones sounds good now, if Milsom leaves, this may put your brand identity at risk. Remember if you are using a more generic name not to use inappropriate or sensitive names.
- Remember one partner may choose to leave
- If one partner leaves, it could put your brand identity at risk
- Remember to double check whether you are using a sensitive name
Companies House publishes a list of words it deems inappropriate. While some will require approval from the Secretary of State, others, such as 'Veterinary', 'Architect' or 'Olympian' could constitute a criminal offence if they are misused.
- Check your name against the Companies Act 2006
- Some words will require approval from the Secretary of State
- Including some words without permission is a criminal offence
Smarta offers a company registration service powered by the National Business Register. You can search for available names then register a business name, or set up a company and/or register a trademark with us. You will receive a professional binder with all your official documents via post within 3 days.
Go to our company registration tool here: Company registration tool
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