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What's in a name?

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 27/03/2018

We recently discussed updated Companies House guidance that provides advice on checking which names are acceptable to Companies House when naming a company. HMRC also published guidance for choosing a company name when setting up a private limited company. There are different rules for sole traders and business partnerships.

HMRC suggests that some of the important points to consider when deciding on a company name include:

  1. The name of the company must end with 'Limited' or 'Ltd' or the Welsh equivalents 'Cyfyngedig' and 'Cyf' if registered in Wales.
  2. The name of the company can’t be the same or too similar as another registered company's name.
  3. 'Same as' names include, those where the only difference to an existing name is certain punctuation, certain special characters, a word or character that’s similar in appearance or meaning to another from the existing name or a word, or character used commonly in UK company names.
  4. 'Too like' names where someone complains, and Companies House agrees it's 'too like' a name registered before yours.
  5. You can trade using a different name to your registered name. This is known as a 'business name' and there are certain rules that must be followed
  6. There are also limits for some sensitive words or expressions. For example, a word or expression that may cause criminal offence or that suggest a connection with government or local authorities (without permission). This includes names that could be taken to cause criminal offence.


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