Choosing a company name

Choosing a company name is important for how you want to portray the company to others

What is a company name?
A company name is the legal name for a limited company and is displayed at Companies House and all marketing and communications material within the business.

Are all names acceptable?

Most names are acceptable when forming a limited company at Companies House, but there are a few exceptions: -

  • Must be unique
  • Some words, such as "British" or "Royal" are restricted
  • Cannot use offence words

Use our company name checker to see whether your chosen name would be acceptable.

Sensitive words?

Controls over sensitive words and expressions are in place where there could be a connection to a specified body e.g. royalty, government bodies and charities.

It does not prohibit the use of sensitive words, but evidence usually needs to be provided that the nature of trade is connected to the name and that you have authorisation over using that name. Such restrictions, include:

  • Suggest business pre-eminence or a particular status
  • Imply a connection with royalty, the royal family, government bodies or other public authorities
  • Any words that relate to a regulated activity
  • Contains an offence word or combination of words.

Similar names

The company name must be unique and cannot be an exact copy of another registered limited company. Furthermore, names that are too similar to other limited companies could be rejected by Companies House or a claim brought by the owner of the original name.

Punctuation

Certain punctuation, signs and symbols are accepted, including

  • Numbers e.g. 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9
  • Full stops (.), comma's (,), semi-colon (;) or hyphen's (-)

Names from dissolved companies

Names that were used by currently dissolved companies can be used. However, care must be taken on using these types of names and you should research why the company was dissolved and any negativity around that company.
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