- Osome UK
- Company Name Check
Company Name Checker for UK Entrepreneurs
- Use our free tool to check if your proposed company name is available
- We can even register your company name with Companies House
- You don’t pay a £12 government fee
- And best of all, we'll get you all set within 2 hours
How to pick a company name
The first step is obvious: You have to choose a name for your business. But there’s a quite a few businesses in the UK (5.6 million, to be exact). Your name must be unique – but it must also conform to specific standards set out by the government.
To avoid having your name rejected by Companies House, here are some general guidelines that you should follow at all times.
You can’t have the same name as another company that’s already registered. You need to pick a completely unique name — you cannot simply add in a special character or slightly change the punctuation. That means the name should be readily and completely distinguishable from another business’s name. Consumers should be able to make an informed decision, and not think you are another business entirely.
It’s common sense to avoid using an offensive term as your company name. However, just make sure to check that your proposed name doesn’t have any offensive connotations. The UK is, of course, a diverse, multi-cultural society. What might not be offensive to you, may be offensive to others. Be sure to check your name for cultural sensitivities. And remember, you may want to trade overseas one day.
’Sensitive words’ might suggest that your company is associated with a governmental or local authority. Companies House may therefore have an issue with you using these terms, meaning your registration process might be delayed. Sensitive terms aren’t entirely off the table as name options. It’s just that these terms must be cleared and vetted by the government. In other words, the process of registering will take longer.
Limited or Ltd.
If you are a limited company, you are required to put ’limited’ (or its shorter equivalent ’ltd.’) at the end of your name.
In limited cases, you can omit limited from your name. If, for example, you are a charity. But this must be approved by Companies House.
is good to go
Register your company in 4 simple steps
Choose a company name
We’ll check company name availability with Companies House in seconds and help you to reserve it.
Provide us with the documents
Once we’ve confirmed your name via the company name checker, send us your documents online. We’ll fill out the application and get it over for you to e-sign.
No need to go anywhere
We do everything remotely: KYC, company registration, and can even provide you with a remote address to use.
Get a free bank account
We’ll connect you to our partner digital bank Cashplus. You can open an account online within 4 minutes!
Simple and fast registration
We’ll register your company online
- Ltd registration
- Bank account opening
- All documents
Get your answers from our experts
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What name can I use for my company?
Your company name must be completely unique. That means, it can’t be too similar to an existing company name either. Companies House will also require you to end your company name with Limited (or the abbreviated form Ltd).
How do I check if a business name is available?
Use our free company name checker to verify your company name is available. There are over 4 million registered companies in the Companies House database, and we'll make sure that you have the unique one.
Can I register my company name without forming a company?
Yes, you can. You can set up what’s known as a dormant company. A dormant company doesn’t need to file tax or trade. And you can keep your dormant company even if you plan to carry on as a sole trader.
What words cannot be used in a company name?
The UK Government has an exhaustive list of words and terms that require prior approval before being allowed in a company name.
In general these are words that suggest your business:
- Is of national importance.
- Has a special status.
- Has a particular function.
- Does a specialised activity.
- Is connected with government or royalty.
Furthermore, names that include a word whose use could be an offence are also not allowed. For instance, a term considered hate speech.
Can I be exempt from using the word “Limited” or “Ltd” in a company name?
‘Limited’ (or its abbreviation Ltd) can be omitted from your name in very specific circumstances. These exceptions are outlined in section 60 of the Companies Act 2006.
Exceptions exist if:
- Your company is a registered charity or limited by guarantee (as opposed to limited by shares).
- Your articles of association state that:
- You promote or regulate commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity, or any profession.
- Your company s prohibited from paying dividends to shareholders.
- Your business’s assets will be transferred to another body if the business is wound up.
What is a business or trading name?
As a limited company, your business is a separate legal entity. As such, it requires a name. This name is used to identify the business and its directors.
Your trading name should be visible on all your company communications and any signs you have. In other words, members of the public should be able to find your business on the Comapnies House registry.
Can two UK companies have the same registered name?
No, it's impossible. The Companies House set up requirements regarding what names the companies should have. Business names must be unique. Our free company name tool will check if the company name you chose is taken. So you won't waste your time sending applications twice.
Are there other ways to protect a company name?
You can file a trade mark. This is done via the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). A trade mark grants you exclusive rights to market or sell goods and services using this trade mark.
You can also legally prevent others from using the same or similar marks to market their products.
How does the business name check work?
You simply type the full business name you want into the search bar. If it is available, the checker will indicate that no such company exists. If the name is taken (or too similar to existing names), the checker will alert you to that, too.
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