Last updated Jul 05, 2024 and written by Tom Richardson

Registering Your Company Name: Spot the Difference

Last Updated: 20/08/2014

It’s always a disappointment if your application for a limited company is rejected by Companies House. You rack your brains as to what could possibly have gone wrong. Director appointed? Check. Shares allocated? Check. Valid UK Registered Office address stated? Check. Unique company name? Check. Well… check again.

Companies House have recently become stricter about incorporating companies with names that are similar to those already on the register. Company names that are ‘too like’ those already incorporated will therefore be rejected. Before submitting your application, make sure you’re not using any of the following to distinguish your name from one already registered:

1. ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’. If the name you have chosen already appears on the register with one of these options, you cannot submit it using the other option.

2. Capitalisation. The Companies House register uses capital letters, so even if you want to present your company name with different capitalization to one on the register, this will not be accepted as a distinguishing feature.

3. Spacing and Punctuation. The general rule for Companies House is that if a company name sounds too similar to one on the register, it will be rejected. This means that ‘MadeSimpleGroup Ltd’ is considered the same as ‘Made.Simple.Group.Ltd’ and neither will be distinguished from Made Simple Group Limited’.

4. The word ‘The’. If Made Simple Group Ltd has been incorporated, Companies House will not accept ‘The Made Simple Group Ltd’.

5. ‘Company’, ‘Services’, ‘Trading’. Companies House class these as ‘meaning starved words’, which means they cannot be used to distinguish your name from one that is already incorporated.