Last updated Mar 18, 2024 and written by Tom Richardson

Registering a business name; Securing the right one for your company

By securing a company name you ensure that you have the most appropriate name for your business, whenever you happen to start it. Business is often about action, but it’s also about acting at the right time – and it’s fair to say that you might have a great idea, but are not ready to trade.

When registering a business name with us you can keep your company secure. A lot is tied to a name in terms of branding and authority – and when you get inspired with a good name it’s a great idea to secure it.

But how do you secure the ‘right’ name for your business. This post will help you in finding the perfect one, so you can reserve your company name for later.

What Can I Name My Business?

The short answer is, pretty much anything. But the long answer is that there are a few restrictions that you need to abide by. These are set by Companies House and are designed to protect the consumer from misleading names.

It’s well worth having a look at the Companies House information on this too, but the main restrictions to remember include the following:

  • Sensitive Names – Some phrases or expressions are restricted. Company names including words like ‘Foundation’, ‘Fund’ or ‘Royal’ are protected – see the full list of sensitive names here.
  • Offensive Words – It might sound obvious but you cannot use offensive business names or include words that would constitute any offence in your company name.
  • Unique – Your company name must be unique. There are no duplicate company names registered. This can be slightly tricky to understand, so remember the following:
    1. The ‘same as’ rule comes into play.
    2. This applies to certain words and symbols the do not differentiate a company from an existing one.
    3. For example, ‘Catering Limited’ is the same as ‘Catering UK Limited’.
    4. Essentially, this means you will have to make sure there is a high degree of differentiation for your company name.

You are pretty much free to name your company how you’d like, aside from these few restrictions. However there are many other questions that come up when thinking about what to actually call it.

How To Decide On A Company Name

The process of coming up with a company name is a long and difficult one for many businesses. However it could equally be simple, with the right knowhow. It’s something that branding experts get paid a lot of money to figure out, so it’s clearly a substantial skill. Here we will teach you some fundamentals.

If you’d like some great insight from branding experts, Vince Bridgman of branding consultancy Novanym has written a detailed guest post on how to find a ‘type’ with your company name.

Some essential things to remember include:

  • You Can Make One Up – You don’t have to use an actual word, it can be a made up name. Businesses like Kodak are good examples of made up names. So, get creative and try to form a word that sounds like it would be representative of your business.
  • You Can Use 2 Words – Mashing two words together in a portmanteau is a good way to decide on a name. Are you an international haulier? If so you could go for a name like ‘InterHaul’, for example.
  • Go Local Or Online – It can be good to use your domain name in your business name for consistency across your brand. You can also benefit from local names that indicate your business location to customers.

Whatever you end up calling your business, it’s worth remembering these tips. It makes the process a bit easier and can help refine your idea if you have a business name that you already like too.

Choosing A Name – Can I Change It?

These are some good tips when coming up with a company name, so when you reserve your name with us you can be sure you’ve chosen the right one. But, if you do end up wanting to change it – you can. Our company name change service takes just 3 hours.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more, another post from Vince Bridgman of Novanym that is useful for this topic can be found here.

By Alex Novakovic at MadeSimple – Follow Alex on Google+