Choosing a name for company during formation is not difficult but there are rules which have to be adhered to regarding the choice of company name. A company name search of the company name register is important. When a limited company is formed the founding subscribers and directors will decide the company name which when submitted forms part of the company registration.
Name A Company Using The Company Name Search Register
First of all the last word in the name for company must be limited, unlimited or public limited company depending upon the type of company being formed. Accepted abbreviations of the name of company are accepted, those abbreviations typically being ltd and plc.
Company names can be rejected by Companies House for a number of reasons, the principal reason being that the name already exists on the company name register. When considering if a name is similar to another then punctuation and insignificant words such as the, and etc., would be ignored.
Name a company that sounds the same but contains a different spelling may be accepted. For example if Read Limited exists on the company names register and Reed Limited does not the proposal to name a company Reed Limited would be acceptable. If the name could be interpreted as misleading due to similarity of an existing name then that name would not be acceptable.
A name company adopts also be rejected if it is proposed to name a company including the words, limited, unlimited or public limited company occurs in the company name and not as the last word.
Other words which are not acceptable include investment company with variable capital, open ended investment company and the abbreviation SE. A company name would also be rejected if that name was deemed offensive or using a proposed name would be a criminal offence.
Names which include certain words are also rejected unless approved by government. Any name which suggests affiliation to a local authority or central government should be avoided. While the use of words indicating banking activity do not require to be approved using such words should be avoided as using such a name might well contravene other legislation relating to financial services requiring the business to be authorised.
When a company name is accepted the acceptance and inclusion in the company name register does not protect the new company from objecting to that name on the grounds of similarity. If such an objection was successful then a company name change would be required. In addition should a name indicate the activities of another company that other company can take legal action to prevent the use of the company name.
Should the chosen company name be similar to a registered trade mark that name could be accepted onto the company name register but would not protect the company from legal action to prevent that name being used. Having the name registered on the company name register would not constitute a defence should legal action be taken by the trade mark holder.
Before a company name is proposed for either registration or a change from an existing name it is strongly advised to carry out a company name search with the Companies House register of company names.. The company name register is arranged in alphabetical order and when the proposed name is entered to conduct a company name search the company name register defaults to those names which may be similar.
The chosen company name is registered when submitted on the Companies House company formation form 10 and accepted by Companies House. Following the company registration the incorporation certificate containing the company name is issued by Companies House.