You can’t use just any name when forming a company. This note identifies words that are prohibited by law or which require specific consent. It can be costly and time-consuming to put it right.

Tip #1

Check whether the name is available. Companies House (“CH”) have a section on their website called Company name availability checker. If it is already taken, your application to incorporate your company will be rejected.  This is in addition to any checks you ought to do with regard to registered or unregistered trademarks.

Tip #2

If a private company limited by shares or guarantee is formed, the name must end with ‘Limited’ or ’Ltd’.

Tip #3

If a name includes sensitive words or expressions, such as ‘King’ or ‘Government’, approval from the Royal Cabinet Office is required.

Tip #4

Company names which are deemed to be offensive will be prohibited from use in registration, such as ‘Blue Arsed Fly Design Ltd’. However, the name ‘Merde Contracts Limited’ was surprisingly approved, but this is extremely rare.

Tip #5

The majority of characters, signs and symbols found on a UK keyboard can be used, however the following are not allowed to be used as one of the first three characters of the name: *, =, #, %, +. So, for example, you would be restricted from using B+M Holdings Ltd as it contains a symbol in the first three characters of the company name. However, you would be permitted to register Holdings B+M Ltd as the + sign is 11th in place.

Supplementary information required

Guidance has been issued by Companies House in the form of Annexes A, B and C on how to get approval to use a sensitive word, expression or protected word in your name. Each relevant body has its own criteria of what information should be summited, but most require a minimum of a letter or e-mail of non-objection.

Form NM06 (a form to request to seek comments on change of name), is required to be submitted to Companies House alongside correspondence issued by the relevant body. It is advisable to redact confidential information from the correspondence to avoid it being seen on the public register.

Blaze CoSec is a comprehensive company secretarial service offered by Blaser Mills Law. Our experts are able to incorporate your company quickly and efficiently, in as little as 24 hours and are able to change your existing company’s name with ease. We can also assist you on a wide range of other services, to make the running of your business as smooth as possible. To find out more, please contact Neelum Jadoon on 01494 411177 or email