A Comprehensive Guide to Select Your UK Company Name

Guide to Select Your UK Company Name It’s all in the name, and 3E Accounting clears the air with a guide to select your UK company name.

The UK has more than six million private enterprises and businesses. To ensure its name can readily identify a business, there are rules for selecting a company name. This has evolved over the years and can be quite confusing to a layperson. A guide to select your UK company name clarifies some crucial points to keep in mind when naming your business.


Specific Rules for Specific Structures

All businesses and companies in the UK must have a name. The name does not need to be registered but must be included in all official correspondence and paperwork. The rules have some minor variance according to the type of company structure.

Sole Traders

  • Permissible to trade under your own name.
  • The words Ltd, plc or LLP or their long-form names cannot be included.
  • Using words such as ‘Accredited’ requires special permission.


  • Permissible to trade under partners’ names.
  • All the names of all the partners, as well as the business name, must be included in all official paperwork.
  • The long and short-form names of Ltd, plc or LLP cannot be included.

Limited Companies

  • Must end with Ltd, plc or LLP.
  • Welsh company equivalents are Cyfyngedig’ and ‘Cyf’ or CCC.


General Regulations for All Structures

Some general rules and regulations apply across the board to all types of company and business structures. These include:

  • Names must not be offensive or ‘sensitive.’
  • Names cannot be an existing trademark.
  • To stop others from trading under your business name, it has to be registered as a trademark with the Intellectual Property Office.
  • Cannot be linked to governmental departments, local authorities, or professional regulatory bodies unless expressly permitted to do so.
  • The registered address or place of business must display a sign of the company name. This is not required if the business is being run from home.

There are also several rules which apply when it comes to naming your business. The rules of Too Similar or Too Like preclude a name from being too similar to or too like to another company name or trademark. The rule on Same As names covers instances where the difference between names comes down to one of the following:

  • Punctuation or special characters or symbols.
  • Commonly employed word or character in UK company names.
  • The similarity in word or character appearance or meaning to another.

Exceptions to the same as rule arise if you have written evidence to no objection or your company is part of the same group of businesses that employ the name.

Anyone can raise an issue regarding an infringement of these rules, and the Companies House will ascertain the viability of the complaint. Complaints can also be made for ‘passing off’ which is the opportunistic registration of another’s goodwill. If it considers the complaint proven, Companies House will contact you for further action and instructions.


Availability and Assistance

It can be quite time-consuming to pick the right name and check it for viability. While there are online resources available to help with the process, it can still be a daunting task. If you need help or a guide to select your UK company name, consider engaging company formation specialists such as 3E Accounting. We can customize business solutions and work out a package deal that is ideal for all parties. Contact 3E Accounting today for an informal chat with one of our incorporation specialists.

Guide to Select Your UK Company Name