Comprehensive Learning for Choosing a Company Name in the UK

Learn tips and tricks you should consider when choosing a company name in the UK! Our comprehensive guide covers choosing & naming your company name correctly.
Guidance for Choosing a Company Name in the UK- business globalizer

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When launching a business in the UK or elsewhere, a company name is an official and unique identifier by which a corporate entity is known and recognized in the market. It is critical to developing brand identity, building trust, and attracting customers.

Whether you want to form a limited company, partnership, or sole trader, you should have a unique, catchy, and legal business name. Your business name is like a book cover that can create interest in readers to read the book. A well-chosen company name must be unique, expressive of your organization’s values and offerings, and legally compliant. Besides that, finding the perfect balance between creativity and professionalism is not always easy, which shows your company’s motto and determination.

No worries! In this blog, we will tell you tips and tricks about choosing a company name in the UK. let’s explore…

Choosing a Company Name in the UK
What Will You Learn in This Guide?

What Is the Company Name?

Before choosing a business name, it’s essential to understand the fundamental concept of using a company name. 

A company name is a name by which a company or business is known to customers, investors, or the general public. The company uses its name to identify itself with the public. This can be the owner’s name or an entirely different, unique name for the business used on all different business documents, such as formation paperwork and invoices. An effective name should reflect your business type, objectives, and nature. 

So, what is a company’s name? When a business or company operates its business activities for legal, tax, or marketing purposes under a name, it’s called a company name.

Why Do I Need to Register a Company Name?

Your business name is like giving your business its own ID card in the big world of commerce. A professional and suitable business name can build trust and credibility with your target audience. It can help potential customers feel confident in choosing your products or services.

But if we talk about incorporating businesses in the UK, you may ask, “Do I need to register a company name for all different business structures?”

You are right about your concern. The necessity of registering a company name depends on the company structure you will form or run and how you plan to use the name. Such as: 

Sole Trader

Sole traders do not need to register their business name. But as a sole trader, you can use your own name or choose another name as a “trade name” for your business that goes with your brand’s purpose. You must include your name and “trade name” on official documents, such as letters and invoices.

In order to prevent others from using this trade or business name, you must also register a trademark. Also, if your business name contains sensitive words, you must get permission from the Department of Business and Trade (DBT).


If you form a partnership business, you can use your own name or another unique name that aligns with your business objectives. Like sole traders, partnerships don’t need to register their business name. But on official documents, you must include all the partners’ names, including the business names. You must get permission from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to use sensitive words like “accredited.”

Limited Company

Limited companies must register their company name with Companies House. This is because a limited company is a separate legal entity from its owners. Registering your company name as a limited company can help you protect yourself from personal liability. This name should be unique and different from those of other companies. 

All limited companies in the UK display their company name at their registered office and wherever their business operates. This is to help customers and other businesses identify the company and its location.

How Do I Find the Perfect Company Name?

Your company name is the foundation of your brand, influencing everything from marketing and consumer impressions to legal and financial concerns. The company name must be unique and can’t be the same as the name of another company already registered with Companies House.

1. Tips for Choosing a Company Name in the UK

Finding the perfect company name is crucial to beginning and maintaining a successful business enterprise in Great Britain. To find the perfect name for your company, follow these tips:

  • Understand Your Brand: Whether it’s the business name or a registered company name, representation of your brand is essential to engaging with customers. Start by defining your brand’s identity. What values, messages, and qualities do you want your company name to convey? Think about your targeted audience and the emotions you want them to feel.
  • Understand Your Structure:  If you form a sole trader, you shouldn’t use “limited” or “Ltd” on your name without converting your business to a limited company. Before choosing the name, you must study your business structure in the UK.
  • Short and Simple: Try to choose a short and simple name. Short and concise names are often more memorable and easier for customers to recall. Avoid overly complex or lengthy names.
  • Legal Considerations: Research trademark databases to ensure that another entity does not already trademark your name. Trademark infringement can lead to legal issues.
  • Test for Cultural Sensitivity: If you plan to operate internationally or in diverse markets, consider the cultural implications of your name to avoid unintended offenses or misunderstandings.
  • Avoid Trends: While it’s important to stay current, avoid trendy or faddish names that may quickly become outdated. A timeless name has lasting appeal.
  • Ask for Feedback: Share your name ideas with friends, family, colleagues, or potential customers to gather feedback. They may offer valuable insights and perspectives.
  • Consider Future Growth: Think about the long-term potential of your name. Will it still be relevant and appropriate as your business expands and diversifies?
  • Check Social Media Handles: Ensure that the social media handles for your preferred name are available on platforms you plan to use for marketing and promotion.
  • Use the Company Name Generator UK: Online tools and business name generators can help generate creative name ideas based on your keywords and preferences.
  • Brainstorm the List: Create a list of potential names appropriate for your business and industry. As mentioned above, you can generate potential business names using a company name generator.
  • Combine Words: Combine two or more words or terms from the brainstorming list to create a perfect name that is meaningful.
  • Availability in Different Languages: When finding a business name, please ensure it can be read in multiple languages. If you dream of or plan to do business internationally, you must check the availability of the name in multiple languages. So that people can easily find your company by name. 
  • Add Some Humor: Using humor or a clever play on words might help you stand out.
  • Get Feedback: Ask friends, family, and potential customers about your company name ideas. This will help you choose a name that everyone will love.
  • Check Availability: Once you’ve narrowed down your options, check with the relevant government authorities (such as Companies House in the UK) to see if your chosen name is available for registration.

2. Considerations for Choosing a Company Name in the UK

While you want to form or run a company in the UK, you should have some considerations while registering a name for a limited company or simply choosing a name for your sole trader business structure, such as: 

  • Finding the Right Tone: Consider the right tone for choosing a company name. You must understand your business type or activities to find the right tone for your company name. For instance, a beautician might choose something regarding beauty or skincare, whereas a software engineer might choose something more relatable.

  • Legal Ending: Your company name must end with a legal ending appropriate to its type. For private limited companies, the legal endings are “Limited” or “Ltd.” For public limited companies, the ending is “Public Limited Company” or “PLC.

  • Avoid Similar Names: Your company name shouldn’t be similar to others already trademarked or registered with Companies House. 

  • Avoid Sensitive Words or Expressions: You should also avoid sensitive words and expressions unless you have the required permissions. Examples include “British,” “Royal,” and “Bank.”

  • Use of Special Characters: Special characters or symbols like &, @, #, etc., are generally not permitted in a company name unless they are part of the company’s registered trademark.

  • Suitable Domain Names: When choosing a company name, don’t be careless. Think about how they would look and how people could read them. Look for good domain names so that your online identity matches your business identity. Protecting your online identity from future competitors who might think they can make money by buying “your” domain name is a good idea.

  • Offensive Names: Companies House may reject names that are offensive or inappropriate.

  • Business Goal: Non-resident businesses operating in the UK should double-check their chosen name to ensure that it does not offend abroad.

  • Business Sustainability: If you want to operate your business for the long run or expand it, you shouldn’t choose the name only based on your present business offerings. Make sure your chosen name allows for flexibility if your business direction evolves.

  • Length of the Name: Keep your company name short and easy to remember. Long and complicated names can be challenging for customers to remember and type correctly.

  • Avoid Unnecessary Abbreviations and Acronyms: While abbreviations and acronyms can be helpful, they may not convey much about your business to potential customers. If you use an unnecessary acronym, ensure it’s easy to understand and remember.

  • Check Social Media: Ensure the name is available on social media platforms. Consistency across all online platforms is essential for branding.

Once you’ve found the perfect name, register it appropriately with the required organization and build your brand.

Choosing Company Name: UK Examples

Here are a few examples for a better understanding of choosing a name for your UK company: 

For instance, you should choose a name that describes your company’s services or products, such as Repair Company UK or Web Developer Service. 

Another one is that when choosing a company name in the UK, consider famous organizations or corporations like “The BBC” or “NASA.” “BBC” stands for British Broadcasting Corporation, and “NASA” stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Additionally, when forming a private limited company, you must include ‘limited’ or ‘Ltd’ at the end of your name, such as Green Construction Limited.

What Are the Legal Requirements for Registering a Company Name in the UK?

Now that you know how to choose an LTD company name or a sole trader name, you must learn the legal requirements. Here are the details given below:

  • A chosen name.
  • Appropriate business structure.
  • Necessary documents if they’re required.
  • Registration fee.
Choosing a Company Name in the UK
Legal Requirements for Registering a UK Company

How Do I Register a Company Name?

Once you have chosen a name that meets these legal requirements, you can register it with Companies House when you incorporate a legal company. Here are the steps you need to follow: 

Pick a Unique Name

Select a unique and appropriate name for your company. Ensure it complies with the legal requirements, as mentioned in previous responses.

Determine Your Company’s Legal Structure

Decide on the legal structure of your company, such as a private limited company (Ltd), a public limited company (PLC), a limited liability partnership (LLP), or others.

Check the Availability of Your Business Name

Once you have decided on your company’s name and legal structure, you must check the availability of your chosen business name. You must determine that other entities don’t already use your chosen name on the same company structures.

Registered Office Address

Provide a registered office address for your company. This address will be publicly available and is where official correspondence from Companies House and other government agencies will be sent.

Appoint Company Directors and a Secretary

Appoint at least one director for your company. Private limited companies are no longer required to have a company secretary, but you can choose to appoint one if desired.

Specify Details about the Company’s Shareholders and Share Capital

Specify details about the company’s shareholders (members) and the share capital, including the number of shares and their nominal value.

File Incorporation Documents

Complete and submit the necessary incorporation documents to Companies House. The required forms will depend on your company’s legal structure and registration method (online or paper).

Pay the Registration Fee

When registering your company, a fee varies depending on the chosen registration method and processing speed. You must pay the registration fee. 

Online Registration

If you choose to register your company online, you can do so via the Companies House website using the Companies House WebFiling service.

Paper Registration

If you prefer to register by post, you can obtain the necessary forms from Companies House or use third-party formation agents. Complete the forms, attach the required documents, and send them to Companies House with the registration fee.

Wait for Confirmation

After submitting your registration documents, you’ll receive confirmation from Companies House that your company has been successfully registered. This confirmation includes your unique Company Registration Number (CRN).

Once your company is registered, you can start trading and conducting business activities under your company name.

Can I Use a Different Business Name When Running a  Company in the UK?

Yes, you can run your legal entity under a different name. In this case, you have to use a trading name. You must remember this. Once your company is registered, you can choose a different trading name for your business. This trading name can be more market-oriented, creative, and aligned with your business niche and needs. You must make some legal considerations:

  • Registering a trading name doesn’t give you any exclusive rights to the name. So, you must consider trademark registration to protect the trading name. 

  • If you are a sole trader or in a partnership and want to use a trading name instead of your personal name, you must notify HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about your trading name when registering for self-assessment for tax purposes. This will ensure that your business is appropriately identified and that tax information is correctly attributed to it.

  • While using a trading name other than your official company name for a limited company, the suffixes ‘ltd’ or ‘limited’ are restricted.

  • You shouldn’t use sensitive or offensive words without permission for trading names.

Can I Change My Company’s Name in the Future?

Surprisingly, yes. You can change your company’s name if you have second thoughts about it in the future. For this: 

  • Firstly, we suggest you talk with an attorney or legal expert regarding the changes to your business name. 

  • You must secure the directors’ approval before submitting Form NM01 to Companies House, along with a nominal fee.

  • The drawback of changing your name is that it could take time to inform your accountant, tax authorities, and all your contacts and clients of your new identity.

If you are still having trouble choosing or changing a business name for your UK company, you can take advantage of premium consulting from Business Gloabalizer to learn how to create a Catchy Company name.

FAQs on Choosing a Company Name in the UK

Q1: What advice do professionals have about naming your business?

Answer: Your company name should reflect your mission, vision, values, and unique selling proposition. Our business legal experts suggest you:

  • Consider what makes your company name as a brand different from your competitors and how you want to position yourself in the industry. 

  • Avoid using vague, bland, or misleading names for your business offerings.

  • Lastly, seek the help of a third-party business formation company or business attorney.

Q2: How to buy a company name in the UK?

Answer: There are two methods for purchasing your company name:  

  1. You might work with a formation company that will handle everything for you. 

  2. Purchasing a company name through an agency was the preferred method. But now that Companies House allows you to register your company name online, you may do it directly, with the entire procedure taking less than an hour.

Q3: Should I register a business name as a sole trader?

Answer: No. Sole traders don’t need to register the business name.

Q4: If a company registers with Companies House, does that mean it’s trademarked?

Answer: This is something that people often get wrong. Even if you register your business name with Companies House, that doesn’t mean it’s a trademark. They are both official parts of the government, but they do different things for different reasons.

Bottom Line

In summary, choosing a company name in the UK is one of the most crucial steps, whether doing business or planning to start one. A creative and memorable business name can attract consistent customers or investors. You should choose a business name based on how you want to present your brand. 

Once you have chosen a few potential business names, you can get feedback from friends, family, and experienced entrepreneurs. 

You can ask our business legal experts for assistance regarding your business name for your UK company. 

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