Obviously starting a limited company you’ll be putting a great deal of work and effort into your business. You won’t want someone stealing your goodwill or taking advantage of your good name. Which is why it is important to protect your company name.
Companies House Registration
Starting a business, you can get some protection for your company name by registering a limited company with Companies House (the registrar in the UK). Registering a limited company in this way will prevent other people from starting a company with the same name. This is one of the advantages of a limited company – a sole trader would not get the same protection for his or her business name.
However Companies House registration does not provide absolute protection.
Trade Mark Registration
The Intellectual Property Office states that:
Company law is different from trade mark law. You cannot stop someone using a trade mark, which is the same or similar to yours, just by registering your name with Companies House.
It is perfectly plausible that another business has already registered your chosen company (or business) name as a trade mark. This could cause headaches in the future, if they take legal action against you to get you to change your company name. This is why we recommend carrying out a trade mark search before starting the company formation process to register a limited company. It is better to be sure that your company name is available for registration (and protection) on all fronts.
When choosing a company name it is also worth bearing in mind the IPO’s statement that:
We cannot guarantee that the name of a company accepted for registration at Companies House is acceptable by us as a registered trade mark.
You will need to think about these factors when picking the perfect company name.
Domain Name Registration
Similarly, registering your business as a limited company does not automatically give you the right to the domain name. Another person or business may well have registered the domain name previously and failing to realise this will prevent you from a web address which is relevant to your company name. Of course, you could register a different domain name, but you might risk losing customers to this other business by accident.
Before choosing your company name, we recommend deciding on a suitable domain name and making sure it is available (you can do this using our domain name registration tool). Remember, if you want good amounts of traffic, it is important to pick a domain name which is memorable, easily typed and not easy to accidentally misspell.
Protect your company name today with support and services from The Company Warehouse!
- Company Formation
- Trade Mark Registration
- Domain Name Registration