Choosing a Company Name
Starting your own business, you might not realise it, but choosing your company name could be the most important decision you make.
The name you choose, along with your company logo, will be one of the first things your customers and members of the public see when dealing with your business, buying your products or enquiring about your services.
If it sticks with them (and you provide a good service) they'll talk about your company with their friends and family. It's important that they remember your name, can easily pronounce it and spell it. Word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools out there, but it won't do you any good if your customers can't remember your company name.
Easy to spell
Easy to pronounce
Starting The Company Name Search
If you already have an idea for your company name, use our Company Name Search tool to see if a similar name is already registered.
Our tool will quickly scan the database of over 200,000 company names already registered in the UK and let you know if yours is available for registration.
Note: the company name search tool will also let you know if your chosen company name includes any sensitive or prescribed words. So you don't need to worry about what can and cannot be included.
If you need support, our business consultants are on hand to help you find the perfect company name before you begin the company formation process. Pick a company name and order your new company registration online today!
The Law And Your Company Name
Choosing your company name, you'll also need to bear in mind the legal requirements placed on your business.
For instance, the Companies Act 2006 requires every private limited company to use the word "Limited" or the letters "Ltd" at the end of the company name. Similarly, public limited companies must end with "Public limited company" or "Plc" (see Part 5 Chapter 2 of the Companies Act 2006).
Section 55 also states that a company must seek special permission to use so-called "sensitive words" as part of its company name. These are words which might imply some sort of authority, governance or special status and may be misused if not properly regulated. Sensitive words include things like "adjudicator", "association", "board" and "international". It is still possible to include a sensitive word as part of your company name. Contact us today for more information/support.
Your Name And Your Business
Often people recommend that when you're choosing a company name you pick something that's descriptive of what you're doing. If you're starting a cleaning company having "cleaning" in the company name will make it obvious what your business is about.
But there are plenty of businesses out there with obscure and unique names which are short and snappy, yet well-known. Think of the big companies you know Nike, Dell, Google, Ford – all large, successful companies, each with a short name. Just looking at the name you might not know what their business was about. Yet their business tactics and marketing have clearly been successful.
With a good business plan, even the most quirky named company can make a name for itself.
Company Naming Trends
Over the years we've noticed a trend in company names chosen by newly formed company. In choosing a company name, people commonly use "colour, animal, service".
As a perfect example, if you used our company name search tool to search for "Red Squirrel Limited" you would see a list of currently registered company names which include:
Red Squirrel Architects LTD
Red Squirrel Change Management Limited
Red Squirrel Communications Limited
Red Squirrel Construction Limited
Red Squirrel Design Ltd
Protecting Your Company Name
Once you've chosen your company name and carried out a Company Formation to register your company with Companies House, you'll need to think about protecting your company name.
Simply registering your company name is not enough to stop others using it entirely. People are still free to register your name as a trade mark and then take action against you to prevent you using it.
Other people or businesses may register your company name as a domain name and prevent you from being able to purchase it yourself. Even if you don't have any plans for a website now, you might well do in the future.
Protecting your company name, is as important as protecting your business brand. You need to do all you can to preserve your good name and prevent others from potentially damaging it or leaching off your goodwill.
Top Tip - On The Phone
When choosing your company name, give thought to the small aspects of your business. If your business is going to be heavily phone based (with a sales or customer service department) then you're employees will have to say your company name time and time again.
Something short and easy to say will help them sound professional and cut down the hassle of conversing with customers and potential sales leads.
To start with you'll probably be answering the phone yourself, can you see yourself saying your chosen company name over and over again?
Choosing a Company Name FAQ
Find out everything else you need to know when choosing the ideal company name including information on how to purchase a company which has already been registered, changing a company name after registration, what "same as" means with regards to picking a suitable name and much more.
See our "Choosing a Company Name FAQ" for more information and helpful guidance. Don't forget our blog is packed full of useful tips on choosing a company name and much more besides.