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How to Choose Company Names

13th September 2010
By quinlanmurray in Business Law
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Prior to fixing a name for the company, an entrepreneur must go through the company names index hosted by Companies House. This would help to ensure that the proposed name is not the ‘same' or has little semblance to any existing registered company. Also, a business house is recommended to check the UK Intellectual Property Office's Trade Marks Register to ensure that the company's name is not identical to an already-existing trademark.

Company Names: Important Rule to Remember
There are several crucial rules that apply to the usage of company names. The following are certain points to remember regarding the particular company setup:

Private Limited Company: Such a company' name must end with ‘limited'. In case it is registered in Wales, it must end with ‘cyfyngedig'. The permissible alternatives include ‘ltd' and ‘cyf'. However, a company limited by guarantee may apply for an exemption from these rules if:
* The business objective is the promotion or regulation of education, charity, commerce, art or science, religion or anything supplementing those fields.

* The company's articles mentions that: (a) the earnings will be applied to the promotion of its objectives (b) payment on dividends or return on capital to members is prohibited (c) the members are required to contribute to business assets if it fails while the person holds office or within a year of service termination.

Private Unlimited Company: Such a company setup may or may not end in ‘unlimited'. There is no compulsion to do so.

Public Limited Company: Such a company's name must end with ‘plc' (with or without full stops) or with its full form. If the company is registered in Wales, it should end with ‘cwmni cyfyngedig cyhoeddus' or ‘ccc' (no rule regarding the full stop).

There are more controls over company names set out in the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009. Companies House ensures these restrictions on account of the Secretary of State. It will not incorporate a company if its name:

* constitutes offence

* suggests connection with the Queen's government, a local authority, specific local authorities or any devolved administration
* comprises a sensitive word, phrase or expression unless one is able to offer a supportive statement by an appropriate government department

There are several such rules that apply to the usage of company names. It is best to seek professional help and allow them to guide you through the process. is one of the most trusted agents in the UK, offering services at very competitive prices.

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