Choosing a name for your business, company or partnership can be a tricky task. You must follow the rules for choosing a business name when you are setting up either:-
• a private limited company (Ltd)
• a limited liability partnership (LLP)
• a limited partnership (LP)
• an ‘ordinary’ business partnership
• as a sole trader
If you are a sole trader or an ordinary business partnership, you don’t have to register your business with Companies House but you still need to take care when choosing a business name.
Dos and don’ts:
Do check the Companies House register to see if a name has been taken – you cannot have the same (or very similar) name as another registered company
Do choose a name that is unique – your business name shouldn’t be similar to an existing name as it could potentially cause confusion and lead to a dispute with another business. You may have to change your name if someone complains
Do register any separate trading name as a trademark if you want to stop other businesses from using the same name
Do use both your registered business name and your trading name on any stationary and correspondence, making sure to include all the information necessary to allow people to understand your legal identity (if you are using a trading name consider setting out your registered company name in the small print in a footnote)
Don’t worry if you want to trade using a different name to your registered name. As long as your trading name doesn’t include words referring to being ‘limited’ or a ‘limited liability partnership’, isn’t the same as any existing trade mark and doesn’t contain any sensitive words you can trade under a different name
Don’t include anything in your business name which contains a ‘sensitive’ word, suggests a connection with government or local authorities or which is offensive
If you do not feel confident creating your business identity yourself, consider working with a creative agency to help develop your identity and brand.
Once you have decided on what type of business you are going to have and what your business name will be, we can help you with the legalities.