Dos and don’ts when naming a limited company

 An excerpt from Lawpack's Limited Company Formation Kit.

Once you’re ready to set up your limited company, it’s time for you to name the limited company and then determine whether you’re allowed to use that company name.

But beware the following rules for naming limited companies:

Naming a limited company - Rule #1

When naming your limited company you must include the word ‘Limited’ at the end of it.

If you're incorporating a company in Wales (i.e. its registered office is in Wales), the name may be written in either English or Welsh. The Welsh word for ‘Limited’ is ‘Cyfyngedig’. You can also use the abbreviations ‘Ltd’ or ‘Cyf ’.

Naming a limited company - Rule #2

Don’t use a company name that is identical or similar to one which is already on the Limited Company Register at Companies House.

For example, 'Lawpack Publishing Limited' and 'Lawpack Publishing Company Limited' would be considered the same.

With 'Lawpack Publishing Limited' and 'Law Pak Publishing Limited', for example, the names would not be refused initially, as they're not identical. But Law Pak Publishing Limited may have to change its name if there was a successful objection from Lawpack Publishing Limited.

Naming a limited company - Rule #3

Don’t use a company name that is offensive or would constitute a criminal offence.

Naming a limited company - Rule #4

Don’t use a company name that is so misleading as to the activities of the limited company that it causes harm to the public.

Naming a limited company - Rule #5

Don’t let your company name give the impression that the limited company is connected with HM Government or a local authority.

Naming a limited company - Rule #6

When naming your limited company make sure that the company name doesn’t include any sensitive words or expressions, such as:

  • Association 
  • Assurance
  • Assurer 
  • Authority
  • Benevolent
  • Board 
  • British
  • Chamber(s) of Commerce
  • Chamber(s) of Trade
  • Charter
  • Chartered
  • Chemist
  • Chemistry
  • Co-operative
  • Council
  • England
  • English
  • European
  • Federation
  • Foundation
  • Friendly Society
  • Fund
  • Government
  • Great Britain
  • Group
  • Holding
  • HSC (Health and Social Care)
  • HPSS (Health and Personal Social Services)
  • Industrial & Provident Society
  • Institute
  • Institution
  • Insurance
  • Insurer
  • International
  • Ireland
  • Irish
  • National
  • Patent
  • Patentee
  • Post Office
  • Reassurance
  • Reassurer
  • Register
  • Registered
  • Reinsurance
  • Reinsurer
  • Scotland
  • Scottish
  • Sheffield
  • Society
  • Stock Exchange
  • Trade Union
  • Trust
  • United Kingdom
  • Wales
  • Welsh

If you have any doubts about your choice of company name, consult Companies House where you can check the index of Company Names. You can also consult the Trade Marks Register of the UK Intellectual Property Office at

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Published on: October 11, 2010

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