Choosing a name for your Ltd company

When you start a business there are strict rules around naming Ltd companies that you will need to follow.

Your company name must end in Limited or Ltd (or Cyfyngedig and Cyf if your registered office is in Wales), and mustn’t:

  • Be the same as another company name (you can search the list here).
  • Contain a sensitive word or expression (unless you get permission here).
  • Suggest a link to government or local authorities.
  • Be considered offensive.

What if your name has already been taken?

If your chosen company name has already been taken, you’ll need to choose a new one. If you still like the name you’ve chosen, and want to try and adapt it to get it accepted, there are some rules you need to be aware of. Companies House will reject the following changes to an existing company name in attempt to create a new one:

  • Adding official-sounding name endings like ‘limited’ or ‘plc’.
  • Adding words like ‘and’, ‘co’, ‘com’, ‘UK’, ‘services’ or ‘international’.
  • Adding a blank space between or after a word.
  • Adding punctuation such as a full stop or brackets.
  • Including symbols like *, =, % and + in the first three characters of the name.
  • Adding ‘s’ to the end of the name (whether or not it creates a plural).
  • Adding ‘the’ or ‘www’ to the beginning of a name.
  • Changing any characters after the first 60 characters of the name.

To give you an example of names that are too similar, if a company already existed with the name ‘Working Mum Ltd’, the following names would all be rejected:

  • Working Mums Ltd
  • Working Mum UK Ltd
  • The Working Mum Ltd
  • @ Working Mum Ltd
  • Ltd
  • Working-Mum Ltd

Protecting your company name

Registering your company name may prevent another Ltd company from using the same name as you, but doesn’t give you any trademark rights. If you wish to trademark your name or brand, you’ll need to do that separately.