Choosing a name for your Ltd freelance company

There are strict rules about naming Ltd companies when you start a business.

Your freelance company name must end in Limited or Ltd (if your registered office is in Wales it should be Cyfyngedig and Cyf), and must not:

  • 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 freelance name has already been taken?

If your chosen freelance company name is already being used, you’ll need to choose another one. If you really like the name you have chosen, and want to try and tweak it, there are some rules you need to be aware of. Companies House will reject the following changes to a company name that already exists:

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

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

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

Protecting your freelance company name

Registering your freelance company name may stop another Ltd company from using the same name as you, but won’t give you any trademark rights. If you want to trademark your name or brand, you’ll have to do that separately.