Choose the right name for your business

Names for limited companies and LLPs

If you have decided to form a limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP), you must register your name and other details with Companies House.

It is essential to check first that your proposed name does not breach the rules on name endings, 'same as' rules or include a prescribed or sensitive word without permission.

Company and LLP names - the rules

To make sure the name you choose is acceptable, work through this list before you send your application to Companies House. Ensure that your name:

  • ends with 'limited' (or Ltd), 'public limited company' (or plc) or Welsh equivalents if you are a company
  • if you have a limited liability partnership your name ends with 'limited liability partnership' or LLP (including Welsh equivalents) if you are an LLP
  • isn't offensive
  • isn't the same as one already on the index of company names
  • doesn't include any sensitive words or expressions - unless you have obtained permission to use them

For more information, see our guide on rules for naming your limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP).

For an explanation of how to register with Companies House, see our guide on how to set up and register a limited company (private or public).

Trade marks

You should ensure your proposed name is not the same or very similar to a registered trade mark.

Use our interactive tool to search for an available company name and trade mark.

Complaints about company or LLP names

You can make a complaint about a company or LLP name to Companies House if:

  • the name is too similar to an existing company or LLP name
  • within five years of registration, it is found that misleading information was given at the time of registration
  • within five years of registration any conditions attached to the registration have not been fulfilled - eg the provision of support documentation for a sensitive name
  • the name is misleading and as a result may cause harm to the public

Find out how to complain about company names on the Companies House website.

You can also make a complaint about a company or LLP name to the Company Names Tribunal at the Intellectual Property Office if you believe the name has been chosen for opportunistic reasons.

Find out about the Company Names Tribunal on the Intellectual Property Office website.

Use our interactive tool to search for an available company name and trade mark.

Subjects covered in this guide


Companies House Contact Centre

0303 1234 500

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