Choose the right name for your business

Use of sensitive words and expressions in business names

There are some words and expressions that you can't use in a business name unless you have official permission. These are words that might give a false impression about your business. They are known as sensitive words.

The rules about sensitive words apply to all types of businesses and fall into five main groups:

Sensitive words

Type of expression Examples
Words that suggest your business is of national importance or status British, National, International, European
Words that suggest a special status Association, Authority, Chartered, Council, Institute, Society
Words that suggest a particular function Charity, Insurance, Register, Trust
Words that suggest a specialised activity Health Centre
Words that suggest connections with government or royalty Parliament, Government, Royal, Queen, Prince

Getting further help

These guidelines provide a basic summary of sensitive words. You can find further details on company names in our guide on the rules for naming your limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP).

Find a list of prescribed sensitive words on the Companies House website.

Subjects covered in this guide


Companies House Contact Centre

0303 1234 500

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