Guide

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) if you are a company
  • if you have a limited liability partnership your name ends with 'limited liability partnership' or LLP 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 rules for naming your business and name your limited company.

For an explanation of how to register with Companies House, see starting a company or partnership.

Trade marks

You should ensure your proposed name is not the same or very similar to a registered trade mark. Search for an available company name and trade mark.

Read more about trade marks and learn how to search for trade marks.

Complaints about company or LLP names

If you wish to object to a name, write to the registrar where the company to which you object is registered:

For Northern Ireland:
The Registrar of Companies
Companies House
Second Floor
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BG

Directions to change a company name must be issued within 12 months of registration or change of name. If the registrar upholds the objection, the company or LLP must change its name within 12 weeks.

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.

The Intellectual Property Office provides further information on the Company Names Tribunal.