Guide

Set up a business partnership

Naming your partnership

You can trade under your own names, or you can choose another name for your business. You don’t need to register your name.

You must include all the partners’ names and the business name (if you have one) on official paperwork, for example invoices and letters.

Business names

Business partnership names must not:

  • include ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘plc’
  • be offensive
  • be the same as an existing trade mark - see company name and trade mark checker

Your name also can’t contain a ‘sensitive’ word or expression, or suggest a connection with government or local authorities, unless you get permission.  For example, to use ‘Accredited’ in your company’s name, you need permission from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

GOV.UK outlines which words you need permission to use, and who from.

You’ll need to register your name as a trade mark if you want to stop people from trading under your business name.