If you are starting out as a new limited company, you will need an appropriate company name.  Here is a guide to choosing the right name, detailing the regulations put in place by Companies House.

A guide to naming your limited company

  1. Choose a name that sounds professional and matches your type of business. Remember it will appear everywhere, on stationary, invoices, signs and online, therefore, the name ought to be memorable and give the right impression.
  2. Your name must end in ‘limited’ or ‘Ltd’ unless you are a charity, or, you meet the requirements necessary to exclude this. For further information check with HMRC.
  3. Google it! Since we now live in a digital age, it is worthwhile researching available domains before registering your company name.  Be forward thinking here; match your company name with your own website of the same name.  If someone already owns that domain then perhaps it’s best to go back to the drawing board.
  4. Be certain that no other company has the name you want, or something similar. Check the Companies House register to make sure.
  5. Legal restrictions state you cannot use ‘sensitive’ words or expressions, or give any implication that you are connected to a government department, or a professional body. Don’t allow your name to be misleading in any way; furthermore, the name must not cause offense.
  6. If your company includes more than one trade, you may prefer a more generic name that encompasses all of your activities.

Changing your company name

If for any reason you wish to change your company name in the future, it can be done easily.  You can download a NM01 form from Companies house, or complete it online.  Then submit it with your fee and a ‘special resolution’ passed by your board of directors.

It is important to update your accountant on your change of company name, as well as clients, customers, suppliers and any other business contacts.  Your accountant must inform the various tax departments of the change too.