When forming a new company, it’s important to choose a name that is acceptable to Companies House. However, not all names are approved, and there are certain reasons why Companies House may reject a company name. Understanding these reasons can help you avoid potential issues and ensure a smooth registration process for your new business.
Why Companies House may reject a company name
So, you are all ready to form your new company, but have yet to decide on a company name. Whilst a name that closely resembles your activities or is easily marketable may be your goal, it is worth knowing that not all names are accepted by Companies House. Here are some common reasons for rejection.
The name is deemed offensive
You can’t have a name that is considered offensive. Recently the BBC reported that 800 names were rejected by Companies House over the past two years for being potentially offensive.
These included Building That Fought Hitler Limited, Cambridge Cannabis Club Ltd, Fancy a Bomb Ltd and Fit as Fork Ltd. A Companies House representative said it was important the register was not abused by recording offensive names.
Among other rejected names were Go Fudge Yaself Ltd, Just Weed Ltd, Meow Meow Cooking Studio Ltd, Pandemic19 Ltd, Pervert Cat Ltd, Shit Creek Paddle Company Limited, and The Great Big Corrupt Company.
A name that is too similar to that of another company
If a proposed company name is so similar to an existing company that it may cause confusion, then it is likely to be rejected. An example listed by Companies House is “Plum Technology Ltd” is the same as “Plum Technology & Company Ltd”. This can be particularly difficult as the number of companies grow, as there a more than four million companies registered in the UK! This Companies House Company name availability checker is a useful tool.
The name contains a sensitive word or expression
Certain words and phrases require prior approval before they can be used. Companies House list;
- A word that suggests business pre-eminence, a particular status, or a specific function, for example, names that include “British”, Institute” or “Tribunal”.
- A word that represents a regulated activity.
- Words that suggest a connection with a UK government, a devolved administration or a local or specific public authority.
- A word whose use could be an offence.
The name is misleading
The name suggests an activity that is so misleading that it likely to cause harm to the public. Examples of this would be names that suggest that you offer a free service when actually you operate as a commercial business. Care needs to be taken that the company name does not state or suggest something that is untrue.