If you are thinking of forming a limited company or incorporating your business some new Regulations may help when it comes to choosing your company name.

Under existing Regulations the use of certain “sensitive” words requires the approval of the Secretary of State and other bodies. Such approval is required if a word in a company name:

  • suggests business pre-eminence, a particular status, or a specific function
  • implies a connection with a government department, devolved administration or, public authority
  • causes a criminal offence.

The list of sensitive words is quite long. Examples however include “Federation”, “Foundation” and “Mutual”.

As part of the Government’s commitment to reducing red tape the new Regulations reduce the list in size. Important words removed from the “sensitive” list include “National”, “European”, “international” and “United Kingdom”.

Also the list of permitted characters in a company name is increased to allow various accents and other signs or symbols – useful in you intend to form a company with a foreign word in its name.

Finally the Regulations will also make it easier to use the words “Export”, “Group”, “Holdings”, “Imports”, “International” and “Services”. At the moment X Ltd and X Group Limited are treated as the same company.

The Regulations come into force on 31st January 2015.

For more information see:

Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014.
The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2014.

If you would like to discuss any issues in this blog please contact our Commercial team on 0113 284 5000 orat companycommercial@isonharrison.co.uk

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