A Guide To Naming Your Business

When launching a new business, the list of to-dos is very large, from creating a site to getting a physical location if needed to open up a banking and credit account. One of the most crucial preliminary steps is naming your company. While coming up with a name is only part of the naming work, you’ll also need to ensure the name is available, among many other things, when it comes to naming your company in the UK.

Though it may seem daunting, there’s no need to worry. This guide will walk you through all the steps to securing the perfect name for your business.

Find out whether or not your business name is available

Is the name you’re considering for your business, company, or service available? It’s the first thing to check off your naming checklist. After all, nothing is worse than falling in love with a particular name and then learning that it’s already in use by another business.

When determining whether or not your potential business name is available, you’ll need to consider three key areas in your search.

Firstly, do some research in the Companies House to determine if the name is available or not. Second, you must determine whether anyone has registered a business name that’s very similar to the trademark. Thirdly, ensure you purchase a domain name for your company online to secure a memorable site URL.

Let’s examine each of these important elements when securing your company name in more detail.

Is your business name already registered with Companies House?

Suppose you have chosen that your legal structure will be a limited company. In that case, you must visit the Companies House website to determine if someone has already registered your potential company name.

After some thorough research in the Companies House database, you’ll know if securing your company name is possible.

In addition to determining if the name is already registered, you should look for a few other things when securing your business name. For instance, it is crucial to ensure the name you are interested in is within legal limits, i.e., it cannot be offensive or restricted for a different reason. Aside from this, you will want to ensure your potential business name is not too similar to another business’s name because it can cause confusion or even legal issues.

When it comes to selecting a company name, there is no official approval step. You will generally be allowed to use the majority of potential names. The only usual exceptions to this are presented below:

  • Avoid names that are very similar to another company, product, person, or other entity.
  • If the name is taken, don’t simply try to spin the name into something similar because you’ll run into the above problems.
  • Don’t use a name that’s a part of the sensitive or restricted category.

If you don’t have any of the abovementioned issues, use the name you have been considering and get it registered.

Once you have landed on a name you are satisfied with, don’t wait too long. New businesses are being established daily in the UK, and chances are someone is bound to think of the same or a similar name. The last thing you want to do is miss out on the name you want.

There is no hold option on a name and no guarantee that it won’t be snatched up fast, so remember to be decisive when you choose a company name.

Make sure that the name you are considering has not been trademarked

You’ll also want to ensure that the name you want isn’t already trademarked by someone else. Suppose you aren’t familiar with trade marking. In that case, you can think of this as a badge of origin that allows your customers to recognize items that come from your business.

Trademarks can influence customers’ purchasing habits, and they can assist you in generating brand loyalty.

Check out the Intellectual Property Office next after you’ve determined the name isn’t already registered with the Companies House. This site will tell you if the name has already been trademarked. You can also ensure it isn’t included in a pending trademark application. It’s an especially important step if you plan to trademark your brand’s name.

Searching manually can be time-consuming because you’ll need to include international and UK trademark registries, social media platforms, app stores, company directories, and Google.

Once you have accumulated all your research, you’ll know whether or not the name you are interested in is available and not subject to a registered trademark. Using a solicitor can minimize the risk of missing a result or paying a high expense for a trademark clearance search. They’ll have tools to search through all the online directories and registries in seconds.

Intellectual property disputes can be expensive, so if you’re unsure about trademark protection or are worried your business name could be accused of being too similar to another, legal aid before you decide could be a great idea.

Check if the domain name is available

A strong online presence is necessary, whether your business is online or off. However, securing your domain name so that people can easily find you online no matter what will also be essential.

You want a domain name that’s your brand or company name or at least similar to it. If it’s not, it can confuse potential customers.

If the domain name you want is available, purchase it. The price of owning the domain can well be worth it in the long run.

Make sure your business name does not get rejected

The Registrar of Companies may reject a business name for several reasons, including:

  • The name is the same as another in the Registrar’s Index of Company Names
    • The only exception is if the name is part of the same group as the existing company name
  • The business name is offensive
  • Using it would be a criminal offence

Some business names require approval from the Secretary of State and, in some cases, other authorities- if it has sensitive expressions or words or suggests a link between the company and a public authority, like a local authority or the government.

Consider setting up a limited company

Suppose you register your business name; there are still several business name rules to follow. For instance, do you need to include “Ltd” or “Limited” at the end?

When protecting and securing your company name, you may also want to set up a Limited company which will need to be represented in the chosen business name.

Final words on securing your company name

We hope this has given you a better understanding of securing a name for your business. While it can be challenging, it’s important to carefully follow all the necessary steps to ensure that you don’t choose a name that will be rejected or will need to be changed down the line.

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