When you have a fantastic new business idea, you can be full of excitement and enthusiasm. You will want to do everything you can to get your new business launched and up and running as soon as possible. One question that often crosses your mind is whether or not you can actually reserve your preferred company name without actually having to go through the company formations process to set up your Limited Company.
While it may take a few good months of planning to make sure that you have got everything you need in place to start your new company, you may wonder if you can reserve your company name early on in your planning stages to ensure that you can use it, and protect it from anyone else that may want to own it for themselves.
Unfortunately, the simple answer to this question is no. There is no way that you can reserve a company name without forming a limited company under that name.
Let’s take a look at a few steps to take during your planning stages that may help you to put some measures in place to secure the best possible trading name for your new company.
Complete a thorough name check availability
You may already have a name in mind for your new company, but the first thing you should do is to check whether your chosen name is actually available, and is not currently being used by someone else. This will save you a lot of time later on down the line when you are ready to incorporate your company only to find that you cannot use your chosen trading name.
You can check your preferred company name availability through the search bar on our home page.
There is also a lot to consider when choosing your company name. You need to make sure that you don’t use any offensive words or include sensitive words that are disallowed by Companies House. Here is a current list of sensitive words and expressions specified in regulations that require the prior approval of the Secretary of State to use in a company or business name.
Is it worth registering my company to secure my company name?
If you know that your chosen company name is available, but you are worried that someone else may snap it up before you are ready to launch your new business, then it is worth considering going through the company formations process to ensure that your company name is protected.
Most new business owners prefer to wait until they are completely ready to launch and trade before registering their company with Companies House, but if you are genuinely worried that your preferred company name is at risk of being taken by someone else, maybe by a rival person you know who is also setting up a similar business to your own, then it may pay to jump the gun and register your company to ensure you get to keep the name.
This can be useful if you have already started to develop your company trademarks and have invested in having your company logo created ready for your launch. In this case, you should take a look at our company formations package comparison page to see which type of company registration best suits the needs of your business.
First come, first served
While there are many very similar company names being used in the business world, you have to make sure that your chosen company name has not already been trademarked by someone. Should you start to use your preferred name to trade with, and a dispute is raised by someone over your use of the name, then what tends to happen is Companies House will usually side with whoever has had the name or trademark for the longest.
You can do a check here to see if a similar trademark to your brand already exists, and also find out who owns a trademark.
Set up a dormant company
Although you cannot simply reserve a company name for yourself without first registering your company with Companies House, if you are not quite ready to start trading yet, you could consider forming your company and leaving it in a ‘dormant’ state until you are ready to commence trading.
A dormant company is simply a company that is ‘not trading’, so if you register your company under your chosen name and don’t start trading right away, you can leave it in its dormant state. To do this quickly and easily, simply choose one of our company formations packages that best suits your needs and we can quickly get your new company officially registered with Companies House and your company name secured – sometimes as quickly as in one working day!
If you are unsure about which formations package is best for your business, then contact our friendly team for some helpful advice. We are here to help!
Once you have registered your company and secured your company name, you can feel confident about going forward with your plans knowing that you can safely use your new company name for your business.
When you are ready to start trading, you can simply notify HMRC that you have decided to start trading and they will then record your start date and generate your tax documents accordingly.