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Company Name Availability Checker

  • Free company name check tool
  • Seamless Integration with Companies House Database
  • Get feedback on the use of sensitive words and expressions with guidelines on how to align your business name with all Companies House requirements
  • Effortlessly reserve your ideal company name and register your business today.

Companies House Name Check: Find Out if Your Preferred Name is Available.

Use the search box above to check company name UK availability for registration. Your Company Formations’ name check resource is directly integrated with the Companies House search beta service, the official registrar of businesses in the UK, hosting a database of over 4 million registered companies.

Check If Your Company Name Is Available and Appropriate (Avoid Sensitive Words and Expressions)

Your desired company name should be approved by companies house before you can use it. Fortunately, Companies House has naming guidelines that are easy to follow and not overly restrictive, ensuring a smooth name search process as you look for the perfect trading name.

Below find five primary companies' house name check rules for your information.

1. A name must not be identical or too similar to an existing company name.

A new company name must be unique and distinguishable. You are not allowed to register your company with a name that is identical or too similar to an existing registered name. Differences in punctuation, special characters, or commonly used words (such as "Company," "Services," or "UK") are not considered sufficient to make a name unique and different from one that is already registered.

For instance, let’s say you are in the energy sector. You cannot register a company by using the words Shell and adding a word such as “UK” to distinguish your company from the multinational energy company Shell.

company name check

However, if you decide to use a name connected to an existing company, our free company name checker will let you know that even though the name is also available, you’ll need to provide evidence that you have permission to use a name similar to theirs.

2. The name you want should not contain words that imply a connection to the UK government or local or specified public authority.

Unless you get explicit permission, your proposed name should not contain words that imply a connection with the devolved administration, national government or local authorities. Our companies house name checker will flag names like royal, council, crown, government, and HM (Her Majesty).

company name check

3. The name cannot include sensitive words or expressions without express permission.

These are words that could mislead the public about the company's nature, purpose, or legal status (e.g., "Chartered," "Accredited," "Architect," "Bank," etc.). Our free company name availability checker will flag your entry and advise that you prepare evidence to show that you have permission to use a sensitive word.

companies house name check

4. The name should not be offensive, inappropriate, or likely to cause harm or offence to any group or individual.

Our limited liability company name check uk tool will flag names that are offensive, inappropriate, derogatory, or likely to cause harm or offence to any group or individual. Companies House only seeks to approve enterprises promoting inclusivity and respect in the business community.

5. The name must not suggest criminal activity or be contrary to the public interest.

One of the critical guidelines set by the Companies House name search resource when selecting a name is that it should not suggest criminal activity, promote discrimination, prejudice or be contrary to the public interest.

By adhering to this guideline, businesses can create a positive company image and demonstrate a commitment to ethical practices, fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all stakeholders.

MoneySuperMarket and PureGym: Company’s Name Case Studies

Your registered trade name is the first representation of your business and leaves a lasting impression on potential customers. A good business name fosters a sense of trust and loyalty that ultimately contributes to your business's long-term success.

Therefore, craft and choose a company name that effectively communicates your business's essence and value proposition.

company name check

Before delving into the essential factors to consider while running potential names through the company search and selecting the perfect one, examine the following two case studies. By studying these examples, you’ll see how effective company naming can communicate value propositions and resonate with its target audience.

1. MoneySuperMarket (price comparison website for financial services)

MoneySuperMarket logo

MoneySuperMarket is a tool for comparing financial products such as insurance, loans, and credit cards. It combines three keywords - “money” and “supermarket.” The word "money" is universally recognised and easily understood by prospects. It immediately conveys that the company is involved in financial matters, which helps potential customers identify its offering without confusion.

The term "supermarket" evokes the image of a place that offers a wide variety of products under one roof. By combining "money" and "supermarket," the name suggests providing customers with a wide range of financial services and products.

Such a name effectively communicates the company’s value proposition. It resonates with prospects by leveraging familiar terms and concepts to create a clear, appealing, and memorable corporate image.

2. PureGym (Fitness Centers)

PureGym logo

PureGym is a chain of fitness centres in the UK that offers affordable and accessible gym memberships. When people hear the keyword “gym”, they immediately associate it with a place for fitness training, which can be particularly beneficial in a competitive market where numerous fitness centres vie for attention.

Further, using "Pure" as a prefix adds a sense of simplicity, focus, and dedication to fitness. It implies that PureGym prioritises the essential aspects of fitness training, offering its members an uncluttered, straightforward experience. The name appeals to prospects looking for a no-nonsense approach to fitness without unnecessary distractions or complications. Combining "Pure" and "Gym" create a corporate image that suggests a commitment to delivering a streamlined, effective, and affordable fitness experience.

The simplicity of the company name PureGym also contributes to its memorability. A short and easy-to-remember name helps prospects recall the business when considering joining a gym or recommending one to others.

company name check

Companies House check name lessons from MoneySuperMarket and PureGym

Lessons we get from PureGym and MoneySupermarket in crafting memorable registered company names are as follows:

1. Use Keywords in your business name.

The simplest way to resonate with your target audience as you communicate the value of your business is by using keywords. If you use a keyword in your name, research your industry's most popular, relevant and competitive words and terminologies.

companies house name check

To get the best keywords for your business name, you only need to identify the language and words your prospects use when talking or searching about a business in your area. To get these words, you may review the questions and comments on social media platforms such as Facebook community groups, Reddit, Quora and Twitter.

However, remember, language and word choices are bound to evolve and change with time. Therefore, you can commit to reviewing your business strategy, which includes your company name, preferably after five years. Regular strategy reviews enable you to remain relevant and in tune with current trends, customer preferences, and industry developments.

2. Make it simple and unique.

A simple and unique limited company name check is essential in distinguishing your business from competitors. Choosing a name that is easy to remember and pronounce increases the chances of your target audience recalling your company when ready to make a purchase decision.

Keeping it simple also makes your business more recognisable, leading to better customer engagement. You also want your name to be unique to prevent confusion with other companies and avoid infringement lawsuits.

3. Consider combining two or three words.

Merging words related to your business can yield a descriptive and unique name that is memorable and indicative of your company's purpose. Successful companies like Microsoft, Pinterest, and Snapchat have used this strategy to create names by combining relevant words. For instance, Microsoft blends "microcomputer" and "software," Pinterest merges "pin" and "interest," and Snapchat combines "snap" and "chat."

company name check

4. Leverage a company name generator.

A business name generator may help streamline your brainstorming process. Using such tools, you can get a range of suggestions that can help you get started by searching for a suitable name.

Some of the best company name generators are —

A highly sophisticated business name generator that uses advanced AI technology. The tool prompts users to input a keyword, select filters such as name style and degree of randomness, and provide basic information about their company.

We found that Namelix works best when users select the auto option for name style and medium randomness. To generate the most relevant names for your business, input two to three keywords pertinent to your industry and provide a brief, one-sentence description.

Overall, NameLix is a powerful and intuitive tool that can help entrepreneurs and startups quickly and easily generate unique and memorable names for their businesses.

The Shopify Business Name Generator requires you to input a few desired keywords for your business name. It then supplements your keywords with other words to create a list of potential business names.

With Shopify, knowing the words you want to include in your company name is handy. Although it may not be as advanced as Namelix, the generator remains valuable for crafting keyword-based names that effectively represent your enterprise.

company name check

Consider using any of the above business name generators to help you discover your business's perfect name. Compile a list of at least five potential names and use our free company name search to verify their availability.

Before you choose your company name, it's essential to prioritise the list according to your preference, placing the one you find most appealing at the top. Check your company name using our name search tool to determine which name is available to register. With this, you can settle for one that accurately represents your company and resonates with your target audience.

Let it resonate with you!

After you’ve followed all the rules, settle for a name that resonates with you. After all, your brand reflects who you are; therefore, choose one that reflects your values and unique way of seeing the world.

Read: Companies House Search Service [Your Comprehensive Guide].


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to check if your company name is available to register?

Go to Your Company Formations homepage at https://www.yourcompanyformations.co.uk/. Simply enter your chosen names at the search bar at the top of the page, and click search. Our name search engine is integrated with companies house website and will tell you if a name is already registered.

2. When does a company name check take effect?

To check a company name, simply type your name into our name, check the search box and wait for instant results.

3. Can I register my company name without forming a company?

You must form a company to register your company name in the UK. These two registration processes are tied together and happen simultaneously. However, you can enjoy the full protection of your desired company name through the following process —

  • Search through the Companies House name check service – Find out if the name is already in use. Once you find the name available, proceed to the next step.

  • Trademark registration — To register as a trade mark through the intellectual property office (IPO) by searching their database to confirm that the name is available for registration. Prepare and submit your application once you ensure it is available and the name meets registration requirements. The IP office will review the application, and if it meets their requirement, they will publish the name in the Checks and Trade Marks Journal for the opposition. If no one claims the name infringes on their trademark, the IP Office will register it two months after publication and give you a certificate to show your exclusive rights.

  • Domain name registration — You can also go the extra step of protecting the online presence of your soon-to-be business. But before you start, you must search to see if the name is registered using a domain name checker. If the name is not taken up, you can purchase the domain name to deter others from using it.

4. What words cannot be used in a company name?

In many jurisdictions, including the UK, certain words and expressions are restricted or prohibited from being used in a company name without prior approval. These restrictions are in place to prevent misuse that could suggest a connection with the UK government, local authorities, or other regulated or sensitive sectors when no such connection exists. Some examples of restricted words include —

  • Using words like "Bank," "Banc," "Banking," or "Banker," might give the impression that your company is engaged in banking activities, so you'll need approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority.

  • Including terms like "Charity," "Charitable," or "Charity Commission" can suggest your company is a charity or linked to the Charity Commission. In that case, you'll need permission from the Charity Commission for England and Wales or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator for Scottish companies.

  • Avoid words like "Government," “Gov.uk,” "Parliament," "Crown," "Royal," or "Regulatory," which imply a connection with or endorsement from the government.

  • Suppose you want to use "University," "Institute," "Academy," or "School," names which may suggest that your company is involved in education. In that case, you'll need permission from the Department for Education or other relevant education authorities.

  • Finally, terms such as "Health," "Medical," "Dental," "Pharmacy," or "Optician" might suggest that your company is engaged in regulated healthcare services. In that case, you'll need permission from the relevant health authorities.

5. Can I be exempt from using ‘Limited’ or ‘LTD’ in a trading name?

According to section 60 of the Companies Act 2006, companies can omit the word limited or ltd from their name. You can apply for exemption if —-

  • A company limited by guarantee must distribute profits to members and only have charitable objectives.

  • The company require its income to be applied to promoting its objectives.

  • Your members contribute their company assets if it is wound up while they are members or within one year of ceasing to be members.

If your company meets these criteria, you can apply for an exemption from using 'Limited' or 'Ltd' in your company name. You must include a statement of your company's charitable objectives in its articles of association and ensure that the other requirements are met.

For other forms of company structures, the following ending rules must apply -

  • A public corporation must conclude its name with 'public limited company' or 'p.l.c.'. However, if the registered office is declared in Wales (a 'Welsh' company), the name may alternatively conclude with 'Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus' or 'CCC'.

  • Specific phrases and abbreviations that denote a particular type of company (including Welsh equivalents) can only be utilised at the end of a name, such as 'Limited Liability Partnership' or 'Community Interest Company.'

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