Change of rules for naming LLPs and Companies

The Government’s push to reduce red tape for business has resulted in some minor changes to the business names rules.

Rules relating to Business Names that include sensitive words and expressions:

There is a list of words or expressions, which you cannot include in the name of a Limited Liability Partnership or Company without the permission of the Secretary of State or other relevant organisations. That list has been reduced by 26 words. The most significant of which are;

  • European
  • Group
  • Holding
  • International
  • National
  • United Kingdom

This relaxation of the rules will suit many business owners. The remaining list of sensitive words can be found on the Sensitive words list.

Changes to the Rules relating to Business Names and Trading Disclosures:

  • Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships can now include some characters in their name: Until now business names could only be made up from letters from the Roman alphabet and a limited number of characters. Now business names will be allowed to contain a specified range of accents and symbols. The purpose of this change is to help businesses make their names similar to their trademarks or brand names.
  • Business names that are the same: If two or more Companies have similar names, there is a possibility that third parties will confuse the company with which they have dealings. To avoid confusion, Companies House will not register Companies with names that are the same as the names of other companies already on the Register. To enforce this rule, Companies House will disregard words that might be used to disguise the similarity of names. So, as an example, Companies House will not register “Toad Motor Manufacturers Limited” if “Toad Motors Limited” is already on the register. However, the following list of words will now be disregarded in this assessment:
    • Exports
    • Group
    • Holdings
    • Imports
    • International
    • Services

    So from now on, “Toad Motor Exports Limited” will be accepted even if “Toad Motors Limited” is already registered. The purpose of this change of rule is to allow groups of companies some flexibility in their group structure and brand building.

  • Changes to the rules relating to trading disclosure.
    Until these changes, Companies had to display their names at the entrance to their registered offices. This rule created problems when there were many companies registered at 1 particular site as for instance in a large conglomerate of companies or a Registered Office Supplier. The new rules state that where there are more than 6 companies registered at one location, it is sufficient to have a register of names available for inspection.

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