Choosing a company name

There are a number of restrictions and controls on your choice of company name.

If two company names are so similar they are likely to confuse the public as to which company is which, then they are the 'same as'. Such company can not be incorporated.

To determine whether a name is the 'same as' an existing name the regulations set out:

  • the words and expressions that must be disregarded,
  • the words, expressions, signs and symbols that are to be regarded as the same.

What will be disregarded?

  • designated name endings (including permitted abbreviations and Welsh equivalents), e.g. "limited", "unlimited", "public limited company"
  • certain words and expressions including "biz", "co", "", "com", "company", "UK", "United Kingdom", "Wales", "Cymru", "net", "", "services", "international"
  • a blank space between or after a word, expression, character, sign or symbol
  • punctuation including a full stop, comma, colon, bracket, apostrophe
  • characters "*", "=", "#", "%" and "+" when used as one of the first three characters in a name
  • "s" at the end of a name (irrespective of whether it is a plural)
  • "the" and "www" at the beginning of a name
  • any characters after the first 60 characters in a name

What words and expressions will be regarded as the 'same as'?

When comparing one name with another certain words and expressions will be regarded as the 'same as', for example, "and" and "&", "plus" and "+", "1" and "one", "6" and "six", "€" and "euro", "$" and "dollar", "%" and "percent", "@" and "at".