Use Our Company Name Availability Checker and Secure Your Name Today
We know deciding on a company name is an exciting step in your formation process, but there’s a few things to keep in mind. To form an incorporated company, you’ll need a company name unique to your business in the UK.
As your company name cannot be in current use by a business, you’ll need to see it’s available using our free business name checker tool.
It’s important to register your company name before you go ahead and print company stationery or start trading. A registered company name is your security blanket: once registered, your company owns that particular name.
How to Check if your company name is available?
Use our online search tool to check your company name availability.
Then, once you’re ready to form, register using one of our formation packages.
As well as using The Formations Company’s online name-checker, Companies House also has a free-of-charge service.
I’ve formed my company, what’s next?
Create an identity
Once you have your name sorted, add an extra dimension to your company’s identity by getting a logo designed. Once that’s done you can think about company stationery and decorating your premises.
Trademark your company
If you want to further your protection or secure your unique company logo, you can purchase a trademark. This will allow you to use the ®next to your company name, explicitly showing other companies that nobody can legally replicate that name or logo.
Choose a registered address
By law you must have a registered business address. This address will be in the public doman, that’s whay many people choose a registered address, instead of listing their home or business premises. At The Formations company we offer a Registered agent package, allowing you to use our London address as your official company address. Plus, our package includes mail forwarding services, for super convenience.
Once you have your logo, company name and trademark sorted, you should think about your online presence. There are myriad domain name registrars out there, so it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide can help you pick the best service for you.
What should I do if my business name is already in use?
If your name is already registered with Companies House, you still have plenty of options. There’s no legal reason why your registered business name has to be the same as the name you trade under. For example, your company could be registered as ‘Jack Jones Plumbing Ltd’ but trading as ‘Water Works’.
If you plan to have a separate ‘trading as’, ensure both your registered name and ‘trading as’ name are not registered trademarks belonging to another company. At this point, it makes sense to secure your registered company name and ‘trading as’ name as trademarks.
Read our guide on what to do if your company name is unavailable.
Are there any rules for naming a company?
Yes, there are. Your company name cannot be offensive, use sensitive words or imply a connection to government or local council, unless you have permission.
Also, you cannot use names that are too similar to existing names. These fall into two categoriesm the first being ‘Same as names’. This means if your company name already exists you won’t be able to change it by altering the name slightly with punctuation or special characters. For example, ‘Cats UK Ltd’ and ‘Cat’s Ltd’ would be considered as the same name as ‘Cats Ltd’.
The second category is names that are ‘too like’ other names. For example, ‘Stars and Stripes Ltd’ and ‘St@rs & Stripes Ltd’ would be classed as the same.
If your name is too similar to an existing company’s name, Companies House will contact you and help you with the next steps.
For further information head to our help centre.