Companies House

 

Incorporation and Names - GP1

June 2013 - Version 5.1

as modified by the Companies Act 2006

PDF version of this page (814KB)


Is this guidance for you?

This guide will be relevant to you if:

  • you want to incorporate a company
  • you want to check which names are acceptable for a company

Contents

This guide answers many frequently asked questions and provides information on completing the most commonly used filings relating to this area. The guide is not drafted with unusual or complex transactions in mind. Specialist professional advice may be needed in those circumstances.

Introduction

This guide sets out the main requirements for incorporating a company in the United Kingdom i.e. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It includes information and advice about:

  • how to incorporate a limited company
  • the type of company you wish to incorporate
  • the company's officers
  • choosing a company name including controls and restrictions
  • disclosure of company name and other information

Chapter 1 - Incorporating a new company

1.  What is Incorporation?

Incorporation is the process by which a new or existing business registers as a limited company. A company is a legal entity with a separate identity from those who own or run it. The vast majority of companies are limited liability companies where the liability of the members is limited by shares or by guarantee.

A business cannot operate as a limited company until it has been incorporated at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006. Establishing your business as a company means the directors are required to file certain documents every year such as annual accounts and an annual return. They must also inform Companies House about any changes, such as the appointment or resignation of directors or a change to the company's registered office.

It may be worthwhile seeking professional advice from a solicitor or accountant before deciding whether an incorporated company is the best way for you to run your business.

2. Who can incorporate a company?

One or more persons can form a company for any lawful purpose by subscribing their names to a memorandum of association (see question 8).  In law, 'person' includes individuals, companies and other bodies. By completing the memorandum the subscribers are confirming their agreement to form a company.

3. Is there more than one type of company?

There are four types of company:

Private company limited by shares: This company has a share capital and the liability of each member is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on their shares. A private company cannot offer its shares for sale to the general public.

Private company limited by guarantee: This company does not have a share capital and its members are guarantors rather than shareholders. The members' liability is limited to the amount they agree to contribute to the company's assets if it is wound up.

Private unlimited company:  An unlimited company may or may not have a share capital but there is no limit to the members' liability.

Public limited company: A public company has a share capital and limits the liability of each member to the amount unpaid on their shares. It may offer its shares for sale to the general public and may be quoted on the stock exchange. Further information about public companies is explained in chapter 3.

4. How do I incorporate my company and what fees apply?

There are three ways to incorporate a company.

Electronic Software Filing
Electronic incorporations can be submitted electronically through suitably enabled software. However, many incorporation agents and software providers have developed their systems to the point where they are able to offer customers a web-based electronic service (this is chargeable). This means that occasional as well as regular customers can apply for incorporation.

Many of the businesses shown on our list of software suppliers provide web-based services and depending on the volume of filings you anticipate making, it may be more practical for you to use their services. You can find more information about software filing and a list of providers on our website.

The standard fee for electronic filing is £13 (or £30 for the 'Same-Day' service for applications received by 3pm Monday to Friday). Straightforward applications are normally processed within 24 hours.

Web Incorporation Service
Web Incorporation is the safe and reliable way to file online, enabling you to quickly and easily incorporate your company. The standard fee for Web Incorporation is £15. There is no same day service and currently only applications for a private company limited by shares adopting model articles in their entirety with a proposed non sensitive name can use this service.

It is also possible using Web Incorporation to register your incorporation documents in Welsh and English as long as the company to be incorporated is situated in Wales. This means that the registered office address also has to be in Wales. The screens will take you through the process.

For more information please visit our website.

Paper filing
Paper documents, which must be sent to the appropriate office, take longer to process than electronic documents. The standard registration fee is £40 (or £100 for the 'Same-Day' service for applications received by 3pm Monday to Friday).The fee is £20 (or £100 for the 'Same-Day' service) in the following circumstances:

  • your company's registered office is stated as being situated in Wales ("Welsh company") and you file documents in the Welsh language; you can however also use the Web Incorporation Service for a private limited company adopting model articles in their entirety (see previous section for details)
  • your company is a Community Interest Company (the total fee will be £35 including the CIC Regulator fee and there is no same day service)
  • your company is an unlimited company

Cheques should be made payable to Companies House. Straightforward applications are normally processed within 5 days of receipt. When filing 'Same Day' applications by post, courier or by hand please ensure that you clearly mark the envelope "Same-Day Incorporation".

5.  What documents are required to incorporate my company?

To incorporate your company you must file the following documents:

You may not be able to incorporate your chosen company name if it is the 'same as' another name appearing on the registrar's index of company names. There is an exception to this if an existing company (or LLP or other body on the index) is part of the same group as your company and consents to the use of your proposed name. This is explained more fully in chapter 6.

6. Can I reserve my proposed name?

No. You cannot reserve a name. We cannot guarantee to process applications in strict order of the time or date of their receipt and in general electronic documents are processed more quickly than paper documents.  

7. What is included in the 'Application to register a company (form IN01)"?

This form requires the following information:

  • the proposed company name
  • the situation of the company's registered office ('RO') i.e. whether it is in England and Wales, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • the address of the RO (which must be the same as the situation of the RO)
  • whether the company will be private, public or unlimited (see question 3)
  • choice of articles of association
  • details of the proposed director(s), and the secretary if it has one
  • directors' service and residential addresses
  • a statement of capital and initial shareholdings or a statement of guarantee
  • whether a company limited by guarantee wishes to apply to be exempt from the  requirement to use "limited" or "cyfyngedig" in its  name (see chapter 6)
  • if the proposed name contains a sensitive word and a section requiring confirmation that you have requested the views of a government department or other body.  (see chapter 7
  • a statement of compliance or guarantee

8. What is the difference between a service address and a usual residential address?

A service address is one that can be used by a director to receive communications from third parties about the company. The service address can be the same as the person's residential address, or the registered office address of the company, or it can be somewhere different.

A usual residential address is the usual home address of the director concerned. It still has to be filed with the Registrar but it will not be available on the public record for everyone to see and will be held on a private register only available to predetermined organisations.

9. What is the memorandum of association?

The memorandum of association confirms the subscribers' intention to form a company and become members of that company on formation. In the case of a company that is to be limited by shares, the memorandum will also provide evidence of the members' agreement to take at least one share each in the company.

Under the Companies Act 2006, the memorandum is a much shorter document because all the constitutional rules of the company are contained in the articles of association (see question 9). Consequently, the memorandum serves a more limited purpose and once the company has been incorporated, it cannot be amended.

Information on capital and shareholdings is no longer part of the memorandum as it  is contained in the application to register (form IN01) as a 'statement of capital and shareholdings' or for a company limited by guarantee, a 'statement of guarantee',

The required memorandum wording is included in the 'The Companies (Registration) Regulations 2008 (2008/3014)' and you should use this format when preparing your memorandum.  You can also download a proforma memorandum from our website. Please note, the wording of the memorandum is prescribed and it cannot be amended in any way. If you add or change the wording your application will not be accepted.

10. What are the articles of association?

A company's articles of association are its internal rulebook, chosen by its members. Every company is required to have articles, which are legally binding on the company and all of its members. The articles help to ensure the company's business runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible and will set out how decisions are taken by the members and directors as well as various matters connected with the shares.

The articles cannot contain rules that are against the law. Provided the members observe this general principle they have complete freedom to choose which rules are included in the company's articles, although they may find it convenient to rely on model articles as a default position.  If the members decide to draw up their own rules as bespoke articles they may wish to obtain professional advice before proceeding.

On incorporation your company can adopt model articles in entirety, model articles with amendments or it can draft its own bespoke articles.

11. What are model articles?

Although the members can determine their own articles, they can also choose to adopt standard model articles set out in legislation. You are not obliged to adopt the provisions of model articles, but they are suitable for most standard companies, provide useful guidance and in some cases provide a safety net. They are available for private companies limited by shares, private companies limited by guarantee and public companies.

The model articles are set out in schedules 1-3 of 'The Companies (Model Articles) Regulations 2008 (SI No. 3229)'. They can also be found in the FAQ's on our  website.

When you complete the 'Application to register a company (Form IN01)' you will need to specify if the proposed company is adopting:

  • model articles in their entirety (they should not be filed with application form IN01)
  • model articles with amendments (only the amended articles should be filed with the form IN01)
  • bespoke articles (copy of the articles must be filed with the form IN01)

If you do not indicate which articles you are adopting, we will automatically apply the model articles appropriate to your company type.

12. Where can I find further guidance on the memorandum and articles of association?

You can find very useful information in the guide, 'Companies Act 2006 final implementation - changes to constitutional documents, including model articles: a summary of what the new approach means.

13. Are there any model articles for unlimited companies?

No. There are no model articles provided for unlimited companies. However, an unlimited company can choose to use model articles as the basis of its own articles of association. The articles must not include the provision for the liability of the members to be limited and the members should consider including an article containing power for an unlimited company by special resolution to increase or consolidate share capital, subdivide or cancel shares or reduce share capital and any share premium account. If you are thinking of incorporating an unlimited company you may wish to obtain professional advice.

14. Do I need to notify Companies House if I change my articles?

Yes. Once your company is incorporated, you must notify Companies House every time your company makes changes to its articles. You and your company may commit an offence if you do not do so.  You can amend your articles by special resolution and deliver a copy to Companies House within 15 days of the date it is passed. You must also deliver a copy of the amended articles within 15 days of the date the amendment takes effect. It will help us if you file both at the same time.

Further information about what you need to do if you amend your company's articles can be found in our guidance, 'Life of a Company – Event Driven Filings GP3'.

15. What are entrenched or restricted articles?

Your company may choose to adopt articles which include restricted provisions which can only be repealed or amended if certain conditions are met. For example, a rule which can only be changed with the support of a higher majority of shareholders than the 75 per cent that would be required to pass a special resolution.

If your company's articles include any entrenched provisions you must complete the appropriate section of the 'Application to register a company (Form IN01)'. The articles themselves must make it clear what conditions need to be satisfied in order to change the entrenched provisions in question.

16. Where can I obtain articles which are appropriate for my company?

Companies House cannot supply bespoke articles of association but you can purchase them from a company law stationer or formation agent. Alternatively, you can find model articles for your company on our website

17. What is the registered office?

Every company must have a registered office. The registered office must be a physical location where notices, letters and reminders can be delivered to the company. The registered office does not need not be the place where the company carries on its day-to-day business so it could, for example, be your accountant's address. If the address is not effective for delivering documents, the company could risk being struck off the register or wound up by a creditor.

If any person you deal with in the course of your business requests in writing the address of your registered office, or the location where they can inspect your company records, or details of the records that you keep at your registered office, you must respond within five working days.

When you apply to incorporate your company you must state whether your company's registered office is to be situated in England and Wales, in Wales (a "Welsh" company), in Scotland or in Northern Ireland. The address of your registered office must also be in the same country as its situation.

If you decide to change your registered office address, you must file a 'Change of registered office address' form AD01. The change is not effective until we register the form, which can be filed electronically as well as on paper.  You can change the address of your registered office but you cannot change its jurisdiction.  For example, if your registered office is in Northern Ireland you cannot change it to an address in Scotland.

18. What happens to the company incorporation documents sent to Companies House?

We will carry out a number of examination checks including one necessary to ensure proposed officers are not on the 'Disqualified Directors Register' maintained by Companies House.

If the documents satisfy all the appropriate examination checks, we will incorporate the company, issue a certificate of incorporation and place the documents on the company record for public inspection. Please note the incorporation does not take effect until Companies House has issued the certificate of incorporation. You should bear this in mind before obtaining company stationery or creating bank accounts.

19. What is the certificate of incorporation?

The certificate of incorporation is conclusive evidence that the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 as to registration have been complied with and that the company is duly registered under this Act. The certificate will state:

  • the name and registered number of the company
  • the date of its incorporation
  • whether it is a limited or unlimited company, and if it is limited whether it is limited by shares or limited by guarantee
  • whether it is a private or a public company
  • whether the company's registered office is situated in England and Wales, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland

The certificate must be signed by the registrar or authenticated by the registrar's official seal.

Chapter 2 - Directors and secretaries

Additional information about the role and responsibilities of directors' and secretaries can be found in our 'Life of a Company Part 2 – Event Driven Filings' guide.

1. What is the minimum number of officers a company requires?

Private companies: The Companies Act 2006 requires a private company to have at least one director. However, a company's articles of association could impose a higher minimum requirement. At least one director must be an individual.  A private company does not need to have a secretary unless the company's articles of association require it.

Public companies: A public company must have at least two directors and a secretary. At least one director must be an individual. The secretary of a public company must be qualified (see question 3).

2. Can anyone be a company director?

It is up to the members to appoint the directors who will run the company on their behalf. The only restrictions that prevent anyone becoming a director are:

  • they must not have been disqualified from acting as a company director (unless the court has given them permission to act for a particular company)
  • they must not be an undischarged bankrupt (unless they have been given permission by the court to act for a particular company)
  • they must not be under the age of 16

3. Does a company secretary need any qualifications?

Not in the case of a private company. A secretary of a public company must have one or more of the qualifications described in chapter 3.

Chapter 3 - Public Companies

1. What are the requirements a public company must meet?

A public company must meet the following requirements:

  • it must have at least two directors (who may also be members of the company)
  • it must have at least one director who is an individual
  • all individual directors must be aged 16 or over
  • it must have at least one secretary
  • the secretary must be qualified to act as a secretary

A qualified secretary is someone who:

  • has held the office of secretary of a public company for at least three of the five years before their appointment
  • is a barrister, advocate or solicitor called or admitted in any part of the United Kingdom
  • is a person who, by virtue of his or her previous experience or membership of another body, appears to the directors to be capable of discharging the functions of secretary
  • he is a member of one of the following professional bodies:
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
    • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
    • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
    • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
    • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

2. When can a public company start business?

A public limited company cannot conduct business or exercise borrowing powers unless it has obtained a trading certificate from Companies House confirming that it has the minimum allotted share capital. You will need to apply for the certificate by filing the 'Application for a trading certificate for a public company' (Form SH50). It is an offence to trade without a trading certificate and the directors are liable, on conviction, to a fine.

Different rules apply if a company wishes to re-register from a private company limited by shares or a private unlimited company to a public company. This is explained in our 'Life of a Company – Part 2 Event Driven Filings' guide'.

Chapter 4 - Community Interest Companies

1. What is a Community Interest Company?

A Community Interest Company ('CIC') is a limited company designed for people who want to carry out activities that are intended to benefit the community. CIC's are registered as companies under the Companies Act after the CIC Regulator has approved the application to form a CIC. The regulator also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.

Further information including details of the relevant legislation, forms to download and sample articles of association can be found in the Community Interest Companies website.

2. How do I apply to incorporate as a community interest company (CIC)?

To incorporate a CIC you should file the following documents:

As stated in 'The Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004', if your community interest company is a private company its name must end with "community interest company", or "c.i.c." Alternatively, if your company's registered office is stated as being situated in Wales ("Welsh" company) its name may instead end with 'cwmni buddiant cymunedol' or 'c.b.c.'.

If your community interest company is a public company its name must end with "community interest public limited company", or "community interest p.l.c.".

Alternatively, if your company's registered office is stated as being situated in Wales ("Welsh" company) its name may instead end with "cwmni buddiant cymunedol cyhoeddus cyfyngedig", or "cwmni buddiant cymunedol c.c.c.",

Currently, you can only file your application documents in paper format and there is no "Same Day" service available.

3. What are the fees to register a Community Interest Company?

Companies House collects fees on behalf of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies. The fees shown are combined Community Interest Company Regulator and Companies House fees:

  • to incorporate a community interest company ("CIC") - £35
  • to convert a company to a CIC - £25
  • to convert and re-register a company to a CIC public company ("PLC") (and vice versa) - £35
  • to convert an existing CIC to a CIC PLC - £20
  • to convert an Industrial and Provident Society to a CIC - £35
  • to change the name of a CIC - £10

Chapter 5 - Flat Management companies, Right to Manage (RTM) companies and Commonhold associations

1. What are Flat Management companies?

A Flat Management company is a company that has been formed to manage a property divided into a number of separate flats. Each flat owner usually has a lease of their own flat, but they may also be a member of a management company that owns the freehold (or lease) of the entire building. As members of the company, the flat owners have their say in running the building.

If the members own shares in the company, it is common practice in the company's articles of association that shareholders who sell their flats must also transfer their shares to the new owners. This ensures that, at any given time, the limited company represents the interests of all the current flat owners, and it remains a separate legal entity regardless of who holds its shares.

Leaseholders can also exercise their right to manage the building they live in. To obtain the right to manage the leaseholders must set up a 'Right to Manage' ('RTM') limited company. Further information is included in question 3.

A limited company could also be formed to own and manage the common parts of a development made up of separate units under 'commonhold'. This type of company is called a 'commonhold association'. Further information is included in question 6.

2. What documents are required to incorporate a Flat Management company?

To incorporate a Flat Management company you need to file the documents set out in chapter 1, question 5. When you complete the 'Application to register a company (form IN01)' you will need to tick option 3 (bespoke articles) of section A7 and include the articles with the other documents.

The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) provides free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold property in England and Wales. Its website includes advice and contact information.

3. What are Right to Manage ('RTM') companies?

RTM companies were introduced under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. These are private companies limited by guarantee enabling long leaseholders in blocks of flats to take over the management of their building.

Leaseholders must form a limited by guarantee company to exercise the management functions. The constitutional rules of an English RTM company are prescribed in articles of association included in The 'RTM Companies (Model Articles) (England) Regulations 2009' (SI 2009/2767). These regulations apply to all existing and proposed RTM companies.

4. What documents are required to incorporate an RTM company?

To incorporate an RTM you need to file the documents set out in chapter 1, question 5.  When you complete the 'Application to register a company (form IN01)' you will need to tick option 3 (bespoke articles) of section A7 and include the articles with the other documents. The name of your company must end with "RTM" Company Limited' or the Welsh equivalent.

The Department of Communities and Local Government ('DCLG') is responsible for RTM companies in England.  Further information and guidance can be found on the DCLG website.

The Welsh Government is seeking to introduce amended regulations for Welsh RTM companies in Wales as soon as possible. Further information can be obtained by emailing alyn.williams@wales.gsi.gov.uk or you can telephone 01685 729191

Please note, RTM companies do not exist in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

5.  What are Commonhold Associations?

Commonhold Associations were introduced under the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Commonhold is a form of freehold land ownership which is an alternative to long leasehold ownership of flats and other interdependent properties.  It combines freehold ownership of a single property (a unit) in a larger development with membership of a limited company that owns and manages the common parts of the development, for example a block of flats where each flat is a unit and all the other parts, such as the hallway are commonhold.

The constitutional rules of commonhold associations registered in England and Wales are prescribed in the articles of association included in The Commonhold Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2363).

6. What documents are required to incorporate a commonhold association company?

To incorporate your commonhold association you need to file the documents set out in chapter 1, question 5.  When you complete the 'Application to register a company (form IN01)' you will need to tick option 3 (bespoke articles) of section A7 and include the articles with the other documents.  The name of your company must end with 'commonhold association limited' or the Welsh equivalents. 

The Ministry of Justice is the responsible for commonhold associations. The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) provides free advice on the law affecting residential leasehold property in England and Wales. Its website includes advice and contact information.

Commonhold Associations do not exist in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Chapter 6 - Choosing a Company name

This chapter provides information about the restrictions, controls and requirements for approval of certain words and expressions when used in a company name. It includes guidance on name endings and company type; same as names; names that imply a connection with any part of government; punctuation and permitted characters; and sensitive words and expressions.

Before choosing a name you should use our WebCHeck service to ensure your chosen name is not the 'same as' an existing name on the index of company names.  You should also check the Trade Marks Register of the UK Intellectual Property Office to ensure that the proposed name does not infringe an existing trade mark. You can also seek advice from the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys.

1. Can I choose any name I want for my proposed company?

No. There are a number of restrictions and controls on your choice of company name.

If your company is a private company limited by shares or guarantee its name must end with "limited" or "Ltd". However, if your company's registered office is stated as being situated in Wales (a "Welsh" company), its name may instead end with "cyfyngedig" or "cyf".

If your company is a public company its name must end with 'public limited company' or 'p.l.c.'. However, if your company's registered office is stated as being situated in Wales (a "Welsh" company), its name may instead end with 'Cwmni Cyfyngedig Cyhoeddus' or 'CCC'

The Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 (SI2009/1085) set out the controls and restrictions on your choice of company name including:

  • requirement that certain expressions and abbreviations (including Welsh equivalents) which describe a particular form of company, can only be used at the end of a name, such as "Public Limited Company" or "Community Interest Company".
  • controls that restrict the use of "Right to Manage" (or the Welsh equivalent) or "RTM" in any part of the name unless the company is an RTM company
  • conditions a private company limited by guarantee must meet to enable it to be exempt from including "limited", "ltd", "cyfyngedig" or "cyf" at the end of its name (see question 2)
  • rules which prevent the registration of a name which is the 'same as' an existing name on the index (see questions 3-7)
  • controls over the use of certain characters, signs, symbols and punctuation in a company name

The following restrictions apply under sections 53-55 and 1197-8 of the Companies Act 2006:

  • names that suggest a connection with Her Majesty's Government, a devolved government or administration or a specified public authority
  • names that include "sensitive" words and expressions included in regulations
  • names that include words that would constitute an offence
  • offensive names

2.  How can I be exempt from including "limited" in my company name?

  • Your company must be a private company limited by guarantee and the articles of association must include clauses that:
  • state that the objects of the company are the promotion or regulation of commerce, art, science, education, religion, charity or any profession
  • require its income to be applied in promoting its objects
  • prohibit the payment of dividends, or any return of capital, to its members
  • require each member to contribute to the assets of the company if it is wound up during the time that he is a member or within 1 year of him ceasing to be a member
  • If you wish to apply for the exemption upon incorporation you must complete Section A3 of the application to register (form IN01).

3. What is meant by 'same as'?

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

  • the words and expressions that must be disregarded (see question 4)
  • the words, expressions, signs and symbols that are to be regarded as the same (see question 5)

There is one exception to these rules which is explained in question 7.

4. What will be disregarded?

 The full list is set out in the regulations. They include:

  • designated name endings (including permitted abbreviations and Welsh equivalents), e.g. "limited", "unlimited", "public limited company"
  • certain words and expressions including "biz", "co", "co.uk", "com", "company", "UK", "United Kingdom", "Wales", "Cymru", "net", "org.uk", "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

5. 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".

6. Can you give some examples of 'same as' names?

'Hands Limited' is the 'same as':

  • Hand-S Limited
  • H and S Public Limited Company
  • Hands: Ltd

'Catering Limited' is the 'same as'

  • Catering UK Limited
  • Catering.co.uk PLC
  • Catering International Ltd
  • Catering Company Services Public Limited Company

7. Are there any exceptions to the 'same as' rules?

Yes. The 'same as' rule will not be applied in the following circumstances:

  • that the proposed company will be part of the same group as an existing company
  • the existing company consents to the registration of the proposed name
  • the application to register includes a letter/statement from the existing company which confirms its consent to the incorporation of the new company name and that it will form part of the same group

Chapter 7 - Sensitive words and expressions

1. What are sensitive words and expressions?

These are words and expressions which, when included in a company or business name could:

  • suggest business pre-eminence, a particular status, or a specific function
  • imply a connection with a government department, devolved administration or, public authority
  • cause a criminal offence

If any of the above are indicated in your chosen name you will need the approval of the Secretary of State. These rules are in place to protect the public from being mislead. Companies House administers the approval process on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. Is there a list of sensitive words?

Yes.  These are set out in the Annexes A-C.

Annex A - These words and expressions are included in 'The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 2615)'.  Also included are the specified public authorities set out in the 'The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Public Authorities) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 2982)'.

To use the majority of these words you will need to obtain the views of the body specified in the regulations. For other words you may need to seek the views of another relevant body. 

In all cases the body concerned is not required to support the name but should indicate in writing whether it has any objection to the proposed name. If it has no objection the letter or email need only confirm this view. If the body does object then it should explain the reasons. You must include a copy of the response with the 'application to register a company (form IN01').

Annex B- These words and expressions require the approval of the Secretary of State because they could imply a connection with government or a relevant body. If you choose a name that includes any of these words you may need to obtain the views of the body and deliver a copy of the response with your application. The response should follow the format set out under Annex A.  

Annex C– If you wish to include one of these words you may need to seek the views of the relevant body or ask us for advice. If you use any of these words without approval you may commit a criminal offence. 

Chapter 8 - Objections to Company names

1. Could I be required to change my company name after incorporation?

Yes.  You could be required to change your company name after incorporation if:

  • the name is 'too like' an existing name on the index
  • misleading information was provided at the time of registration
  • the company's activities are misleading
  • the company no longer justifies omitting "Limited" from its name
  • the name is too similar to a name in which someone else has goodwill

2. What are 'too like' names?

In general a name is 'too like' an existing name if:

  • the differences are so trivial the public are likely to be confused by the simultaneous appearance of both names on the index
  • the names look and sound the same

In practice this means that a name will be regarded as being 'too like' an existing name if they:

  • differ by one or two letters or characters, although the length of the names involved will be taken into account. For example, International Logistic Support Limited and International Logistical Support Limited would be 'too like' but ICL Plc & ICG Plc would not
  • differ because of punctuation or spacing of letters or words or the order of words. For example, Bristol Heating & Plumbing Limited & Bristol Plumbing & Heating Limited would be 'too like'
  • look and sound the same. For example, Dynamic Technology Limited would be regarded as 'too like' Dinamix Teknology Limited

Names that differ by the inclusion of additional words (as opposed to a few characters) will not be treated as 'too like' regardless of whether the additional word does or does not describe an activity in detail. For example, there is no difference in the treatment of "trading" or "plastics" in terms of additional words. However, names that differ only by the inclusion of words that are normally associated with a name ending such as "company" or "partnership" will be regarded as 'too like'. 

When deciding whether a name is 'too like' another we will not consider factors such as:

  • trademarks/patents infringement
  • disputes between directors
  • trading/business names
  • nature & location of the companies' activities
  • arguments over proprietary rights in the name
  • suggestions of passing off
  • suggestion of implied association
  • dormancy or non-trading status

All 'too like' objections should be addressed to the 'Secretary of State' and delivered to Companies House in time to allow for any necessary direction to be issued within 12 months of a company's incorporation. If a direction is issued to the affected company it will be required to change its name within 12 weeks of the date of the direction.

The 'too like' rules apply to any name which appears on the index of company names which includes companies, LLPs and other bodies such as Limited Partnerships, overseas companies and Industrial Provident Societies. 

When choosing your proposed name you should check the index to ensure it will not result in an objection for 'too like' which could require you to change your company name. Not all 'too like' names result in an objection but you could incur additional costs, for example, new signage, business stationery and also damage to the goodwill you have gained since incorporation.

3.  How is the rule on misleading information applied?

You could be directed to change your company name within five years of incorporation if misleading information was provided to enable the name to be registered or if an undertaking or assurance given to enable the adoption of the name has not been fulfilled. For example, this could apply if statements or information provided to approve a word which included a sensitive word turned out to be misleading and on review are insufficient to allow you to use the name.  

If a direction is issued the company would be required to change its name within 12 weeks of the date of the direction.

4.  What is meant by misleading indication of activities?

If your company or business name gives a misleading indication of the nature of the company's activities and the public are likely to suffer harm as a result, then you could be directed to change your company name. A typical example would be a company whose name and stated activities suggested it was providing training courses that the public believed would lead to a recognised qualification.

An objection can be made at any time regardless of how long the company has had the name. If a direction is issued the company would be required to change its name within 6 weeks of the date of the direction.

5.  When would I need to re-instate "limited" in my company name?

A limited company is entitled to be registered without "limited" (or a permitted alternative) in its name if it meets certain conditions. The conditions for exemption are explained in chapter 6 question 2. If at any time the company no longer meets the requirements for the exemption the Secretary of State may direct the company to change its name so that it ends with "limited" (or a permitted alternative). The directors will need to pass a resolution and notify Companies House on form NM05 'Notice of change of name by resolution of directors'. A copy of the resolution should not be sent with this form. 

6. What is Opportunistic Registration?

Opportunistic registration is the term applied to a company or LLP which registers a similar name to one in which another person has goodwill. There is no restriction on who can complain.

Complaints about opportunistic registration are handled by the Company Names Tribunal (not Companies House) which provides a remedy for parties who are damaged by the registration of a company or LLP name in which they have a goodwill/reputation. Objections are also based on the suspicion that the name has been registered in order to extract money or to prevent the aggrieved party from registering the name.

Further information, including application forms and contact information is available on the Company Names Tribunal website.

Chapter 9 - Business Names

1.  What is a Business Name?

A "business name" is any name under which someone carries on business other than their own. In the case of a company or limited liability partnership, it means a name that is not its registered name. In the case of a sole trader, it means a name other than a surname with or without forenames or initials. In the case of a partnership, it means a name other than the partners' names.

2.  Which provisions of the Companies Act 2006 apply to my business name?

Business names are not registered under the Companies Act but some of the rules included in the Act do apply, principally:

  • restrictions on the use of certain words in the name and names that could imply a connection with a government department or public body (see chapter 7)
  • Inappropriate and misleading use of a name ending, e.g. "limited" at the end of the name and trading there are rules to prevent the use of names that could mislead the public (see chapter 8, question 4)
  • rules requiring the names of sole traders and partnerships using a business name to be displayed on stationery and signs at business premises (see questions 4-5)

3.  How do I obtain approval to use a sensitive word in my business name?

If your business name includes any of the words and expressions included in Annexes A-C, where appropriate, you must obtain the written views of a relevant body and send it to Companies House with your letter seeking permission to use the name. If you use such a name without prior approval, you will be committing an offence and may be subject to a fine.

You should also ensure your business name does not infringe an existing trade mark.

4. Do I need to display my business name?

No. However, if you are a sole trader or partnership that uses a different trading name you must display your own name (sole trader) or all the partners' names (partnership) in a prominent position at all your business premises.  

5.  What must I include in business stationery?

If you use a business name, you must include your own or the partners' names
in legible characters on:

  • business letters
  • written orders for goods or services to be supplied to the business
  • business emails
  • invoices and receipts issued in the course of the business
  • written demands for payment of debts arising in the course of the business

You must also include an address in the UK to enable business documents to be served on the sole trader or any partner shown on business stationery .

Chapter 10 - Disclosure of company name and specified other information ("Trading Disclosures")

1. What is meant by trading disclosures?

Regulations made under the Companies Act 2006 require a company to display its name at its registered office and other places of business, on business documents and on websites. The purpose of the regulations is that the legal identity of every company should be revealed to anyone who have, or may wish to have, dealings with it.

The requirements are included in 'The Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations (Statutory Instrument 2008/495) and The Companies (Trading Disclosures) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 218)

Where must I display my company name?

Every company, unless it has at all times been dormant since incorporation, must display a sign with its registered name at:

  • its registered office
  • any inspection place
  • at any location at which it carries on business (unless it is primarily used for living accommodation

It must also include its registered name in all business communications (hard copy and electronic).

3.  How must I display the sign with my company name?

You must display a sign with your company name:

  • in characters that can be read with the naked eye
  • in such a way that visitors to that office, place or location may easily see it
  • continuously, but if the location is shared by six or more companies, each such company is only required to display its registered name for at least fifteen continuous seconds at least once in every three minutes

4.  How must I display the company name in communications?

You must include your company's registered name in all forms of business correspondence and documentation, whether in hard copy or electronic, including:

  • business letters, notices and other official publications
  • business emails
  • bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements and order forms
  • cheques purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company
  • orders for money, goods or services purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company
  • bills of parcels, invoices and other demands for payment, receipts and letters of credit

5. Must I display my company name on my website?

Yes. Every company must disclose its registered name on its websites. You do not need to include the company name on every page but it must be displayed so it can be easily read.

6. Are there any exceptions to the requirement to display a company's name?

There are two exceptions:

  • an insolvent company, i.e. a company in respect of which a liquidator, administrator, or administrative receiver is not required to display its registered name at any premises which are also the place of business of those insolvency specialists
  • if every director of the company is one whose residential address cannot be disclosed by the registrar to a credit reference agency, then the company does not have to display its registered name at any place at which it carries on business (but this exception does not extend to the company's registered office or inspection place for the company's records)

7. What additional information must I disclose?

The company must display the following on all its business letters, order forms and websites:

  • the part of the United Kingdom in which the company is registered (i.e. England and Wales, or Wales, or Scotland, or Northern Ireland)
  • the company's registered number
  • the address of the company's registered office
  • if a company is exempt from the requirement to use "limited" in its name, the fact that it is a limited company
  • if the company is a community interest company which is not a public company, the fact that it is a limited company
  • if it is an investment company as defined by section 833 of the Companies Act 2006, the fact that it is this type of company
  • if it is a company which has chosen to display its share capital, it must display the amount of paid up share capital

8. What information must the company provide on request?

If anyone with whom the company deals in the course of business makes a written request for:

  • the address of its registered office
  • the address of any place of inspection
  • the type of company records kept at the registered office or inspection place

The company must provide this information, in writing, within five working days.

9.  Do I have to display directors' names?

A company does not have to state the directors' names on its business letters unless it chooses to do so. However, if it does decide to include the names then it must state the names of all its directors. In other words, a company cannot be selective about which directors' names it shows - it must show all of them or none of them.

10.  Are there special rules for charitable companies?

Section 68 of the Charities Act 1993 provides that a charitable company whose name does not include the word 'charity' or 'charitable' must state that it is a charity on company documents, including business letters, notices, invoices, bills of exchange, promissory notes and on any conveyances it executes. The relevant legislation in Scotland is the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.

11.  Do the rules apply to overseas companies?

Yes. Please see our 'Overseas Companies registered in the UK' (GP01) guide.

12.  Do the rules apply to business names?

Yes. Please see chapter 9, questions 4 and 5.

13.  What if the company is being wound up?

If a company is being wound up or is in administration or receivership or a moratorium is in force in respect of its debts, every invoice, order for goods, business letter or order form (in hard copy, electronic or any other form) must contain a statement that the company is being wound up.

Chapter 11 - Quality of documents

1. What happens to the documents I send to Companies House?

We scan the documents and forms that you deliver to us to produce an electronic image. We then store the original paper documents and use the electronic image as the working document.

When a customer searches the company record, they see the electronic image reproduced on-line. So it is important not only that the original is legible, but that it can also produce a clear copy.

When you file a document electronically, we automatically create an electronic image from the data you have provided us with.

This chapter sets out some guidelines to follow when preparing a document for filing at Companies House.

2. How should I set out documents?

Documents filed electronically

Documents filed electronically must comply with the specifications set out by the registrar in his rules on electronic filing. The formats for software filing are contained in the rules published on the website, and our website contains all the formats you will need to file via that method.

Paper documents

Generally, every paper document sent to Companies House must state in a prominent position the registered name and number of the company. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which are set out in the published registrar's rules.

Paper documents should be on A4 size, plain white paper with a matt finish. The text should be black, clear, legible, and of uniform density. Letters and numbers must be clear and legible so that we can make an acceptable copy of the document. The following guidelines may help:

When you fill in a form please:

  • use black ink or black type
  • use bold lettering some elegant thin typefaces and pens give poor quality copies)
  • don't send a carbon copy
  • don't use a dot matrix printer

Keep in mind - photocopies can result in a grey shade that will not scan well.

When you complete other documents, please remember:

  • the points already made relating to completing forms
  • to use A4 size paper with a good margin
  • to supply them in portrait format (that is with the shorter edge across the top)
  • to include the company number and name

3. Where can I find further information?

For further guidance on print requirements please visit our website or telephone 0303 1234 500

Chapter 12 - Further Information

1. How do I deliver information to Companies House?

For full details of all the ways of delivering documents to Companies House, electronically or on paper, please refer to the registrar's rules which appear on our website.

The safest and most secure way to deliver statutory information to Companies House is to use our online filing services For more information and registration details please visit our website.

If you are delivering documents by post, courier, Document Exchange Service (DX) or Legal Post (in Scotland) and would like a receipt, Companies House will provide an acknowledgement if you enclose a copy of your covering letter with a pre-paid addressed return envelope. We will barcode your copy letter with the date of receipt and return it to you in the envelope provided.

Please note: an acknowledgement of receipt does not mean that a document has been accepted for registration at Companies House.

Please Note: Companies House does not accept any statutory documents by fax, PDF (except for electronically filed certified copies of charge instruments) or by email.

2. Do I have to pay to file documents at Companies House?

You do not have to pay a fee for many of the documents that you have to send to Companies House, but some do require a fee and we will not accept them for registration without it. For full details you should refer to our price list.

3. Can I file documents in other languages?

As a general rule the law requires that you deliver documents to Companies House in English, however there are exceptions which are detailed below. Companies can deliver the following documents in languages other than English if the document is accompanied by a certified translation into English:

  • resolutions and agreements affecting a company's constitution delivered under Chapter 3 of Part 3 of the Act
  • accounts of larger EEA (European Economic Area) groups, the group accounts and parent undertaking's annual report
  • accounts of larger non-EEA groups, the group accounts and, where appropriate, the consolidated annual report
  • a charge instrument or copy charge instrument
  • valuation report required to be delivered to the registrar under section 94(2)(d) of he Act
  • articles of association; Memorandum of association
  • court orders

In addition companies may also file voluntary certified translations of any document subject to the First Company Law Directive disclosure requirements. These are:

  • constitutional documents such as the memorandum and articles of association
  • directors appointments, changes in particulars or terminations; Accounts, reports and annual returns; Notification of any change in a company's registered office; Winding up documents; Share capital documents (public companies only); Documents relating to mergers and divisions (public companies only); and Documents relating to overseas companies

The voluntary translation must relate to a document delivered to Companies House on or after 1 January 2007. Voluntary translations can only be filed in an official language of the European Union and must be accompanied by Form VT01, which will link the translation to the original document.

There are different exceptions for Welsh companies (those complying with section 88 of the Act) who are entitled to draw up and deliver certain documents in Welsh without the need of an accompanying certified translation in English. A full list of the excepted documents can be found in our guidance entitled 'Conducting business in Welsh (GPO5)' available on our website.

4. Where do I get forms and guides?

This is one in a series of Companies House publications which provides a simple guide to the Companies Act.

All statutory forms and guides are available, free of charge from Companies House. The quickest way to get them is on our website or by telephoning 0303 1234 500.

You can also obtain forms from company law stationers, accountants, solicitors and company formation agents.

Annex A - Sensitive words and expressions, including public authorities, specified in regulations that  cannot be used in a company  name without the prior approval of the Secretary of State.
Company requirements also apply to business names unless otherwise stated.

Abortion

You cannot use this word unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sexual Health Policy Team
Department of Health
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UG

Accounts Commission for Scotland

 

You cannot use this expression unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Accounts Commission for Scotland
110 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 4LH

Email: info@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Accredit
Accreditation
Accredited
Accrediting

You cannot use this word unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Department for Business Innovation & Skills
Accreditation Policy
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

Adjudicator

This word normally implies the company has a quasi-judicial role similar to decisions made by a court of law, an administrative tribunal, an official ombudsman or government officials.

You cannot use this word unless a government body or relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Alba
Na h-Alba
Albannach

(Registered names only)

 

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is a surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. You will also need to provide independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. The company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Scotland.

If this word is used elsewhere in the name, the company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Scotland.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname you will normally be given approval if the proposed name includes forenames or initials.

Association

To use this word in your proposed name the company should normally be limited by guarantee. The articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company and a non-profit distribution clause which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends. The articles should also include a one member one vote clause.

These requirements do not apply if the company is a residents or tenants association.

Assurance
Assurer

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email:  SensitiveBusinesN@fca.org.uk

Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England and Wales

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Chief Executive's Office
Audit Commission
1st Floor, Milbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4HQ

Auditor General for Northern Ireland

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast BT7 1EU

Email: info@niauditoffice.gov.uk

Auditor General for Scotland.
Audit Scotland

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Auditor General for Scotland
110 George Street
Edinburgh  EH2 4LH

Email: info@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Auditor General
Audit Office

 

You cannot use this expression unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England:
Comptroller & Auditor General
Corporate Secretariat
National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SP

Email: enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk

Wales:
Wales Audit Office
24 Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9LJ

Email: info@wao.gov.uk 

Scotland:
Audit Scotland
110 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 4LH

Email: info@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Northern Ireland:
Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast BT7 1EU

Email: info@niauditoffice.gov.uk

Auditor General for Wales

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Auditor General for Wales
24 Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9LJ

info@wao.gov.uk  

or
Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru
24 Heol y Gadeirlan
Caerdydd CF11 9LJ

Email: info@wao.gov.uk 

Authority

The use of this word will normally imply that the company is a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, business or profession, or a body with recognised expertise.

Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise. You will also need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from a relevant body.

Banc
Bank
Banking

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Banknote

 

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Governor and Company of the Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH

Benevolent

To use this word the company should normally be limited by guarantee. The articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company and a non-profit distribution clause which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends. The articles should also include a one member one vote clause.

Board

You can use this word in your proposed name provided the name does not imply that the company is an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, business or profession.

If the name does imply the company is such a body of evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.  You will also need to provide confirmation (letter or email) from a relevant body that it has no objection.

Breatainn
Bhreatainn

Breatannach
Bhreatanach
Bhreatanaich
Breatannaich

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the name is a surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. You will also need to provide independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. If this word is not the first word in the name it will normally be allowed.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname (and the name does not imply a connection with government), you will normally be given approval if the name includes forenames or initials.

Brenin
Frenin
Brenhines
Frenhines

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Brenhinol
Frenhinol
Brenhiniaeth
Frenhiniaeth

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Britain
British

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use it at the start of your company name or 'of Britain' or 'of Great Britain' anywhere in the name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field by providing independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. If 'Britain' or 'British' is not the first word in the name it will normally be allowed.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname (and the name does not imply a connection with government), you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

Cenedlaethol
Chenedlaethol
Genedlaethol

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word as the first word in your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. If this word is not the first word in a name it will normally be allowed.

If the word is a surname you will usually be given approval if the name includes forenames or initials.

Chamber(s) of

This expression could imply representative or government status. To support your application you will need to set out the reasons for using this expression and you will need to obtain the views (letter or email) of an appropriate body.

Chamber(s) of Commerce
Business
Industry
Enterprise
Training
Trade

If your proposed name includes 'Chamber of' followed by any of these words or combinations of these words we will seek the views of the British Chambers of Commerce (England and Wales), the Scottish Chambers of Commerce or the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.

Charitable
Charity

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England and Wales:  
New incorporation or business name:

Email (preferred): registrationapplications@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Head of Registration
Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227
Liverpool  L69 3UG

England and Wales: 
Change of name:

If you are an existing registered charity changing its name and your current and proposed new name includes one of these words then your application should include a copy of the company's letterhead bearing the registered charity number.  Subject to our normal examination checks the new name will be approved. 

Northern Ireland
New incorporation or business name:                                                

To use "Charity" or "Charitable" in a company or business name you should normally obtain a letter or email of non-objection from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland ("CCNI").  However, it is currently not possible to register with the CCNI within Northern Ireland. Until this changes the CCNI deems charities to be organisations which have registered with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for charitable tax purposes and are entered on the "deemed list".

Consequently, to use either of these words in a company or business name we will accept suitable evidence that your organisation is on the HMRC "deemed list".  If you are not on the deemed list then please contact the CCNI for further advice.  CCNI can be contacted by:

Email: casework@charitycommission.org.uk
Phone: 028 3832 0220
Post: Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, 257 Lough Road, Lurgan, BT66 6NQ

Northern Ireland: 
Change of name:

i. If your name appears on the HMRC "deemed list" and your proposed new name includes one of these words, then your application should include evidence of the company's tax exempt status.

ii. Once CCNI's registration activities commence and your proposed new name includes one of these words, then your application should include evidence that the CCNI has registered your organisation under your proposed new name

Scotland:
New incorporation; change of name; business name:

E-mail: info@oscr.org.uk

or write to:

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
2nd Floor Quadrant House
9 Riverside Drive
Dundee DD1 4NY

Charter

Chartered

You cannot use the word 'Chartered' in your proposed name without the consent of your professional body. If you decide to resubmit your application you will need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from the relevant body.

If you are an existing body and wish to incorporate as a company using 'Charter' or 'Chartered' in the name please provide evidence of your royal charter status. Please note, if you have already registered as a company, you cannot use this word in another company name. This does not apply to expressions such as 'Air Charter', 'Chartered Flights' or 'Chartered Travel'.

Chartered Accountant

ICAEW

You cannot use the expression 'Chartered Accountant' (or the abbreviation ICAEW)  without the consent of one of the bodies shown below. If you decide to resubmit your application you will need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from the relevant body.

England and Wales:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Chartered Accountants' Hall
Moorgate Place
London EC2R 6EA

Email: contactus@icaew.com

Northern Ireland:
Chartered Accountants Ireland
The Linenhall
32-38 Linenhall Street
Belfast BT2 8BG

Scotland:
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
Head Office
CA House
21 Haymarket Yards
Edinburgh EH12 5BH

Email: enquiries@icas.org.uk

Chartered Secretary

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
16 Park Crescent
London W1B 1AH

Email: membersupport@icsaglobal.com

Chartered Surveyor

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
RICS
Parliament Square
London SW1P 3AD

Email: contactrics@rics.org

Child Maintenance

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Child Support

These expressions imply a connection with services provided by the UK government. In England, Wales and Scotland services are provided by Child Maintenance Options, part of the Department for Work and Pensions and in Northern Ireland by Child Maintenance Choices.

To use any of these expressions you will need to provide a copy of a letter or email of non-objection from one of these bodies. Further information can be found at:

England, Wales and Scotland
www.cmoptions.org.

Northern Ireland:
www.nidirect.gov.uk/child-maintenance

Coimisean
Choimisean
Chomisein
Coimisein

 

 

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body or other relevant organisation.

Comhairle
Chomhairle
Comhairlean
Chomhairlean

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession.  Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body or other relevant organisation.

Comisiwn
Gomisiwn
Chomisiwn

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body or other relevant organisation.

Comisiwn
Cynulliad
Cenedlaethol
Cymru

 

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99 1NA

or

Clerc y Cynulliad
Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
Bae Caerdydd
Caerdydd CF99 1NA

Commission

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession.

Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise. You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body or other relevant organisation.

Comptroller and Auditor General

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Corporate Secretariat
National Audit Office
Elizabeth 2
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London
SW1W 9SS

Email: enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk

Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast BT7 1EU

Email: info@niauditoffice.gov.uk

Co-operative

Co-operatives can operate under different legal structures, for example, as a company, an Industrial & Provident Society or an unincorporated body.  A proposed company or business wishing to use this word should meet the following conditions:

  • It should be owned and controlled by its members, customers or employees
  • Membership should be voluntary and open i.e. it should not be artificially restricted in order to increase the value of the business or its assets
  • Members' should participate in the economic activity of the business
  • Profits should be distributed equally amongst the members' or at least in proportion to the extent each member has participated in the business 

A company can be limited by shares or guarantee but the articles of association should include clauses that reflect the requirements set out above. An unincorporated business must provide a copy of its constitution to support its application to use this word. Co-operatives UK provide useful advice on how to create a suitable constitution

Council

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Cymru
Gymru
Chymru
Nghymru
Cymreig
Cymraeg
Chymraeg
Chymreig
Gymraeg
Gymreig
Chymreig

(Registered names only)

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name you would need to demonstrate  that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. You will also need to provide independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.  The company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Wales. .

If you want to use the words because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

Cyngor
Chyngor
Gyngor

 

To use this word the company should normally be an independent advisory body; a deliberative assembly; or a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern, supervise, or look to it for expertise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99 1NA

or

Clerc y Cynulliad
Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
Bae Caerdydd
Caerdydd CF99 1NA

Data protection

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that is has no objection.

England
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow SK9 5AF

Email: casework@ico.org.uk 

Scotland:
Email: scotland@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Wales:
Email: wales@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Northern Ireland:
Email: ni@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Dental
Dentistry

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

General Dental Council
Registration Development
37 Wimpole Street
London  W1G 8DQ

Email: businessnames@gdc-uk.org

Dentist
Dental Surgeon
Dental Practitioner

These words and expressions are controlled by the Dental Act 1984 and cannot be included in your chosen name without a letter or email of non-objection from the following body.

The Registrar
General Dental Council
37 Wimpole Street
London W1G 8DQ

Email: businessnames@gdc-uk.org

Disciplinary
Discipline

This word could imply that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. If so evidence must be provided to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whomever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You may also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Diùc
Dhiùc
Diùcan
Dhiùcan
Ban-diùc
Bhan-dhiùc
Bhan-dhiùcan
Ban-diùcan

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email:  protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Dug
Ddug
Duges
Dduges

 

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Duke
Duchess

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. Contact:

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster & preferred): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word: information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; publications and if appropriate accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge, Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Ei Fawrhydi
Ei Mawrhydi

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

England
English

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name or 'of England' anywhere in the name, you will need to show that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. You will also need to provide independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. The company's registered office or principal place of business must be in England.

If the word is used elsewhere in the name, the company's registered office or principal place of business must be in England.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

European

You cannot use this word if it implies a connection with official bodies of the European Union. If there is a genuine connection with an official body you will need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from the relevant body.

Federation

To use this word the company should normally be limited by guarantee. The articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company and a non-profit distribution clause which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends. The articles should also include a one member one vote clause.

Financial Conduct Authority

Financial Services Authority

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Financial Reporting Council.

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

General Counsel & Company Secretary
Financial Reporting Council
5th Floor, Aldwych House
71-91 Aldwych
London WC2B 4HN

Email: enquiries@frc.org.uk

Foundation

To use this word the company should normally be limited by guarantee. The articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company and a non-profit distribution clause which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends.

The company should have a pool of money or a regular source of finance available to promote the objects. You will need to confirm this when you submit your application.

Friendly Society

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk 

Fund

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk  

Giro

This word could imply a connection with activities previously operated by the UK Post Office or with an official or private banking credit transfer system that enables payments to be made through a bank branch.  If you submit your application you will need to include a letter or email of non-objection from a government body or a relevant body.  

Government

You cannot use this word if it implies a connection with Her Majesty's Government. If there is a connection you will need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government department or body.

The Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Governor and Company of the Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH

Group

To use this word the company should be part of a group that includes two or more existing companies. You should normally meet this condition on first registration or upon change of name. Your application should include the names of two existing companies that will form part of the group.

If the name clearly shows that the company is to promote the interests of a group of individuals, then it will normally be approved.

Gwasanaeth iechyd.
Wasanaeth iechyd

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Welsh Government
Head of Communications
Health & Social Services Directorate
General Head of Corporate Management
South Wing, 4th Floor
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Gwladol
Wladol

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.

If this word does not imply a connection with government and is not the first word in the name it will normally be allowed.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

Health and Safety Executive.

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England, Wales and Scotland:

Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle L20 7HS

Northern Ireland:

Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland
83 Ladas Drive
Belfast BT6 9FR

Email: mail@hseni.gov.uk

Health centre
Health service

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England:
Department of Health
Head of Brand Management
Skipton House
80 London Road
London SE1 6LH

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Health Directorate
Business Management and Support
Floor 2N.11
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh EH1 3DG

Email: ceu@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Wales:
Welsh Government
Head of Communications
Health & Social Services Directorate
General Head of Corporate Management
South Wing, 4th Floor
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Northern Ireland:
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Office of the Permanent Secretary
DHSSPS
Room C4.15, Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SQ

Email: ops@dhsspsni.gov.uk

Health visitor

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Peter Pinto de Sa
Head of Office of the Chair and Chief Executive
Nursing & Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place
London W1B 1PZ

Email:ceoffice@nmc-uk.org

His Majesty
Her Majesty   

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster and preferred): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word: information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; publications and if appropriate accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Holding
Holdings

You cannot use this word in your proposed name unless the company is a holding company in accordance with section 1159 of the Companies Act 2006. This condition must be met on or within 3 months of incorporation/registration. When you submit your application please provide details of at least one subsidiary company or confirmation that this requirement will be met within 3 months.

House of Commons

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Corporate Officer of the House of Commons
House of Commons Legal Services Office
London SW1 0AA

House of Lords

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Corporate Officer of the House of Lords
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 0AA

HPSS
HSC

 

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Office of the Permanent Secretary
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
( DHSSPS)
C.4.15, Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SQ

Email:  ops@dhsspsni.gov.uk

Human rights

To use this expression the company should be working or campaigning for the better protection or promotion of human rights, at home or abroad; or providing a legal, advice or training service in relation to human rights.

This expression will not be allowed if it implies a connection with The Equality and Human Rights Commission, a special status in relation to the Council of Europe, the Human Rights Act, or one of the human rights commissions.

In either case, if a connection is implied, you will need to obtain confirmation (letter or email) from the body shown below, that it has no objection.

Head of Litigation, Legislation and Council of Europe
Human Rights Division
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9AJ

Inspectorate

This word implies the company has a quasi-judicial role similar to decisions made by a court of law, administrative tribunal or government officials.

You will need to obtain confirmation (letter or email) from a government body or a relevant body, that it has no objection. 

Institute
Institution

Approval to use this word is normally given only to fully functioning organisations that are established in the field but operate under a different name.  The range of activities may vary but institutes are organisations that typically undertake research at the highest level or are professional bodies of the highest standing. The factors we will take into account include:

  • whether there is a good reason for establishing the institute
  • whether the activities are regulated or unregulated
  • whether the organisation already exists in some form
  • the nature of any work it provides for other organisations
  • the relevance and nature of support from existing organisations
  • whether the institute offers training leading to its own qualifications
  • whether the institute provides training or activities that support qualifications provided by other bodies such as universities or colleges
  • whether the institute's activities are supported by or associated with activities undertaken by a government body, an independent organisation established in the field or a funding organisation

You will need to obtain the written views (letter or email) of one or more relevant bodies.

Insurance
Insurer

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk 

International

If you wish to use this word at the start of the name you will need to confirm, at the time of registration, that a significant part of the company's activities is in trading overseas. You should also state the country or countries concerned.

If you wish to use the word elsewhere in the name, you will need to confirm that the company trades overseas in at least one country. You must also confirm the country or countries concerned.

Judicial appointment

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Ministry of Justice
Democracy, Constitution and Law Group
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9A

King

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster & preferred) RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word; the history of the company/organisation and its future plans; details of any Royal or Government associations/leading members; details of leading members and membership numbers; details of any publications and if appropriate, accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Law Commission

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Ministry of Justice
Democracy, Constitution and Law Group
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9AJ

Licensing

This is normally associated with an authority that carries out licensing functions under the Licensing Act 2003. This includes, for example, the licensing of the sale of alcohol, entertainment, films and clubs.

Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection a relevant body Such as a local or specified public authority.

Llywodraeth
Lywodraeth

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Welsh Government
Head of Communications
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Medical centre

You cannot use this expression in any part of the UK unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Office of the Permanent Secretary
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)
C.4.15, Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SQ

Email: ops@dhsspsni.gov.uk

Midwife
Midwifery

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Peter Pinto de Sa
Head of Office of the Chair and Chief Executive
Nursing & Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place
London W1B 1PZ

Email:ceoffice@nmc-uk.org

Mòrachd
Mhòrachd

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Mutual

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

National

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association, or other relevant body.

If the word does not imply a connection with government and is not the first word in the name, it will normally be allowed. If you want to use the word because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

National Assembly for Wales.

National Assembly for Wales Commission.

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99 1NA

NHS

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Department of Health
Head of Brand Management
Skipton House
80 London Road
London SE1 6LH

Northern Ireland
Northern Irish

This expression cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with the Northern Ireland Assembly or Executive, a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

If you wish to use this expression at the start of your company name or 'of Northern Ireland' anywhere in the name, you will need to show that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field by providing independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. The company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Northern Ireland.

If the word does not imply a connection with government and is not the first word in the name, it will normally be allowed. The company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Northern Ireland. 

Northern Ireland Assembly

Northern Ireland Assembly Commission

Northern Ireland Executive

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Northern Ireland Assembly
Parliament Buildings
Belfast BT4 3XX

Northern Ireland Audit Office

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Northern Ireland Audit Office
106 University Street
Belfast BT7 1EU

Email: info@niauditoffice.gov.uk

Nurse
Nursing

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Peter Pinto de Sa
Head of Office of the Chair and Chief Executive
Nursing & Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place
London  W1B 1PZ

Email:ceoffice@nmc-uk.org

Oifis sgrùdaidh

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Audit Scotland
110 George Street
Edinburgh  EH2 4LH

Email:  info@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Oilthigh
t-Oilthigh
Oilthighean
h-Oilthighean

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Ombudsman
Ombwdsmon

 

This word is normally associated with an official organisation appointed by government to investigate complaints, generally on behalf of individuals such as consumers or taxpayers, against private or public institutions. These organisations also have access rights to sensitive personal information.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government or a relevant body.

Oversight

This word could imply that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. If this applies evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You will also need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Parlamaid
Pharlamaid
Parlamaidean
Pharlamaidean

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Parliament Parliamentarian Parliamentary

You cannot use this word unless you provide a letter or email of non-objection from the bodies shown below.

The Corporate Officer of the House of Lords
and separately
The Corporate Officer of the House of Commons
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 0AA

Patent
Patentee

You cannot use this word unless the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Legal Framework Team
Copyright and Enforcement Directorate
Intellectual Property Office
Concept House
Cardiff Road
Newport NP10 8QQ

Email: ipenforcement@ipo.gov.uk

The Pensions Advisory Service

You cannot use this expression unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Department for Work and Pensions
Protection and Stewardship,
7 floor, Caxton House
6-12 Tothill Street
London  SW1H 9NA

Police

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England & Wales:
Home Office
Policing Strategy Team
Crime and Policing Group
Fry Building
2 Marsham Street
London  SW1P 4DF

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Police Division
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh  EH1 3DG

Northern Ireland:
Private Secretary to the Secretary of State
Northern Ireland Office
Stormont House, Stormont Estate
Belfast BT4 3SH

Polytechnic

You cannot use this word unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Higher Education Governance
Level 3, Kingsgate House
66-74 Victoria Street
London SW1E 6SW

Post Office

The Post Office is part of Royal Mail Holdings plc, which is majority owned by the UK government through the Shareholder Executive. You cannot use this  expression without a letter or email of non-objection from:

Post Office Limited
148 Old Street
London
EC1V 9HQ.

Pregnancy termination

You cannot use this expression unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sexual Health Policy Team
Department of Health
Wellington House
133 -155 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UG

Prifysgol
Brifysgol
Phrifysgol

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Prince
Princess

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster & preferred): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word; information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; details of any publications and if appropriate, accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Prionnsa
Phrionnsa
Prionnsaichean Phrionnsaichean

Bana-phrionnsa
Bhana-Phrionnsa
Bana-Prionnsaichean
Bhana-Phrionnsaichean

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh  EH6 6QQ

Prudential Regulation Authority

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Prydain
Phrydain
Brydain

Prydeinig
Phrydeinig
Brydeinig

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your name, or you wish to use the expression "o Prydain" or "o Prydain Mawr" (or mutated forms) anywhere in the name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.

If the word does not imply a connection with government and is not the first word in the name, it will normally be allowed. If you want to use the word because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if you include forenames or initials.

Queen

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (preferred & faster): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word; information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; details of any publications and if appropriate, accounts for the last 3 years. 

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents the name of a street please provide evidence of location; if the name is a surname please include this information in your email (or letter); if appropriate, provide details of long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Reassurance
Reassurer
Reinsurance
Reinsurer

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Regional Health and Social Care Board

Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being

You cannot use this expression anywhere in the UK unless the department shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Office of the Permanent Secretary
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Room C4.15, Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate,
Belfast  BT4 3SQ

Email:  ops@dhsspsni.gov.uk

Register
Registered
Registrar
Registration
Registry

This word could imply that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. If this applies then evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You will also need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Regulator
Regulation

This word could imply that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession.

Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise. You will also need to obtain confirmation (letter or email) from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body, that it has no objection.

Riaghaltas
Riaghaltais
Riaghaltasan

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Rìgh
Banrigh
Bhanrigh
Bhanrighrean
Banrighrean

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Rìoghachd Aonaichte.

 

This expression cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

If you wish to use this expression at the start of your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.

If this expression does not imply a connection with government and does not appear at the start of the name, it will normally be allowed.

Rìoghail
Rìoghalachd

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

The Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Royal
Royalty

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. Contact:

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster & preferred): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; details of any publications and if appropriate, accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh EH6 6QQ

Rule committee

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Ministry of Justice
Democracy, Constitution and Law Group
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9A J

Scotland
Scottish

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with the Scottish Government, a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name or 'of Scotland' anywhere in the name, you will need to show that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. You will also need to provide independent support from a representative body, trade association or other relevant body The company's registered office or principal place of business should be in Scotland.

If the word is used elsewhere in the name, the company's registered office or principal place of business should be in Scotland.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the company name includes forenames or initials.

Scottish Law Commission

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Chief Executive
Scottish Law Commission
140 Causewayside
Edinburgh EH9 1PR

The Scottish Parliament

The Scottish
Parliamentary Corporate Body

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Secretary
Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body
The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Senedd

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff CF99 1NA

Sheffield

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire
c/o Hulse & Co.
St. James House
2nd Floor
Vicar Lane
Sheffield S1 2EX

Siambr

This word could imply representative status. To support your application you will need to set out the reasons for using this word and in most cases you will need to obtain the views (letter or email) of an appropriate body

Siambr o
Fasnach
Fusnes
Ddiwydiant
Fenter
Hyfforddiant
Masnach

If your proposed name includes 'Siambr o' followed by any of the words or combination of words (or mutated forms) we will seek the views of the British Chambers of Commerce before approving the name.

Social Service

This expression implies a connection with a local authority Social Services department with access rights to sensitive personal information.  You will not be able to use this word unless the appropriate local authority or other relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Society

To use this word the company should normally be limited by guarantee. The articles of association should include objects that reflect the specific purpose of the company and a non-profit distribution clause which provides that any profits should be used to further the objects of the company and not paid to the members as dividends. The articles should also include a one member one vote clause.

Special School

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England:
Department for Education
2 St Paul's Place
125 Norfolk Street
Sheffield S1 2FJ

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Edinburgh EH99 1SP

Northern Ireland:
Department of Education
Special Education Policy Advisory Group
Rathgael House
43 Balloo Road
Bangor BT19 7PR

Wales:
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ   

Standards

You cannot use this word if it implies that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession. Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You will also need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Stock exchange

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Swyddfaarchwilio

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Auditor General for Wales
Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9LJ

in Welsh:
Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru
24 Heol y Gadeirlan
Caerdydd CF11 9LJ

Email: info@wao.gov.uk

Teyrnas Unedig
Teyrnas Gyfunol
Deyrnas Unedig
Theyrnas Unedig
Deyrnas Gyfunol
Theyrnas Gyfunol

This expression cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

If you wish to use this expression at the start of your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.

If the expression does not imply a connection with government and does not appear at the start of the name, it will normally be allowed.

Trade Union

Section 10 (3) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, prohibits a trade union from being registered as a company under the Companies Act 2006.

Tribunal

This word could imply that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession.  If this applies evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise.

You will also need to provide a letter or email of non-objection from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.

Trust

Approval to use the word trust depends on the reasons you wish to use it in your proposed name.  We will consider each application on its merits but  to use this word  your organisation should normally be one of the following trusts: Artistic; Educational; Charitable; Enterprise; Family; Investment; Financial; Pensions; Staff or Unit Trust. The requirements for  approval are set out below.

 

Artistic Trust

To use this expression in your proposed name (or if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Artistic' in the name) the company should normally be limited by guarantee and include a non-profit distribution clause in the articles of association.

The company's objects should normally include activities such as advancement and development of the arts, culture, heritage or science.

 

 

Charitable Trust

If your proposed name includes this expression the following requirements apply:

Charitable
To use the word 'charitable' you will need to obtain a letter of non-objection from the relevant Charity Commission or Regulator in England & Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland as shown below.

England and Wales:
New incorporation:
Email (preferred) registrationapplications@charitycommission.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Head of Registration, Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, Liverpool L69 3UG. 

Change of name:
If you are an existing company which is also a registered charity and your current and proposed new name includes "Charitable" or "Charitable Trust" then your application should include a copy of the company's letterhead bearing the registered charity number. Subject to our normal examination checks the new name will be registered.

Northern Ireland:
Email: casework@charitycommissionni.org.uk
Phone: 028 3832 0220

or write to, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, 257 Lough Road, Lurgan, BT66 6NQ.  Please see section on 'charity' and 'charitable' for further information about Northern Ireland charities.

Scotland:
E-mail: info@oscr.org.uk

Or write to, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, 2nd Floor, Quadrant House, 9 Riverside Drive, Dundee DD1 4NY

Trust - Please note - the relevant charity Regulator should not be contacted about the word 'trust'. To use the word 'trust' the company should normally be limited by guarantee and a non-profit distribution clause should be included in the articles of association. The objects of the company should be charitable in nature, for example, the prevention or relief of poverty or disadvantaged people or the advancement of education, religion, the arts, culture, heritage or science.

 

Educational Trust

To use this expression in your proposed name (or if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Educational' in the name) the company should normally be limited by guarantee and include a non-profit distribution clause in the articles of association.

The company's objects should normally include activities that relate to the advancement and promotion of education, art, culture, educational or the community.  The articles should also reflect the purpose of the trust.

 

Enterprise Trust

To use this expression in your proposed name (or if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Enterprise' in the name) the company should normally be limited by guarantee and include a non-profit distribution clause in the articles of association. Company's objects should normally include activities that are intended to support the community, for example, by providing advice on business start up, opportunities for training and development, or removing barriers to further education etc.

To support your application you will need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a relevant body such as a local Chamber of Commerce, a local authority, a bank or any other relevant organisation.

 

Family Trust

To use this expression in your proposed name (or if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Family' in the name) the company should normally be one set up to hold funds in trust for young children or other family members or one linked to a property where a family member will become the beneficiary.

The company should be limited by guarantee and the articles of association should include a non-profit distribution clause. The objects should reflect the purpose of the trust.

 

Financial Trust

If you want to use 'Financial Trust' in the name and you intend the company to be an 'Investment Trust' then the company should be one which is a type of collective investment which are closed end and constituted as a public company.  If the company will not be an Investment Trust you will need to explain the purpose of the company.

 

Investment Trust

To use the expression 'Investment Trust' (including if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Investment' in the name) the company should be one which is a type of collective investment closed end fund and also a public company

 

Pensions Trust
Staff Trust

To use the expression 'Pensions Trust' or 'Staff Trust' in your proposed name (or if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Pension' or 'Staff' in the name) the company's objects should be to manage pension scheme funds held in trust.  The name of the company should normally include the name of the parent company.

You may need to comply with the requirements of the Pensions Regulator at http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/  You may also need to be registered with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. 

 

Unit Trust

To use the expression 'Unit Trust' (including if the company is this type of trust but does not include 'Unit' in the name) the company should be one which is a type of open ended collective investment fund. The FCA regulates unit trusts in the UK under their Collective Investment Scheme rules.

To use this expression you will need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from:

Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Tywysog
Thywysog
Tywysoges
Thywysoges

Dywysog Dywysoges

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
The Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Underwrite Underwriting

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk 

United Kingdom

This expression cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

If you wish to use this expression at the start of your name, you will need to demonstrate that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field. To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body.

If the expression does not imply a connection with government and does not appear at the start of the name, it will normally be allowed. Approval to use 'UK' is not required provided the name does not imply a connection with government.

University

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Use where the registered office of the proposed  company  will be in:

England and Wales:
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Higher Education Governance
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

Wales:
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Higher Education Governance Team
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
Glasgow G2 8LG

Northern Ireland:
Department for Employment and Learning
Head of Higher Education, Finance & Governance
39-49 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 FD8

Use in a business name:
If you wish to use this word in a business name then the body to be contacted will depend on the location of the principal place of business. For example, if this is in Wales it will be the Welsh Government.

Wales
Welsh

This word cannot be used in any part of your company name if it implies a connection with the Welsh Government, a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. This applies even if the word is your surname.

If you wish to use this word at the start of your company name or 'of Wales' anywhere in the name, you will need to show that the company is pre-eminent or very substantial in its field.

To support your application you will also need to obtain the views (letter or email) of a representative body, trade association or other relevant body. The company's registered office or principal place of business should be in Wales.

If the word is used elsewhere in the name, the company's registered office or principal place of business must be in Wales.

If you want to use the word because it is a surname, it will normally be allowed if you include forenames or initials.

Watchdog

You cannot use this word if it implies that the company has a regulatory role such as a governing, supervisory or representative body of an activity, trade, business or profession.

Evidence must be produced to show that the company will be what it claims, and that it has the support of whoever it claims it will govern or supervise. You will also need to obtain confirmation (letter or email) from a government body, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body, that it has no objection.

Welsh Government

Welsh Assembly Government

 

This expression suggests the company is a part of the Welsh Government. You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

Welsh Government
Cathays Park 
Cardiff CF10 3NQ  

Windsor

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

England & Northern Ireland:
E-mail (faster & preferred): RoyalNames@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Cabinet Office
Constitutional Policy Team
4th Floor (South 1)
1 Horse Guards Road
London
SW1A 2HQ

To support and speed up your application please email the Cabinet Office with as much information as possible such as the reason(s) you wish to use this word; information about the company/organisation and its future plans; its present administration and activities; details of any Royal or Government associations; details of leading members and membership numbers; details of any publications and if appropriate, accounts for the last 3 years.

If you wish to use the name to represent an existing public house, hotel or similar establishment please provide evidence including the length of time it has existed; if the name represents a street name, evidence of location; if the name is a surname; if it has long usage and any other relevant information.

Wales:
Email: brandingqueries@wales.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Brand Manager
Strategic and Corporate Communications
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Scotland:
Email: protocol@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

or write to:

Scottish Government
Protocol Team
3-D  Bridge
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh  EH6 6QQ

Annex B - Sensitive words and expressions that could imply a connection with a government department, a devolved administration, a local or specified public authority or a relevant body.
Company requirements also apply to business names unless otherwise stated.

Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board

Accounting Standards Board

Auditing Practices Board

Board for Actuarial Standards

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

Executive Director
The Auditing Practices Board
5th floor,
Aldwych House
71-91 Aldwych
London WC2B 4HN

Email: enquiries@frc.org.uk

Agency

This word will normally be allowed provided it does not imply a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Auditor General for Wales
24 Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9LJ

or

Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru
24 Heol y Gadeirlan
Caerdydd CF11 9LJ

Email: info@wao.gov.uk

Assembly

You cannot use this word if it implies a connection with a government department or body, or a local or specified public authority unless the relevant body confirms (letter or email) it has no objection

Border Agency

 

You cannot use this expression unless the UK Border Agency confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

UK Border Agency
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR9 2BY

Cabinet Office 

This expression implies a connection with the Her Majesty's Government.  You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Cabinet Office

70 Whitehall
London SW1A 2AS

Cadw

You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Cadw
Welsh Government
Plas Carew
Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed
Parc Nantgarw
Cardiff CF15 7QQ

Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales

CISSW

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

National Office
Welsh Government
Rhydycar Business Park
Merthyr Tydfil  CF48 1UZ

Email: cssiw@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Commissioner

This word could imply a person who is a government administrator or a member of a commission set up by a government department or devolved administration. If this applies you cannot use this word unless a government or relevant body confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Commonhold Association

You cannot use the expression 'Commonhold Association' in your proposed name unless the company is a Commonhold Association and meets the requirements of The Commonhold (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 2363). In addition this expression can only be used at the end of your proposed name. These regulations also require the company to be limited by guarantee.

Court

Courts

You cannot use this expression if it implies a connection with the Her Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service. To use this word you will need to a letter or email of non-objection from the Ministry of Justice.

Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London  SW1H 9AJ
United Kingdom

Email: mailto:general.queries@justice.gsi.gov.uk

Crime Squad

Criminal Intelligence
Service

This expression will not normally be permitted in a company name because its use would imply a connection with the UK's criminal intelligence services such as the Police, National Criminal Intelligence Service, National Crime Squad and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Crown Estate

You cannot use this expression in a proposed name because it implies a connection with the 'Crown Estate' organisation which manages property and land owned by the Sovereign on behalf of Her Majesty's Government.

If you decide to submit your application you will need to include a copy of a letter or email of non-objection from the relevant Crown Estate's office. Further information about the Crown Estate can be found at

http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/contact-us/

Employment Medical
Advisory Service.

EMAS

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

England, Wales and Scotland:

Health and Safety Executive
(1G) Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle L20 7HS

Northern Ireland:

Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland
83 Ladas Drive
Belfast
BT6 9FR

Email: emasmail@hseni.gov.uk

Financial Reporting Review Panel

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Financial Reporting Review Panel
5th Floor
Aldwych House
71-91 Aldwych
London WC2B 4HN

Email: enquiries@frc.org.uk

Further Education

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. If you decide to submit your application please provide a copy of the letter or email of non-objection.

England:
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Higher Education Governance
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

Northern Ireland:
Department for Employment and Learning
Head of Higher Education, Finance & Governance
39-49 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 FD8

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Higher Education Governance Team
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
Glasgow G2 8LG

Wales:
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff CF10 3NQ

Health and Safety

This expression will be allowed provided your proposed name does not imply a connection with the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Social Care

You cannot use this expression because it implies a connection with the Department of Health or activities provided by a local authority.

If you decide to resubmit your application please provide a copy of a letter or email of non-objection from the Department of Health or relevant local authority.

Higher Education

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection. If you decide to submit your application please provide a copy of the letter or email of non-objection.

England:
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
Higher Education Governance
1 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0ET

Northern Ireland:
Department for Employment and Learning
Head of Higher Education, Finance & Governance
39-49 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 FD8

Scotland:
Scottish Government
Higher Education Governance Team
Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
Glasgow G2 8LG

Wales:
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff  CF10 3NQ

Home Office

If this expression implies a connection with the Home Office you will need to obtain a letter or email of non-objection from

Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Industrial and Provident Society

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Intellectual Property

IPO

This expression will normally be allowed provided the name does not imply a connection with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). If there is a connection we may contact IPO to seek their view.

Licensing Authority Assets Recovery

This expression will not be permitted in your company name because its use would imply a connection with activities carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)..

National Accounts

National Accounting

NAO

This expression implies a connection with the National Audit Office (NAO). You cannot use this expression unless the NAO confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Comptroller & Auditor General
Corporate Secretariat
National Audit Office
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SP

Email:  enquiries@nao.gsi.gov.uk

Notary
Notary public
Notarial

You cannot use this word or expression in your proposed name unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use this title. 

England & Wales
The Faculty Office
1 The Sanctuary
London SW1P 3JT

Email: faculty.office@thesanctary.com

Scotland:

The Law Society of Scotland
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh EH3 7YR

Northern Ireland:
Department of Justice
Block B, Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
Belfast
Northern Ireland BT4 3SG

Nuclear Installation

This expression implies a connection with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You cannot use this expression unless the HSE confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Health and Safety Executive
Redgrave Court
Merton Road
Bootle L20 7HS

Primary Education

You cannot use this expression if your proposed name implies a connection with education services provided by a local authority. If appropriate you should include a copy of a letter or email of non-objection from a relevant local authority.

Professional Oversight Board

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

General Counsel & Company Secretary
Financial Reporting Council
5th Floor, Aldwych House
71-91 Aldwych
London WC2B 4HN

Email: enquiries@frc.org.uk

Scrivener
Scrivener notary

You cannot use this word/expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use this title. 

The Faculty Office
1 The Sanctuary
London SW1P 3JT

Email: faculty.office@thesanctary.com

SE

You cannot use this expression in this form (upper or lower case) at the start or end of your proposed name unless you are a 'Societas Europaea' (European Company). Further information can be found in Chapter 3 of our guide, The European Company: Societas Europaea (SE) - GPO6.

Secondary education

You cannot use this expression if your proposed name implies a connection with education services provided by a local authority. If appropriate your application should include a copy of a letter or email of non-objection from a relevant local authority.

Select Committee

This expression normally implies a connection with the House of Commons. You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Corporate Officer of the House of Commons
Houses of Commons Legal Services Office
London SW1A 0AA

Serious Organised
Crime

SOCA

This expression implies a connection with The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). You cannot use this expression unless SOCA confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Serious Organised Crime Agency
PO Box 8000
London SE11 5EN

Trade Mark

You can use this expression in your proposed name provided if does not imply a connection with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.  If there is a connection we may contact IPO to seek their view.

UKBA

 

You cannot use this expression unless the UK Border Agency confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

UK Border Agency
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon CR9 2BY

UKIPO

You cannot use this expression in your proposed name if it implies a connection with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) which is part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills If there is a connection we may contact IPO to seek their view.

Annex C - Words and expressions controlled by other legislation
Please note: The use of any of these words and expressions in your chosen name could be a criminal offence. The list is not exhaustive and applicants should carry out their own checks to ensure their proposed name does not breach any legislation. Company requirements also apply to business names unless otherwise stated

Anzac

This word is protected under section 1 of the Anzac (Restriction on Trade Use of Word) Act 1916 and will not be allowed in a company or business name.

Architect

With the exception of 'naval architect', 'landscape architect' or 'golf-course architect', the use of this word is controlled under section 20 of the Architects Registration Act 1997.

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Architects Registration Board
8 Weymouth Street
London W1W 5BU

Email: info@arb.org.uk

Arts psychotherapist
Art therapist
Biomedical scientist
Chiropodist
Clinical psychologist
Clinical scientist
Counselling psychologist
Diagnostic radiographer
Dietician
Dietitian
Drama therapist
Diagnostic radiographer
Educational psychologist
Forensic psychologist
Health psychologist
Hearing aid dispenser
Music therapist
Occupational psychologist
Occupational therapist

Operating department practitioner
Orthoptist
Orthotist
Paramedic
Physical therapist
Physiotherapist
Podiatrist
Practitioner psychologist
Prosthetist
Radiographer
Registered psychologist
Social worker
Speech and language therapist
Speech therapist
Sport and exercise psychologist
Therapeutic radiographer

The words and expressions in the left and right columns are protected titles and require prior approval (letter or email) from the Health Professions Council who can be contacted at:

Registration Department
Health Professions Council
Park House
184 Kennington Park Road
London SE11 4BU.  

Email: registration@hpc-uk.org

Attorney General

You cannot use this expression because it implies a connection with the office of the Attorney General, the chief legal advisor to the Crown. 

Bachelor of medicine

This expression is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983.  You cannot use this expression in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Building Society

You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct Authority
25 North Colonnade Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Chemist.

Dispensing Chemist
Dispensing Druggist
Druggist

Pharmaceutical
Pharmaceutical chemist.
Pharmaceutical druggist
Pharmaceutist
Pharmacist
Pharmacy

These words and expressions are protected titles and controlled by section 78 of the Medicines Act 1968. You cannot use any of these titles in your company name unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

England, Wales and Scotland:
The General Pharmaceutical Council
129 Lambeth Rd
London SE1 7BT

Northern Ireland:
The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
73 University Street
Belfast  BT7 1HL

Chiropractor
Chiropractic practitioner
Chiropractioner
Chiropractic physician

These words and expressions are controlled by the Chiropractors Act 1994. You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Chief Executive
General Chiropractic Council
44 Wicklow Street
London  WC1X 9HL

Email: enquiries@gcc-uk.org

Contact lens

You cannot use this expression unless you are a registered medical practitioner, a registered optometrist or a registered dispensing optician authorised to carry out this activity.  You will need to provide evidence of your registration with your application.

Alternatively, if you are a manufacturer or supplier of contact lenses you will need to confirm this in writing with your application.

Credit Union

This expression is controlled by the Credit Union Act 1979. You cannot use this expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

Sensitive Business Names Team
Financial Conduct  Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London  E14 5HS

Email: SensitiveBusinessN@fca.org.uk

Dispensing Optician

This expression is controlled by the Opticians Act 1989. You cannot use it unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Registrar
General Optical Council
41 Harley Street
London W1N 2DJ

Email: goc@optical.org

Doctor of medicine

This expression is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983. You cannot use this expression in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Enrolled Optician

This expression is controlled by the Opticians Act 1989. You cannot use it unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Registrar
General Optical Council
41 Harley Street
London W1N 2DJ

Email: goc@optical.org

General practitioner

This expression is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983. You cannot use this expression in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Geneva Cross

This expression is controlled by the Geneva Convention Act 1957 and will not be permitted for use in a company name.

Housing Corporation

The Housing Corporation was abolished by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008. You cannot use this expression unless the Homes and Communities Agency (formerly the Tenant Services Authority) confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Homes and Communities Agency
Maple House,
149 Tottenham Court Road,
London W1T 7BN.

Email: mail@homesandcommunities.co.uk

Licentiate in medicine and surgery

This expression is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983. You cannot use this expression in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Olympic
Olympian
Olympiad
Paralympic
Paralympian
Paralympiad

The words Olympic, Olympian, Olympiad, Paralympic, Paralympian and Paralympiad plus their plurals, translations and anything similar to them are protected by the Olympic Symbol etc (Protection) Act 1995.

To use any of these words and expressions you must obtain the written consent of:

British Olympic Association
23 rd Floor
1 Churchill Place
Canary Wharf
London E14 5LN

Email: boa@boa.org.uk

Citius, Altius, Fortius
Faster, Higher, Stronger
Spirit in Motion

These expressions, their translations and anything similar to them are protected by the Olympic Symbol etc (Protection) Act 1995.

To use any of these expressions you must obtain the written consent of The British Olympic Association at the above address.

Any 2 of the following words:

Games
Two Thousand and Twelve
Twenty-Twelve
2012

Any one of the above words when used with one or more of the following words:

London; Medals;
Sponsors; Summer

Gold; Silver; Bronze

These words and expressions are protected by the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006:

The 2006 Act specifies the Listed Expressions, and states that a court may take them into particular account when determining if there has been an infringement of LOCOG's rights.

To use any of these words and expressions in the manner described you must obtain the written consent of The British Olympic Association at the above address.

Ophthalmic Optician
Optician
Optometrist

These words and expressions are controlled by the Opticians Act 1989. You cannot use these words or expressions unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Registrar
General Optical Council
41 Harley Street
London W1N 2DJ

Email: goc@optical.org

Ordnance Survey

You cannot use the expression in your proposed name unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.                                                                                   

Customer Service
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
Southampton
SO16 0AS

Email:  customerservices@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

Physician

This word is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983. You cannot use it in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Red Crescent
Red Cross
Red Lion and Sun

These expressions are controlled by the Geneva Convention Act 1957 and will not be permitted for use in a company or business name.

Registered Optician

This expression is controlled by the Opticians Act 1989. You cannot use it unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Registrar
General Optical Council
41 Harley Street
London W1N 2DJ

Email: goc@optical.org

Solicitor

Different requirements apply for companies registered in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

England and Wales:
If you are an existing firm of solicitors (i.e. a sole proprietor or partnership) you will already be regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).

Your application to form a company must include a copy of your practice letterhead which includes the statement "regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority".

If you are a new firm your application must include a letter or email from the SRA confirming that it has no objection.

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority
Operations
Ipsley Court
Berrington Close
Redditch B98 0TD

www.sra.org.uk/contact-us/

Scotland:
You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

The Law Society of Scotland
26 Drumsheugh Gardens
Edinburgh EH3 7YR

www.lawscot.org.uk/abiyt-us/contact-us

Northern Ireland:
You cannot use this word unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) it has no objection.

The Law Society of Northern Ireland
96 Victoria Street
Belfast BT1 3GN

www.lawsoc-ni.org/contact-us/

Surgeon

This word is a protected title controlled by section 49 of the Medical Act 1983. You cannot use this word in your company name unless your professional body confirms (letter or email) that you are authorised to use the relevant title.

Vet
Veterinary
Veterinary Surgeon
Veterinary Practitioner

These words and expressions are controlled by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966. You cannot use this word or expression unless the body shown below confirms (letter or email) that it has no objection.

The Registrar
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
62-64 Horseferry Rd
London SW1P 2AF

Email: info@rcvs.org.uk

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