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Spondoo Accounting
Call for Assistance: 02033 259 341
Spondoo Accounting

Choosing a name for my Limited Company - search tool to check if it exists already

August 17, 2022

Choosing a company name in the UK 

Choosing a business name in the United Kingdom (UK) is a crucial step when setting up a limited company. When choosing a name, you need to ensure the company name is not already in use. 

Do you have a name already? Check here if your name is available to register 

This article talks about the HMRC company naming rules and how to check if you can use a name for a limited company. 

Rule 1: Your name cannot be the same as another company’s name 

Your name is deemed the same as another name if it only differs from a registered name with: 

  • Punctuation 
  • Special characters – for example, at sign (@). 
  • A word or character that is the same or has the same meaning as an existing name 
  • Word or character common in UK company names. 

Rule 2: Your name cannot be too close to the name of another company’s name 

Your name may spark a complaint if it is like the name of another company. 

Rule 3: Avoid sensitive words and expressions 

When choosing a name: 

  • It should not be offensive. 
  • It should not have a ‘sensitive’ word or expression that insinuates you are affiliated with the government or local authorities. You can only use names that suggest you are connected to the government or local authorities if you have permission. 

Rule 4: Your name must end with ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ 

Unless you are a charity or limited by guarantee, your company name must end with ‘limited’ or ‘ltd.’ However, if you register your company in Wales, you can use the Welsh equals – ‘Cyfyngedig’ and ‘Cyf.’ 

Other considerations 

Apart from the legal requirements, it is important to remember your name choice will determine how other people view and connect with your brand. Some of the things to consider when choosing a name may include: 

  • A name that shows the purpose of your company. 
  • A unique name that makes you stand out from your competition. 
  • A name that is memorable, easy to spell and easy to pronounce by your customers. 

Check if my company name is available to register 

Checking company name availability is simple. Key your potential name in HMRC’s Company name availability checker and search. HMRC will inform you if there is a match in the system. If there is none, you can comfortably use your name. However, if it matches a name in the system, you may have to choose a different name. 

To avoid any legal suits later, you may also check if the name has been trademarked by using HMRC’S Search for Trademark tool. 

Can I change my company’s name? 

Yes, you can change your company name if you wish. However, you should bear in mind that it comes with different repercussions. For example, once you change the company name, you must also change all your asset ownership names. 

How can Spondoo Accountants help? 

We have a specialist team of company formation accountants who can help you in setting up your limited company. We will also help you in setting up a business bank account, bookkeeping, accounting, VAT, and tax return services. Call us at 02033 259 341 or email us at 


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Information provided on the site is merely guidance that may change in line with UK law and regulations. Users must not consider this to be financial advice or their sole resource when making any financial decision. Spondoo is a trading name for Accounting SQL Limited, authorised & license accounting firm under the Institute of Financial Accountants.
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