How to Register a Business Name in UK?

Fintech Harbor Consulting | How to Register a Business Name in UK?
Reviewer: Bohdan Popovchenko
Reviewer: Illia Ivanko
Table of contents
One of the most important steps, before you decide to register your business, is choosing the name of the future firm. Of course, each business name should be unique, reflect the activities of the business and be memorable. The question of “How to register my company name” should not cause you embarrassment or confusion if you know the main points in advance (before the registration of a company is carried out).

When to register a company name?

You need to register a business name in the following cases:
  • when you form an LLC;
  • when you want to open a commercial bank account in the name of your company.

Name choice

Registering a company name in the UK is an important part of starting a new business. The registered company name is the most important component. You must adhere to the rules and guidelines to settle on a suitable name for your business.
Be unique
There must be no other firms registered with Companies House operating under the name of your choice. A quick search using the business name availability checker will show if the name you have already selected (or something similar) is used in the UK.
We should not forget that the easiest way to check the uniqueness of the name of the future firm is Google. It is in this service that you can also quickly find the information you need.
If you are planning to create a website for your business, then you need to check for an available domain name that exactly matches your business name. You can also ensure your firm name is not already used on social media.
Be more simple
Be careful about special characters, punctuation, and words with sensitive connotations. And think about spelling and pronunciation – having to repeat this to potential customers all the time won’t make a good first impression. Your business name is the very first introduction a new client has to your business and brand. You want to ensure it accurately conveys what you’re doing or is easy for clients to remember.

What problems might there be with the company’s suggested name?

  1. You may not use offensive language in your firm name. Also, obscene language, profanity, and words that insult religious preferences or otherwise indicate discrimination are absolutely not suitable for a business name.
  2. In addition, if you are trading with a company name that is different from your company name, it cannot include:
    • “Limited” or “LLC,”
    • “Limited Liability Partnership” or “LLP,”
    • “Public limited company” or “plc,”
    • words considered “confidential” – unless you are authorized to do so.
  3. Also avoid other terms that are considered “delicate”.
    You can use a list called The Company, Limited Liability Partnership, and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014. It lists all prohibited words and expressions, as well as the authorities to which you need to apply for a business permit.
    For example, you must obtain permission from the Financial Conduct Authority to use the words “insurer” in your firm name.
    One part of the rules applies to the whole of the UK. Whichever of the four UK countries you live in, you apply to the designated professional body. But some words and phrases have different organizations depending on where you live in the United Kingdom.
    For example, let’s say you want to include one of these words in your company name: His Majesty, Prince, Royal, Royalty.So, you apply to;
    • the Ministry of Justice for permission – In England;
    • the Scottish government – In Scotland;
    • the Welsh Assembly government – In Wales;
  4. Moreover, there are some other regulated words and expressions that require written authorization attached to your company registration. They are not listed by government departments or local governments but are still managed by professional bodies.
    For example, the words “Olympic” and “Paralympic” require permission from the British Olympic Association. Without written consent, your company name will be rejected by Companies House if it contains these words.
  5. Names that are “too like” other registered companies won’t be allowed. If someone complained about your name is ‘too like’ theirs and Companies House upheld their opinion, you’d have to change it.
  6. Your name cannot exceed 160 characters, including spaces. Since this is the length of the tweet, this is unlikely to be a problem.
    In addition, you may not use certain characters in the first three characters of a company name, including:
    You also cannot use other defined characters, for example:

Quickly select a jurisdiction and register your company anywhere in the world online

Fintech Harbor Consulting | How to Register a Business Name in UK?

One option is to register a company name directly on the Companies House website. This option also allows you to register for income tax at the same time, issuing a “certificate of registration” to confirm the legal existence of the business. After that, the system will display the name of your firm and the date of establishment. In addition, during this process, you must provide at least three personal data about you and your shareholders. Registration usually takes up to 24 hours if you apply the online method. You need to pay £ 12 (or from 12 to 100, pounds online before 3 p.m.) to Companies House to register a company name online.

Offline via email
If you’re more suited to traditional approaches or don’t want to use “limited” in your company name, you can set up a company name by mail using Form IN01 provided by Companies House on their website (register a private or public company). To avoid mistakes and correctly fill in the information, we recommend that you read the instructions provided on the site. Registration can take 8 to 10 days if you apply by mail. You need to pay around £40 to Companies House to register a business name in the UK by post.

Third-party agent
Use the services of a third-party agent whose extensive experience in registering names will greatly speed up the registration process.

Need to register a company name for a sole trader?

You don’t need to register your business name with Companies House. You should register with HMRC to let them know what they expect from you on your annual Self-Assessment tax return.
However, sole trader names must not:
  • include UK company registration forms (full or legally abbreviated) such as: “limited,” “Ltd,” “limited liability partnership,” “LLP,” “public limited company,” or “plc”;
  • contain a “sensitive” word or expression or imply a connection with government or local authorities, unless permitted to do so;
  • be offensive;
  • be the same as an existing, registered trademark.

Company official address

When you wish to register a company, you must also provide the registered office address to which all legal notices will be sent. Note that you will not be able to use a PO box. The address provided must be a physical address in the UK, in the same country where your business is registered. To do this, you need to create an account (e-mail address, name, and password) at the Companies House. You will then be prompted to enter the name and address of the company you have chosen.
Your company address will be publicly available. If you want your home address to remain private/separate, you can register your company with someone who will manage your company accounts and taxes (e.g. your accountant). In addition, you can choose to have businesses that provide company formation services offer mail forwarding to companies that would like to give the impression that they are operating from an office space or non-residential premises.

Select the SIC code for your company

Standard Industry Codes (SICs) are used to categorize and describe what your business does. They are divided into separate groups, and each firm must choose codes that reflect their activities.
You will need to provide a SIC code when going through the process of setting up your company. If you do not select one or a maximum of four SICs, your application to Companies House will be rejected.
The SIC will be used by Companies House and other external bodies to determine exactly what your business does and sort it into the correct category. Official websites will present you with a list of group titles to pick from, followed by several alternatives for trade descriptors.
It is important to remember that although you need a SIC code if you make a mistake by selecting the wrong code, you are not required to work under that code. You can simply update and correct your code at any time.
Fintech Harbor Consulting | How to Register a Business Name in UK?

Company director

The director is legally responsible for the firm’s activities and oversees the completion of reports and corporate accounts.
Appoint one director (at least) and a secretary (optional). Make sure each of them is over 16 and cannot be disqualified from their position. List two addresses for each director:
  • public official service address; and
  • address of residence that will not appear on public records.
If the service address is the same as the firm address, an alternative residence address must be added. In addition to the above, you will need to confirm that the named person has agreed to act as a director by attaching a letter of consent to your application form.

Your company’s share structure

There is no simple answer or formula that every new business must follow when choosing a company’s share structure.
A share is part of your firm, and the share is owned by one or more people (known as stockholders). If you own a share, you own part of the company and have the right to make a profit. The percentage of ownership and the right to receive dividends depend on the number of shares in the company.
When registering your business, you must choose how many shares to issue, their value, and what rights the shareholders will have.
For a small business that you create alone, ordinary class shares will be enough (it has no special rights or restrictions), so do not worry about other classes of shares. If you are setting up a company on your own (with you as director and sole shareholder), it probably makes sense to create only one share (for yourself) and assign a small value to it. This gives you complete control over the business and profits.
It is important to provide shareholder information early, known as a “statement of capital.” In addition, you must include “prescribed details” indicating the rights each type of share (called a “class”) grants to shareholders.
If you later want to attract more shareholders to buy shares, you can later change the number of shares (as well as the price, class, and rights of existing shares).
For example, Limited liability companies must be formed with a number of shares. To register your company name, you will need to specify how many shares you will have, which class of shares they will be, and how much they will cost.
For folders, one shared folder is the minimum requirement. At the same time, the minimum number of shared folders is not limited. You can apply any value to an individual share. It should be noted that holders of different shares may have different rights, for example, regarding voting or distribution of dividends.

Company shareholders

The firm needs one shareholder/subscriber or more. If you become the sole shareholder, 100% of the business value is under your control.
You must provide addresses for each subscriber (the information about them is contained in the public record). In addition, three of the seven security attributes must be specified. They will serve as online signatures in the future.
Appoint as controlled person subscribers with a share of more than 25% (their names and business addresses are re-entered into the system).
Most businesses have at least one person with significant control or influence over the firm, and you will also need to choose the nature of that control, such as share ownership, voting rights, and/or the power to appoint or remove a majority of the Board of Directors. In addition, you need to confirm that each subscriber is aware that their data is being provided as part of the creation of this company.

Declaration of Conformity

A Declaration of Conformity is a statement made by the manufacturer or supplier of a product that confirms that the product conforms to relevant European Union (EU) regulations and standards.
When registering a company name in the UK, a Declaration of Conformity is not typically required. However, there may be other documents or requirements that need to be fulfilled depending on the specific circumstances of the registration process.
Please, note that registration with Companies House does not mean that the company name automatically acquires trademark status. Please, notice that there is a difference between a trading name and a company name. A registered trademark is an asset that retains its value and can be sold to a buyer. It makes sense to register your trademark before filing with Companies House, not the other way around.
The Intellectual Property Office approves and registers trademarks that usually apply to your products or services. It costs £170 to register a single trademark in one class. It costs £50 for each additional class. But it is easier to pay this amount and be sure that your company name will not be stolen or that someone else will not use it for their own purposes.

Register at the Registration Chamber

When you register your company, you will need a memorandum of association and articles of incorporation. These documents define how the company will be run and are signed by all shareholders and directors.
If you register your business online, you won’t need to write your own paperwork. Your memorandum of association will be drawn up automatically upon completion of registration, and you will be able to use the model articles of association. However, you can write your own articles of association if you wish.
If you are registering your company by mail, you can use the Memorandum of Association template. You can also find charter templates if you choose to use sample articles, or you can write your own.
Fintech Harbor Consulting | How to Register a Business Name in UK?

Get a certificate of registration

As a result, after completing the company name registration procedure, Companies House will issue a certificate of registration confirming the full name of your company, the date of its registration, its unique registration number, and the seal of the Registrar.


When you register a company, remember that articles on the Internet on the topic “How to register a business name in the UK” will help you answer the main question at the beginning of building a business “How to register my company name?”. Remember it’s always easier to avoid problems at the beginning of the registration process.
The correct choice of the company’s name will help you legally carry out the activity you have chosen, which will save effort and money on lawyers who will correct the mistakes you made during registration.
Starting your own business is an exciting experience. If you have in your head the idea that “the registering of my company name” should be entrusted to the master of one, don’t waste any more time on hesitation.


Online registry – the applicant needs to pay 12 pounds for registration to Companies House. BUT online before 3 p.m. (from 12 pounds to 100,00 pounds); offline registry – the applicant needs to pay around 40 pounds for registration to Companies House.
Yes, of course. You must register with Companies House if you operate a limited company (public/private) or limited partnership. The scale (size) of the business isn’t important. Sole traders and partnerships must register with HMRC.
Of course, it’s an available option. Such a company is called “dormant”.
You don’t have to register a business name.
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