United Kingdom Business Name Search

If you’re looking to start a new business in the United Kingdom, you need a catchy name to attract new customers. We’ve created this United Kingdom business name search guide to help you design and register the perfect business name. 

Continue reading for more information on creating a business name, checking its availability, and registering with the UK Government. 


Generate Business Name Ideas


Here are some simple tips to help you create the perfect United Kingdom business name. 

  • Conduct a web search of existing UK businesses and note exciting business names. 
  • Use these names as inspiration for your business name, perhaps by using similar language techniques. 
  • List some distinctive keywords that represent your brand and the services you provide. 

How To Search Available Names In the United Kingdom 

You can take steps to ensure your chosen business name is one-of-a-kind and won’t be rejected by the UK government. 

A good starting point is to conduct a web search for your proposed business name. This will give you a general idea of whether your name is available. If your search produces results for existing companies, it’s time to return to the drawing board. 

You can also visit Gov.UK and use their company name availability checker. This is a free service and doesn’t require an account to use. Simply enter your proposed company name, and this tool will tell you if that name is available or already in use. 

How to Register Your Business Name In The United Kingdom 

Having a domain name corresponding to your business name makes it easier for customers to access your products and services. You can check domain name availability by toggling the ‘domain name availability’ option on any of our business name generators.

Visit Gov.UK to begin your business registration journey. From here, you can select your business entity (sole trader, limited company, or partnership) and follow the step-by-step guide to setting up your business.

You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password when registering. You can register using Gov.UK’s online portal, by post, using an agent or using third-party software.  

The United Kingdom Business Name Registration Policies And Procedures

Certain naming regulations are involved when registering your business name in the United Kingdom. 

Sole Traders and Partnerships

  • You can trade under your own name(s) or choose another name; you don’t need to register your name.
  • Sole trader names mustn’t include phrases like limited, ltd, limited liability partnership, LLP, public limited company or PLC. 
  • They mustn’t be offensive or imply a connection with the government or local authorities. 

Limited Companies 

  • You can’t choose a name similar to another registered company; otherwise, you risk receiving a complaint.
  • Registered names must end in Limited or Ltd (or the Welsh equivalent.)
  • Names can’t contain offensive or sensitive language or be affiliated with the government. 
  • You can adopt a trade name that differs from your registered name. A trade name can’t contain the words limited, Ltd, limited liability partnership, LLP, public limited company or PLC.

The United Kingdom Business Registration Office

Website:http://www.gov.uk
Phone:0303 1234 500 
Email:[email protected] 
Address:England and Wales
Companies House
Crown Way
Cardiff
CF14 3UZ
DX 33050 Cardiff, UK
Northern Ireland
Companies House
2nd Floor
The Linenhall
32038 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BG
DX481 N.R. Belfast 1, UK
Scotland
Companies House
4th Floor
Edinburgh Quay 2
139 Fountainbridge
Edinburgh Eh3 9FF
DX ED235 Edinburgh 1, UK
Hours:8.30am – 6pm, Monday – Friday

How to use an Online Portal to Register your Business Name in the United Kingdom

The fastest and easiest way to register your business in the United Kingdom is to use the government’s web services. From here, you can register your company with Companies House and sort out taxes with HMRC. 

They can usually process applications within 24 hours, as opposed to paper filing, which takes up to 5 days. Online filing is also the cheapest option and costs around £12. 

How Costly Is It To Register Business Name In The United Kingdom

The costs for registering your business name in the United Kingdom depend on your chosen method.

  • The fee for filing your application using third-party software is £10 or £30 for ‘same day’ service
  • If you’re registering using the Companies House web service, this costs £12 or £27 for a Community Interest Company (CIC). 
  • Paper filing is £40 or £20 if you’re a Welsh company filing your documents in Welsh. 

Why Should I Register A Business Name In The United Kingdom?

Registering your business name in the UK comes with various key benefits. 

  • Grants and funding schemes. Having a registered business name makes government funding more accessible. 
  • Bank account. You can’t open up a bank account for your business without a registered business name and proof of ID. 
  • Name Ownership. Registering your business name protects it from being used by other businesses. 
  • Tax Purposes. Registering with HMRC is a legal requirement, and failure to do so could lead to penalties.

Support When Registering A Business Name In The United Kingdom

Gov.UK has excellent resources to support you in your new business venture. 

Conclusion

Our United Kingdom business name search guide gives you all the information you need during the name registration process. It covers how to create the perfect name, check if it’s available, and register it with the UK Government. 

Browse our business name search list for information about the business registration process in other countries. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A detailed list of company name registration guidelines is available here. Once you're aware of all the requirements, you can begin the registration process online.

Useful information:

- You will need to have a linked credit card or a PayPal account to pay the filing fees.

- Sole traders can operate under their own name. The process outlined here is mandatory solely for private limited companies.

- Apart from checking for registered names before going forward, you may also want to take a look at the list of registered trademarks.

To register your business name, you will need to complete the following steps:

- Check if you need a specific license or a permit to complete the registration (applicable to representatives of certain industries).

- Check if you will need business insurance.

- Take a look at this checklist to go through all of the required steps (choose directors, shareholders, register the business with the Companies House, register with HMRC for corporate tax, etc.).

- Fill out the online form to complete the registration process.

If you are completing the online registration process, the approval will take 24 hours. There is a 12-pound fee you will have to pay. To register by mail, you will need to download and fill form IN01. The cost is 40 pounds and the processing time is eight to 10 days.

Your business name cannot be the same or too similar to a title that's already included in the national record. This is why you have to check both the business name database and the UK trademarks before going further with the registration process.

A change in punctuation, the use of special characters like the plus sign, the use of a word common in UK company names and the use of a word that's very similar to the one included in a registered title will NOT result in the creation of a distinctive business name.

A name will be considered to be "too like" another name if the two are more or less stating the same thing: Easy Electronics Market and EZ Electronics Market will be considered "too like."

It's best to seek an alternative by fine-tuning or business name concept or coming up with a completely different and more original idea.

If you're still unable to find a business name that suits you, try using our business name generator to get unique name ideas (click here to find our business name generator).

The cost of registering a business in the United Kingdom is £10 - £30 for online filing and either £20 or £40 to file by post (depending on your business entity).

No, you do not need to register a trading name in the UK. If you are a sole proprietorship or partnership, you can operate under your legal names(s). If you’re a limited company, you can register a business name with the necessary prefix, e.g. Ltd.

Author

Matija

Matija

Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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