Company Name Search - Check if your company name is available to register

The following guide is designed to help you understand the importance of a company name and how to check the availability of that company name for a UK limited company.

When starting a new company it is necessary to conduct a company name search to ensure your preferred company name is available. Choosing a company name is an important part of the company formation process as many companies keep the same name through out their existence. By checking the availability of a company name before starting the formation process will reduce the possibility of the formation being rejected by Companies House.

If a company name already exists on the Companies House register with the exact name that you have chosen then you will not be able to use that company name. For example a search for the company name "Simple Formations Limited" will return a result that shows the name is already in use. Some variations of this such as "Simple Formation Ltd" (without the "s") or "Simple Formations UK Limited" will also be blocked by the existence of "Simple Formations Limited".

The rules on what is considered to be the "same as" an existing name are quite detailed so we cannot fully explain them here. We have however created a company name check facility that can in most cases identify "same as" issues. You can check the availability of your company name by using Simple Formations online company name search facility on our home page - company name search

It is only very similar names that are blocked if there is a similarly named existing company on the register. A common way for people to differentiate their company name from an existing one is to add a geographic reference to the end of the name. For example "My company Name (London) Ltd" is considered unique even if there was an existing company called "My Company Name Ltd". However, putting "UK" at the end is considered too generic so it must be a specific city or region to make the name unique.

Whilst names that are quite similar are still permitted to be registered by Companies House it must be stressed that if you do register a name that is similar to an existing company the existing company can object. Typically they would object to Companies House and Companies House may then instruct you to change your company name or provide further information on your reason for using the name. For further guidance on this please contact a member of our client services team.

It is worth remembering that there are over 2 million registered limited companies in the UK, many of which are similarly named. In our experience it is extremely rare for one company to object to another being similarly named, just so long as your intention is not to pass your business off as someone else’s then you are unlikely to have a problem.

There are also a few words that are considered sensitive and require certain criteria to be met before they can be used. Our online company name check has been designed to highlight these words and provide further advice if your chosen company name contains a sensitive word.

When you submit an application to register a company with us we will not charge a resubmission fee in the unlikely event that your chosen name does get rejected. You simply need to give us an alternative company name and we will resubmit it to Companies House at no additional charge.

The rules on names being too similar were changed in October 2009 so when searching for a new name you may see lots of similarly named companies already in existence. These companies will most likely have been registered before the rules became stricter on how similar names can be.

Register your company online in confidence using simple formations.

Check the availability of a company name now - company name search or call us an we will check the name for you.

Return to top

Return to Information menu

Company Formation
Home PageAbout our Company Formation ServiceOur ServicesRegister a Limited CompanyAgents Area for regular usersCompany Products and Company SealsFAQs about forming a limited companyInformation on company formationEnquiriesContact Us
Secure Website