Company Name Search – pitfalls

Company Formation

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Reasons why a proposed company name may be rejected
This page outlines a number of reasons why a proposed company name may be rejected by Companies House, despite being ‘unique’ (i.e. where there is no company with exactly the same name on the register).
Names which are the 'same as' names already on the register
Names which are the same as names on already on the register will be rejected. The words and symbols which Companies House regards as the same are as follows:

  1. ‘AND’ and ‘&’
  2. ‘PLUS’ and ‘+’
  3. ‘0’, ‘ZERO’ and ‘O’;
  4. ‘1’ and ‘ONE’
  5. ‘2’, ‘TWO’, ‘TO’ and ‘TOO’
  6. ‘3’ and ‘THREE’
  7. ‘4’, ‘FOUR’ and ‘FOR’
  8. ‘5’ and ‘FIVE’
  9. ‘6’ and ‘SIX’
  10. ‘7’ and ‘SEVEN’
  11. ‘8’ and ‘EIGHT’
  12. ‘9’ and ‘NINE’
  13. ‘£’ and ‘POUND’
  14. ‘€’and ‘EURO’
  15. ‘$’ and ‘DOLLAR’
  16. ‘¥’ and ‘YEN’
  17. ‘%’, ‘PER CENT’, ‘PERCENT’, ‘PER CENTUM’ and ‘PERCENTUM’
  18. ‘@’ and ‘AT’
Words, symbols and phrases which are ignored
In assessing each new company name the following words, symbols and phrases are ignored:

  • ‘BIZ’
  • ‘CO’
  • ‘CO UK’
  • ‘CO.UK’
  • ‘COM’
  • ‘COMPANY’
  • ‘EU’
  • ‘EXPORTS’
  • ‘GB’
  • ‘GREAT BRITAIN’
  • ‘GROUP’
  • ‘HOLDINGS’
  • ‘IMPORTS’
  • ‘INTERNATIONAL’
  • ‘NET’
  • ‘NI’
  • ‘NORTHERN IRELAND’
  • ‘ORG’
  • ‘ORG UK’
  • ‘ORG.UK’
  • ‘SERVICES’
  • ‘UK’
  • ‘UNITED KINGDOM’
  • ‘WALES’
  • ‘ALLFORION’
  • ‘CWMNI’
  • ‘CYM’
  • ‘CYMRU’
  • ‘CYNHEILIAID’
  • ‘CYRDDAU’
  • ‘DALIADAU’
  • ‘DU’
  • ‘GRWP’
  • ‘GWASANAETHAU’
  • ‘MEWNFORION’
  • ‘PF’
  • ‘PRYDAIN FAWR’
  • ‘RHYNGWLADOL’
  • ‘RYNGWLADOL’
  • ‘Y DEYRNAS UNEDIG’
  • the letter ‘s’ at the end of any name;
  • ‘*’
  • ‘=’
  • ‘#’
  • The following symbols and words are ignored where they appear at the beginning of a name:

    • ‘@’
    • ‘THE’ (but only where followed by a blank space)
    • ‘WWW’
    Offensive words
    Companies House will reject any word that is offensive or which, if used, would constitute a criminal offence. These words mostly relate to specific occupations.

    Our company name search tool will notify you if your proposed company name contains certain of these words.

    Please note that our system does not include a comprehensive list of offensive words, and that plurals or other variations of offensive words may not be identified.

    'Sensitive' words
    Certain words can only be used if you have the permission of the Secretary of State or of an interested body. The aim is to ensure that the inclusion of the word is justified and not misleading. Companies House administers the approval process on behalf of the Secretary of State. An example is the use of the word ‘Royal’ which cannot be used without the Secretary of State’s approval.

    Our company name search tool will notify you if your proposed company name contains a ‘sensitive’ word, although we note that plurals or other variations of ‘sensitive’ words may not be identified.