Company names and business names
Company names and business names

The following Corporate guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Company names and business names
  • Choosing a company name
  • Company name restrictions
  • Exemption from including 'limited' in a company name
  • Power of registrar to direct a change of name
  • Opportunistic registration and objections to company name
  • Business names

There are a number of statutory and regulatory controls and restrictions on the choice of company and business names. These are predominantly set out in the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006), Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015, SI 2015/17 (Names and Trading Disclosures Regulations 2015) and Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations (Sensitive Words and Expressions Regulations 2014) (together, the Regulations), a summary of which are outlined in this Practice Note.

For details on how to change a company's name, see Practice Note: Changing a company's name. For details of requirements relating to the disclosure of a company's name and other registration details at its premises and on its business stationery and other documents, see Practice Note: Trading disclosures.

Choosing a company name

The choice of company name, whether on incorporation or on a subsequent change of name, is subject to a variety of requirements and restrictions, which include:

  1. the name of a public company must end with the words 'public limited company' ('cwmni cyfyngedig cyhoeddus' can be used instead in the case of a Welsh company, and appropriate abbreviations ('PLC' or 'ccc') may be used)

  2. the name of a private limited company must end with the word 'limited' ('cyfyngedig' may be used in the case of a