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Choosing a name for your new UK contractor limited company

Choosing a limited company name in the UK

Introduction -choosing a limited company name (UK)

When you start a business and register a company, you must start by choosing a limited company name (UK). Therefore, when you have a business idea, besides setting up a company bank account and finding an accountant, one of the key tasks is to choose a company name (UK). There are a number of ways to do this once of which is a company name generator (UK). Notably if you plan to become a limited company contractor, you can also use a contractor business name generator to help choose a name for your UK contracting business.

Initial thoughts

Once you have gone through the process of choosing a company name (UK), this will hopefully work well for your business in the future. As a result, it should help to provide some good business opportunities and reach out to lots of new potential customers.

When you are a UK contractor or consultant and are naming a limited company for your future work, you may decide to use the word consulting or consultancy in the name. As a result, this will let potential clients know that you are in the consulting arena.

Alternatively, if you set up an LLP, you must choose a limited liability partnership name.

In summary, when choosing a business name (UK) please pick a unique, clear, concise, but catchy name. When you do this, it will help you stand out on social media and search engines in the future.

Choosing a limited company name (Companies House) -formal processes 

Different processes for each type of business 

There are different formal processes when setting up different types of new businesses in the UK. To summarise, these are:

Type of business Register through/with Companies House Register with HMRC
Limited company Yes Done as part of

Companies House process

Limited liability partnership Yes Done as part of

Companies House process

Sole trader No Yes -for personal tax


Partnership No Yes -for partnership tax


Trade Marks

A Trade Mark is another option when you set up a new company. This option is crucial if you would like to protect the name. In addition, this is a sign which can distinguish your goods and services from your fellow competitors. Notably, when considering contractor business name ideas, registering a limited company does not protect the name. However, the company registration prevents other businesses from setting up a company with the same, very, or similar name to yours. A business owner will register their trademarks at the Intellectual Property Office, and the application starts at £170 (if accepted). In addition, the trademark will last for ten years and is renewable indefinitely.

When you register a UK limited company with Companies House, it costs £12. Therefore, when choosing a company name (Companies House) this is suitable for most small businesses, including limited company contractors.

Company name registration (UK) -official rules to consider

Besides this guide on choosing a company name, we have a separate guide that covers how to change your limited company’s name. Basically, this sets out the process to follow when a business owner would like to do this. Now, back to this guide. What’s more, there are various rules to bear in mind when you consider how to choose a company name (UK).

No similarity to another company name

When you choose a name for business the name cannot be the same as or too similar to an existing company. Therefore, when you are investigating limited company names, you can search the Companies House database to see if your name is already in use. Furthermore, the name cannot infringe on any trademarks.

No connection to government bodies

The company registered name should not imply that your business has a connection with the Government. Furthermore, this includes any local authority.

The name cannot be offensive

When you choose a company name, it cannot be rude or offensive.

Sensitive words

It must have the required permission to include sensitive words and expressions. To clarify, these include words such as ‘international’ or ‘bank’ or `certified.’

Certain punctuation symbols

The company registered name cannot use certain punctuation symbols. Moreover, this Companies House article explains which symbols you can use.

Please take note, the size of your company name can be up to 160 permitted characters. However, very few companies use this many characters.

Choosing a limited company name -considerations

Please read our first-timer UK contracting guide if you plan to start contracting via your own company. It is important to bear in mind that you must consider certain things when you choose a company name (UK).

As a starting point when choosing a company name (Companies House), you should take some time to research potential ltd company names. Indeed, this is because you may trade under this for many years to come. As a further thought, it is also wise and sensible to present a professional image to clients and recruitment agencies.

It could be the case that you may look to do some non-contracting business through your company in the future. Therefore, when you choose a contractor limited company name, if you pick ABC IT Services Limited, this may not be suitable for you in the future.

When you own your own company, you can change your company’s name in the future if you so choose. To do this, you must submit a form NM01 to Companies House. In addition, there is also a nominal fee to pay if you do this.

Picking a business name for your business 

Avoid using similar names that are already in use

As mentioned, when you are looking at contractor company name ideas, your choice of name should not be too similar to an existing name.

Important to bear in mind, you must also avoid including trademarked words in your business name. For example, ‘Microsoft IT Services Limited.’

In June 2016, a company called Casio Services Ltd (CSL) was set up as a new company. In turn, Companies House let the name go through.

However, the famous Casio brand felt that the new entity had breached its intellectual property rights. Consequently, they took legal action to force CSL to change its name. As a result, CSL then did. Importantly, this shows that UK contractors must take care to research your choice of name. Acceptance of a word or words by the authorities does not necessarily mean that a business with a similar name could challenge it at a later stage.

Include the word Limited or Ltd at the end of your UK company name

It is a legal requirement for private limited companies to include the words “Limited” or “Ltd” at the end of their name. Furthermore, companies in Wales can use “Cyfyngedig” or “CFY”.

There is no legal difference between the complete word “Limited” and the abbreviated “Ltd”. In addition, you can register either of these as both are interchangeable after incorporation.

Choosing a limited company name -some ideas for good contractor names 

Let us now look at how to choose a new business name for your company. Basically, some initial contractor business names ideas should be considered when you choose a ltd company name.

Unique business name

Your choice when investigating contractor company name ideas will be a unique business name, as two companies cannot have the same name.

Catchy business name

When you choose a company name (UK), pick a catchy business name. One way that you could find some limited company name examples is by using a business name generator (UK). The company name generator (UK) will give you various choices and examples of some catchy limited company names as a UK contractor and this is a good way of choosing a new name. You may even be able to find a contractor business name generator online for UK companies. If you can find a contractor business name generator online, this will give you alternative names to choose from.

Represent your products or services

You could choose a company name that represents the quality of your products or services which set you apart from your competitors.

Easy to spell

When you are choosing a company name (Companies House), make sure that it is easy to spell. Doing this will aid your customers, clients, and contacts in the future.

Easy to pronounce

Make sure it is easy to pronounce, and it will help in the future.

Choosing a limited company name -business name and internet domains

When you are choosing a limited company name, you should also try and secure the related internet domain names at the same time. When you do this, it will protect your future web presence. In addition, having the same company and domain names can add to your credibility. As part of this, you can also have your business name within your professional email address. Consequently, this will add to the reputation of your new business.

What’s more, we would advise you to try and secure the .com and domains. Furthermore, you can add as many other variants as you wish.

Choosing a limited company name -IR35 rules and things to think about

When you consider how to choose a company name (UK), it is also worth noting that with IR35 so closely attached to the UK contracting profession, having the words `contractor’ or `contracting’ or `freelancer’ may catch the eye of the taxman.

It is important to consider that IR35 has been challenging to apply in practice. Therefore, HMRC could seek easy targets for their IR35 enquiries.

Let us assume that you set up a company called `London IT Contracting Limited’. Once your company is set up, you draw a modest salary and take the rest of your income as dividends. As a result, this scenario could potentially have an `IR35 status enquiry’ written all over it.

The word `consulting’ covers a wide range of areas, and this word along with other variations such as `consultants’ and `consult’ are a common choice. Other alternatives include `Solutions’, `Systems’, `Engineering’ and `Developments’ and having such words in your business name can help to attract your target customer. Notably, a contractor business name generator will give you different examples or these sorts of words for your company name.

You may, of course, fall outside IR35. However, you do not want to stand out from the crowd when you can easily avoid doing so.

Choosing a limited company name and company formation

There are several ways of forming a limited company. Besides choosing a limited company name, you will also need to select a registered office. In addition, you will need to decide who the directors and shareholders are, along with other details. When you set your new company up, you have three options:

  • You can do this directly via Companies House. If you do this yourself, please review the name to ensure that you spell it correctly before you submit your new company application to Companies House.
  • Use a company formations agent. As a result, they will generally provide more support than going direct.
  • Ask your contractor accountant to do this for you. When you do this, your accountant will handle the process and send you the official registration documents once your company is set up.

Final thoughts

You may be thinking about setting up a company but are not yet ready to start UK contracting or working through it. If this is the case, you can set it up and keep it dormant until you start contracting or providing your services. When you do set a company up, one of the first things to do is go about choosing a limited company name.

When you choose a company name (UK) there are a number of ways to do this and this guide highlights what you can consider as part of this process. A company name generator (UK) or  contractor business name generator are a great way to generate potential names for your company.

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