Choosing a limited company name in the UK

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When you begin a contracting business and register a company, you must start by choosing a limited company name (UK). Therefore, when you start IT contracting, contracting in another industry or have a business idea, besides choosing your director addresssetting up a company bank account and finding an accountant, another key task before company setup is looking how to choose a company name (UK). When you form a limited company, you do this via Companies House who administer new companies in the UK. Therefore, when you’re choosing a company name (Companies House), what should you consider? One way that’ll give you some ideas is to use a company name generator (UK) and you can find these online. Better still, you could use a contractor business name generator and this may give you some even better ideas. In this guide, we’ll look at how to choose your business name.

Although there’s thousands of IT contractor companies and other contracting companies in the UK each with their own name, there’s plenty of available business names (UK). Therefore, the next step is to consider how to choose a limited company name. Basically, there’s a number of ways to find a good contractor company name. As mentioned, you can look for a company name generator (UK) to help with suggestions. Indeed, if you plan to become a limited company contractor, you can also use a contractor business name generator to help choose company name for your new UK contracting business. Therefore, in this UK company names guide, we’ll look at what to consider when choosing a name for your company.

Initial thoughts on choosing a limited company name

First thoughts

In this guide, we’ll investigate how to find good business names for contractors ahead of running your own company. We’ll also research what to consider as part of this process. What’s more, when choosing a good company name, we’ll investigate what to think about during the selecting a company name process. Indeed, when you’re looking to select your new business name, it’ll be with you for the future. However, you can change this at a future date if you decide to do so. Therefore, this guide will cover all of the angles on how to choose a name for your company. Furthermore, we’ll include lots of good company name advice to think about, when you’re deciding on this.

This guide aims to help with naming a company in the UK and there’s lots of useful tips to consider. We include lots of limited company advice in terms of finding some good company names. Therefore, once you’ve gone through the process of choosing a company name (UK), it’ll hopefully be a good choice. As a result, if you select a good contractor name and then go through the business formation process and business name registration (UK), it should help to provide some good business opportunities and reach out to lots of new potential customers.

Other initial thoughts

When you’re 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 when naming a business (UK). As a result, this’ll let potential clients know that you’re in the consulting arena. On the other hand, if you set up a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), you must select an LLP name. Key to note, contractors usually always use a limited company rather than an LLP. In summary, when choosing a business name (UK) you should pick a unique name. However, please pick a clear, concise, but catchy contractor business name. When you do this in your UK business name search, it’ll help you stand out on social media and search engines in the future.

Companies House are an official body in the UK. What’s more, their official website contains a register of business names (UK) that’re UK limited companies. Indeed, you can view this list of companies online and search business names (UK) to see what is currently available.

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 processes are as follows:

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’d like to protect the name. What’s more, this is a sign which can distinguish your goods and services from your fellow competitors. Basically, when you consider contractor business name ideas, registering a limited business doesn’t protect the name. However, the registration process prevents other businesses from setting up a limited business with the same, very, or similar name to yours. A business owner will register their trademarks at the Intellectual Property Office. In addition, the application starts at £170 (if accepted) and 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.

Common questions on choosing a limited company name

Many individuals who set up a new business will have questions on how to select a name for their new limited business. What’s more, for those who’re looking to register a business name (UK), such questions will include:

  • How to name a business (UK)?
  • What’s some private limited company name ideas?
  • What’s some consultancy business name ideas?
  • How to register a business name in the UK?
  • How to decide on a business name?
  • Should I use a UK business name generator?
  • How to secure a business name (UK)?
  • What to do when registering a business name in the UK?

Therefore, in this guide we’ll research how to choose a business name (UK). What’s more, we’ll provide some tips on how to get some ltd company name ideas and how to go about this.

New company name registration (UK) -official rules to consider 

Initial considerations

Besides this guide on choosing a company name ideas (UK), we’ve a separate guide which covers how to change your business name. Basically, this sets out the process to follow when a business owner would like to do this. Now, back to this guide on setting up a limited company and how to decide on a business name in the UK. Important to note, there’s various rules to bear in mind when you consider how to select your business name. There are also some ways to generate some good ideas for a name therefore, we’ll investigate how to go about this. In this guide, we’ll go over these and explain what you need to consider as part of this.

No similarity to another company’s name

When you choose a name for business, it can’t be the same as or very similar to an existing company name. Therefore, when you’re researching limited company names (UK), you can search the Companies House database to see if your name is already in use. Furthermore, when you consider contracting company names ideas and UK business names, it can’t infringe on any trademarks. Making sure you don’t have a name very similar to another business is key and we’ll show an example of this later.

No connection to government bodies

The company registered name shouldn’t imply that your business has a connection with the Government. Furthermore, this also includes any local authority or other government body or institution.

The name cannot be offensive

Per the official rules, the names of limited companies can’t be offensive. Therefore, when you pick a business name and look at contracting business name ideas, you need to ensure it doesn’t contain any rude or offensive words or terms.

Companies House sensitive words and expressions

When you’re picking a name for your company you must’ve the required permission to include any sensitive words (Companies House) and expressions. To clarify, these include words such as ‘international’ or ‘bank’ or `certified.’ Therefore, if you’d like to include a sensitive word or words, you’ll need to apply to Companies House. Once they’ve considered your application, they’ll be back in touch within a few days or so once they’ve made a decision.

Certain punctuation symbols

The company registered name can’t use certain punctuation symbols. Moreover, this Companies House article explains which symbols you can use when you consider contractor company names.

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

Choosing a limited company name -considerations 

Picking a business name for your business

Besides choosing company name, please read our first-timer UK contracting guide. This is an excellent read if you plan to start contracting through your own company in the future. With regard to the selection process, you can choose a company name (UK) after doing some research. Therefore, we’ll look at some options and ways to find consultant company names and how to find ones that stand out.

As a starting point when choosing a company name (Companies House), you should take some time to research potential good contracting company names and find which ltd company names are available. Indeed, this is because you may trade under this for many years to come. If you work in IT, you should research some good IT consulting company names and see what you come up with. As a further thought when considering consultancy company names, it’s 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 select a contractor limited business name, if you pick ABC IT Services Limited, this may not be suitable for you in the future.

When you own your own limited business, you can change its name in the future if you so decide. You may decide to do this for a number of reasons at some point in the future. Therefore, when you do this, you must submit a form NM01 to Companies House. What’s more, there’s also a nominal fee to pay when you make the change.

Avoid using similar names that’re already in use

As mentioned, when you’re looking at contractor company names ideas, your choice of contractor name shouldn’t be too similar to an existing name. This is key because if you do pick a very similar name Companies House may reject this.

It’s also important to bear in mind when you are choosing a limited company name that you must avoid including trademarked words. 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 doesn’t 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

When you’re deciding on a company name, it’s a legal requirement for private UK limited companies to include the words “Limited” or “Ltd”. When they include this word, it’ll go at the end of their business name. Furthermore, companies in Wales can use “Cyfyngedig” or “CFY”.

When you’re looking at consultant business names, there’s no legal difference between the complete word “Limited” and the abbreviated “Ltd”. What’s more, you can register either of these as both are interchangeable after your business’ incorporation.

Choosing a limited company name -5 great ideas for choosing your new company name

Let’s now look at how to choose a new business name for your company and how to choose good contractor names. Basically, you can consider some initial contractor business names ideas and see which one you prefer before you pick a new ltd company name.

1 Unique business name

Your choice when researching contractor company name ideas will be a unique business name. This is because in the UK, two companies can’t have the same name. Therefore, when you’ve found a name that you like, you should check it on the Companies House register to make sure it’s not already taken. Companies House have a company name checker which you can use to verify this.

2 Catchy business name & UK company name generator

When you choose a company name (UK), it’s a good idea to look for catchy contractor names. One way that you could find some limited company name examples is by using a business name generator (UK). The ltd 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 selecting a new name. When considering UK company name suggestions, you may even be able to find a contractor business name generator online for UK companies. Indeed, if you can find a contractor name generator online, this’ll give you alternative names for limited companies which you can consider before deciding on one. 

3 Represent your products or services

You could decide on a business name that represents the quality of your products or services which set you apart from your competitors. As part of this, you could look up some ideas for good branding and see what you can come up with. Indeed, the best ltd company names will include their products or services within their name and potential customers and clients may tend to remember this better in the future. If including your product or services within the name is key, you can also find a brand name generator online.

4 Easy to spell

When you’re choosing a company name (Companies House), please make sure that it’s easy to spell. If you do this when you consider contracting company names, it’ll aid your customers, clients, and contacts in the future. Therefore, this’ll be a plus point for third parties when they contact or write to your new business.

5 Easy to pronounce

When you set up a company name, make sure your official business contractor name is easy to pronounce. When you do this, it’ll once again help your clients and customers in the future.

Other thoughts around choosing a limited company name

Business name and internet domains

When you’re selecting a business name, you should also try and secure the related internet domain names at the same time. When you do this, it’ll protect your future web presence. What’s more, having the same company and contractor’s 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’ll 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 your company name, it’s 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. Therefore, our advice is to be careful here and not make your name stand out in this respect.

It’s also important to highlight that IR35 has been challenging to apply in practice. Therefore, it’s possible that HMRC could seek easy targets for their IR35 enquiries.

Let’s 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.

When we look at Companies House business names and examples of a limited company name for UK contractors, 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 choices include `Solutions’, `Systems’, `Engineering’ and `Developments’ and having such words in your business name can help to attract your target customer. All of these are very common choices for contractors in respect of their Companies House company names. Basically, a contractor business name generator will give you different examples or these sorts of words for your business name.

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

Examples of private limited company names

When you’re a contractor, it’s a common choice for limited companies’ names is to select some of the words mentioned earlier. Therefore, you could use `consulting’ or `solutions’ when registering a new company name.

Basically, someone called A Smith could set their business name up as A Smith Consulting Limited. On the other hand, someone call S Davies could set their company up as S Davies Solutions Limited. As a further option for contractor name ideas, the person could exclude their name and use their initials or indeed any other permitted word e.g., AWS Consulting Limited or Zodiac IT Solutions Limited. Furthermore, other ideas for company names (UK) could be longer than the examples above e.g., AWS Design Engineering Consultancy Limited. Also, as mentioned earlier, you could use a consulting name generator to give you further ltd company names ideas.

Trading name (UK)

Some businesses also decide to use a trading name. This may be a shortened version of the formal business name. If you do this, you can show the trading name on your invoices and website etc. However, you should also show the official registered name somewhere on your official invoice and business website etc.

Choosing a limited company name and company formation

In the UK, there’s several ways of forming a new limited company. Besides deciding on a name for your business, you’ll also need to select a registered office. Also, you’ll need to decide who the directors and shareholders are, along with some other details. Therefore, when you set your new company up, you’ve three options for company formation:

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

Final thoughts

You may be about to set up a new company but aren’t yet quite ready to start UK contracting. 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 ahead choosing a limited company name for your new business.

When you set up a new company and are thinking of naming it, there’s a number of ways that you can do this. Indeed, this guide highlights what you can consider as part of this initial process. A company name generator (UK) or even a contractor business name generator are a great way to generate potential UK business names for your new company. Once you find a good name, you can start the official formation process.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on


Published On: January 4th, 2024 / Categories: Starting Up Your Own Company /

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