Choosing a limited company name in the UK

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Introduction

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

Although there are thousands of IT contractor companies and other contracting companies in the UK, each with its own name, there are plenty of available business names (UK). Therefore, the next step is picking a name for your company. There are several 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 could use a contractor business name generator to help choose a company name for your new UK contracting business. Therefore, in this UK company names guide, we’ll look at what to consider and how to choose a limited company name.

Initial thoughts on choosing a limited company name 

First thoughts

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

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

Other initial thoughts

When you’re a UK contractor or consultant naming a limited company for your future work, you may use consulting or consultancy as part of the name when naming a business (UK). As a result, that’ll let potential clients know 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. It is key to note that contractors usually use a limited company rather than an LLP. In summary, when choosing a business name (UK), you should select a unique name. However, please pick a clear, concise, catchy contractor business name. Doing this in your UK business name search will help you stand out on social media and search engines in the future.

Companies House is an official body in the UK. Their official website contains a register of the business names of UK limited companies. Indeed, you can view this list of companies online and search for business names (UK) to see what is currently available.

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

What are the different registration processes for each type of business? 

Different formal processes exist 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

(Self-Assessment)

Partnership No Yes -for partnership tax

(Self-Assessment)

A trademark is another option when you set up a new company. This option is crucial if you’d like to protect the name. Moreover, this is a sign that can distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors. When considering contractor business name ideas, registering a limited business doesn’t protect the name. However, the registration process prevents other companies from setting up a limited company 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). The trademark will last for ten years and is renewable indefinitely.

Registering a UK limited company with Companies House now costs £50 online (£71 on paper). There is also a same-day service costing £78. Therefore, this is the initial cost when you set up your own company as a small business or limited company contractor.

Common questions

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

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

Therefore, in this guide, we’ll research how to choose a business name (UK) and provide some tips on how to get some UK Ltd company name ideas.

The official rules on new company name registration (UK) 

Initial considerations

Besides this guide on choosing a company name ideas (UK), we have a separate guide which covers changing your business name. 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 you can decide on a business name in the UK. It is important to note that there are various rules to remember when selecting your business name. There are some ways to generate good ideas for a name; therefore, we’ll investigate how to proceed. In this guide, we’ll go over these and explain what you must consider as part of this.

No similarity to another company’s name

When you choose a name for a business, it can’t be the same as or very similar to an existing company name. Therefore, when 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 name ideas and UK business names, it can’t infringe on any existing trademarks. Ensuring you don’t have a name similar to another business is key; we’ll show an example later.

No connection to government bodies

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

The name can’t 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 must ensure it doesn’t contain rude or offensive words or terms.

Companies House sensitive words and expressions

When picking a company name, you must have permission to include any sensitive words (Companies House) and expressions. These include ‘international’, ‘ bank’, `certified’ and others. Therefore, if you’d like to include a sensitive word or words, you must apply to Companies House. Once they’ve considered your application, they’ll be back in touch within a few days or so once they decide.

Certain punctuation symbols

Certain punctuation symbols are prohibited in the company registered name. This Companies House article explains which symbols you can use when considering contractor company names.

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

Considerations when choosing a limited company name 

What should you consider when picking a business name for your business?

Besides deciding on a company name, please read our first-timer UK contracting guide. This article is excellent if you plan to start contracting through your own company. Regarding the selection process, you can choose a company name (UK) after researching. Therefore, we’ll look at some options and ways to find consultant company names and how you can find ones which 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, presenting a professional image to clients and recruitment agencies is wise and sensible.

You may do some non-contracting business through your company in the future. Therefore, selecting a contractor’s limited business name, such as ABC IT Services Limited, may not be suitable.

When you own a limited business, you can change its name anytime. You may decide to do this for several reasons. Therefore, you must submit a form NM01 to Companies House when you do this. What’s more, there’s a nominal fee when you make the change.

Avoid using similar names already in use

As mentioned, when looking at contractor company name ideas, your choice of contractor name can’t be the same as an existing name. A complaint could follow if you pick a name similar to another company; therefore, you should be mindful.

It’s also important to remember when you’re deciding on a business name to avoid including trademarked words. For example, ‘Microsoft IT Services Limited’. In June 2016, 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 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 UK contractors must take care when researching a choice of name. Acceptance of a word or words by the authorities doesn’t necessarily mean a business with a similar name could challenge it at a later stage.

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

When deciding on a company name, private UK limited companies must include “Limited” or “Ltd.” This word will go at the end of their business name. Furthermore, companies in Wales can use “Cyfyngedig” or “CFY.”

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

Five great ideas for selecting a UK company name 

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

1 Unique business name

When researching contractor company name ideas, you should decide on 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 you like, you should check it on the Companies House register to ensure it’s not already taken. Companies House has a company name checker that you can use to verify this.

2 Catchy business name & UK company name generator

When you choose a company name (UK), looking for catchy contractor names is a good idea. One way to find examples of limited company names 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 it’s 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, that’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 representing the quality of your products or services, which sets 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 having your product or services within the name is key, you can also find a brand name generator online.

4 Easy to spell

When adopting a name for your company, please make it easy to spell. Doing this when you consider contracting company names will aid your customers, clients, and contacts in the future. Therefore, that’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. This will once again help your clients and customers in the future.

Other thoughts when deciding on a name for your company

Business name & internet domains

When you’re selecting a business name, you should try to secure related internet domain names at the same time. This will protect your future web presence. Having the same company and contractor’s domain names can add to your credibility. As part of this, you can have your business name within your professional email address. Consequently, this will add to the reputation of your new business. Moreover, we advise you to try to secure the .com and .co.uk domains. Furthermore, you can add as many other variants as you wish.

IR35 rules & related issues

When you consider how to choose your company name, it’s worth noting 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 important to highlight that IR35 has been challenging to apply in practice. Therefore, it’s possible HMRC could seek easy targets for their IR35 enquiries.

Suppose 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’; having such words in your business name can help attract your target customer. These are prevalent choices for contractors concerning their Companies House company names. A contractor business name generator will give you different examples or 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, a common choice for limited companies’ names is to select some of the mentioned words. Therefore, you could use `consulting’ or `solutions’ when registering a new company name.

A contractor, A Smith, could set up their business name as A Smith Consulting Limited. On the other hand, someone called 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 any other permitted word, e.g., AWS Consulting Limited or Zodiac IT Solutions Limited. Furthermore, more 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 ideas for Ltd company names.

Trading name (UK)

Some businesses use a trading name, which could be a shortened version of the formal business name. If you do this, you can show the trading name on your invoices, website, etc. However, you must show the officially registered name on your official invoice, business website, etc.

Choosing a limited company name & company formation

There are several ways of forming a new limited company in the UK. Besides deciding on a name for your business, you must select a registered office. Also, you must determine who the directors and shareholders are, along with other details. Therefore, when you set up your new company, you’ve three options for company formation:

  • You can do this directly via Companies House. If you do this yourself, please review it to ensure you spell it correctly before submitting your new company application to Companies House.
  • Use a company formation agent for your company setup. They’ll generally provide more support than you can do this directly yourself.
  • Ask your contractor accountant to do the company formation process for you. When you do this, your accountant will handle it, 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 quite ready to start contracting in the UK. If this is the case, you can set it up and keep it dormant until you start contracting or providing your services. When you set up a company, one of the first things to do is choose a limited company name for your new business.

When you set up a new company and consider naming it, there are several ways to do this. Indeed, this guide highlights what you can consider as part of this initial process. A company name generator (UK) or a contractor business name generator is 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

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Published On: April 6th, 2024 / Categories: Starting Up Your Own Company /

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