Company & Business Names News

19 February 2015

Rules relating to the availability of company names came into force on 31 January 2015, when two new Statutory Instruments came into force.

The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014 and the Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2014 both come into force on that date.
Accordingly, some words will no longer be considered to be sensitive expressions (eg. Group, Holding, International, National, and United Kingdom), and some words such as Export, Group, Holdings, Imports, International, and Services will be removed from the schedule of "same as" words (and will therefore be treated as a difference in judging whether two names are "the same as" each other).
This will provide businesses with an opportunity to secure some company names which might have been previously unavailable to them, without having to meet the requirements to justify use of a sensitive expression and without having to seek non-objection from an existing company.
Existing companies which currently benefit from the protection provided by the "same as" legislation should also consider registering further dormant companies purely for the purposes of protecting their company name(s).
You should consider whether you would now like to register a company name to form part of your group, or even just as a "placeholder" which you might not have formerly been able to.  
Of course, existing companies will retain the right - that they have always had - to object to Companies House if they feel that a newly registered company name is too similar to their own.
However, you/your clients should really take time to consider the potential risks of not protecting existing company name(s) and the benefits of registering a new and desirable company name before your competitors do...


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Chartered Accountants - Nottingham