New formal legislation on company names enter legislation

Business owners seeking a name for a new venture or group subsidiary, or in order to effect a rebrand of an existing business, are advised that new legislation is now in place governing the formal naming conventions of a business entity.<!–more–>

The regulations, administered by Companies House, govern so-called ‘Sensitive Words and Expressions’ and ‘Names and Trading Disclosures’. The new rules, covered by the two areas, came into force on 31st January 2015 as a result of the ‘Company and Business Names: Red Tape Challenge’ consultation, which looked at problems with current naming conventions and how to tackle them.

As a result of the new legislation, several words have been removed from the ‘same as’ register, making it easier for firms, particularly those within the same group. The following words no longer feature on the register:

  • exports
  • group
  • holdings
  • imports
  • international
  • services

A separate list of words was chosen to be removed from the ‘sensitive’ words and expressions list, making it easier for companies to register themselves with any of the following:

  • abortion
  • authority
  • banknote
  • board
  • data protection
  • disciplinary
  • discipline
  • European
  • giro
  • group
  • holding
  • human rights
  • international
  • national
  • oversight
  • pregnancy termination
  • register
  • registered
  • registration
  • registry
  • regulation
  • rule committee
  • United Kingdom
  • watchdog

The move is seen by many, particularly those within groups of companies who may often need to change names or register similar subsidiaries, as a largely welcome attempt to cut red tape. Many respondents, though, agreed that a level of regulation in this area was necessary, in order to ‘protect the public from possible harm’.

The consultation ran from February to May 2013, with the government response arriving before the legislation in October 2013.

Let’s start a conversation 

    Subscribe me for updates and news from In Accountancy

    Related articles

    Find out how we can help?

    Lectus scelerisque a donec tincidunt litora per eleifend eget ut sagittis conubia pharetra scelerisque dui ultricies duis parturient auctor adipiscing.


    Let’s start a conversation 

      Subscribe me for updates and news from In Accountancy