Welcome to Simply-Docs

Restrictions on use of company names

Integrity of Company Names

Whilst there were already restrictions in place as regards company names, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 has imposed further restrictions on the use of certain company names to improve the integrity of the register. These company name provisions came into force on 4th March 2024. 

The new prohibitions include names which:

  • are intended to facilitate dishonesty or deception;
  • suggest a connection with a foreign government or international organisation;
  • consist of or contain computer code;
  • have been changed following a direction by the Registrar and the company seeks to re-register using the same name or one like it. This also applies to re-registering a name if the company has received an order from the company names adjudicator to change that name;
  • gives a misleading indication of its activities; and
  • have been used or is intended to be used for criminal purposes.

There has also been a tightening up on sensitive words in company names by changes to existing legislation to, for example, disallow abbreviations, such as uni for university and restrict the use of other characters or abbreviations.

These provisions apply equally to existing company names as well as new company names. Companies House has also been given new powers to direct existing companies to change their names. Specifically, if a company name is queried and evidence is not received or is unsatisfactory, Companies House can direct the company to change their name with 28 days. If the company fails to do so, Companies House can change the name to the company’s registered number or an appropriate alternative. A company will be permitted to go to court to get such a direction set aside.

    Simply-4-Business Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 4868909 Unit 100, Parkway House, Sheen Lane, London SW14 8LS