Starting a new business? Find out how to come up with a company name for your business

Whether you choose to run your firm as a single trader or as a limited company, you will need a name for your new business. Although it may appear to be a minor step, choosing a business name may take days, if not weeks, for many small enterprises just getting started.

Choosing the right name for your business
Now that you have created your business, one of the first things you will need to do is come up with a name for it. Within reason, your company name can be anything that you wish to name it. 

You must also keep in mind that there are subtle differences in rules depending on whether you are registered as a sole trader or as a limited company owner. As a sole trader, there are more limitations as to what you can use as a business name, for instance:
  • Add 'limited,' 'Ltd,' 'limited liability partnership,' 'public limited company,' or 'plc' to the list;
  • Be defamatory;
  • Conflict with a trademark that already exists;
  • Without authorization, suggest a connection to any government or municipal authority.

For limited companies, there is more autonomy when generating a company name for your business.

For more information, read our blog post, “Advantages and disadvantages of a public limited company”, where we discuss the main positives and drawbacks of owning a public limited company.

Tips on naming your new business
Naming your business can be quite a difficult and time-consuming task as we all want to find a suitable name that encompasses what the company specialises in. We will highlight the most essential tips when naming your business in the following list:
  • Available names can be found on the Companies House website or through one of the hundreds of company formation professionals. The first step is to double-check that the name you have chosen is available;
  • Keep your name professional since an unprofessional name will detract from your reputation;
  • Determine the appropriate tone for your name based on the sort of business you operate. For example, a software engineer may select something technical, but a shopkeeper might choose something more appealing;
  • According to the registrar of businesses' naming requirements, your name cannot be too close to a presently active company name.

What’s the difference between ‘Limited’ and ‘Ltd’?
Some businesses end their names with ‘Limited’ while others use ‘Ltd’ and you may wonder as to why there are two different variations of presenting this but the short answer is that there is not any distinction. It's entirely a matter of taste, and it has no bearing on how you manage your business.

The two suffixes can be used interchangeably, and there are a variety of different combinations as well.

Sensitive names
There are a handful of 'sensitive' terms and expressions that can only be used if you are qualified or have authorization from a government or professional organisation. 

Terms like 'association,' 'assembly,' 'chemist,' 'dentist,' and any other words that indicate a relationship with the government when none exists are examples.

Keeping it short
As a general guideline, try to confine your sentences to two syllables and 10 letters. A shorter name is easier to remember and, as a result, easier to find on Google. Making it more visible on a large search engine such as Google, can prove to be beneficial for your business.

Define a connection
Your name should elicit some form of emotional response or recognition. By doing so, you can begin to build brand recognition and attract new customers to your business.

Changing your company name
It is not uncommon for businesses to change their company name, and this could be due to different ownership or an effort to change their brand image. The process of changing your company is quite simple, should you wish to do so.

As part of the name changing process, you have to secure the company's directors' approval and then submit Form NM01 to Companies House along with a nominal fee.

The disadvantage of changing your name is that you may have to spend a significant amount of time updating all of your connections and clients, as well as your accountant, tax, and regulatory agencies, with your new identification.

Here at Persona Finance, we aim to simplify your business needs and provide even greater value to your company. We offer essential remote accounting services for all types of businesses. For more information on our services, or for other business and accounting queries, please contact Persona Finance at []