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Choosing a name for your company

A company name must not be offensive or suggest any connection with government or public authority, unless permission is granted by the Secretary of State.

Indications of company type or legal form

The name of a public company must end with "public limited company" or "p.l.c." In the case of a Welsh company, its name may end with cwmni cyfyngedig cyhoeddus" or "c.c.c.". A limited company that is limited must end with "limited" or "ltd". A private company is exempt from the above requirement if it is a charity or is currently exempt and continues to meet the requirements contained in section 61 (section 62 for companies limited by guarantee).

A company name must not be the same name as another company in the registrar's index of company names.

The Secretary of State has the power to direct a change of name where a name is deemed to be the same or similar to an existing name.

Under section 69 a person may object to a company's name on the grounds that it is the same name associated with the applicant in which he has goodwill, or that it is sufficiently similar to such a name that its use in the UK would be likely to mislead by suggesting a connection between the company and the applicant. For more regarding this and the arrangements for company names adjudicators and the procedural rules refer to sections 70 to 74 of the Act.

The company name should not be misleading (section 75) or mislead so far as the activities are concerned (section 76).

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