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Business registration is vital when it comes to setting up and maintaining your business. Your business name is the most important asset your business can have. From answering the phone, to printing it over your products and marketing, this name will be the main way that people characterise your business.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Whether you’ve been trading a while, or you’re just starting up, registering your business name with nbr will ensure you are protected from ‘passing off’ (copying), with our guarantee to cover your fees and representation, should action be required. Here’s all you need to know
The law of passing off stands to protect a trader’s goodwill and business against copying by another business, company or individual, whether intentional or not. If there is a chance current or future customers could confuse their business for yours, it is likely there would be a case of passing off.
With over 10 million businesses in the UK, and thousands of new businesses forming every month, the likelihood of someone else having a similar/same business name to you is increasingly likely. Can you afford to lose trade to competitors, which might be attracting business because of your reputation?
You may not have experienced passing off to date, but that does not make it any less likely. With the rapid rate of new businesses starting up, can you afford the time to investigate, source reliable representation, and stump up the legal costs that would be incurred to oppose someone passing off as your business?
Your rights do not change, you can still pursue the opposing enterprise you believe are passing off as your business. However, financially this is likely to cost you £10,000’s if not £100,000‘s to take it to court. Emotionally, you may have to engage directly with the owner of the opposed enterprise, whilst also research and provide all the proof and data required to build a case. NBR will only support those businesses that have an active registration at the time of passing off being recognised and can not enforce our service retrospectively. This would become clear upon investigation, whereby opposing parties can have cases dismissed. This is why we strongly suggest you register your business name at the earliest possible stage.
Companies House does not allow a ‘carbon copy’ of a business name. However, ‘passing off’ is not limited to exact name copying, for example there could be 2 limited businesses registered on Companies House with confusingly similar names ie; ‘Excelsior Roofers Ltd’ and ‘Excelsior Roofing & Maintainace Ltd’. Should these businesses overlap in services and trading region, there would likely be a case of passing off.