Want to register your Business Name?

Start.biz is the ONLY provider of business name protection in the UK through its Business Name registration packages.

Registering your business name is vital when it comes to setting up and running your business. From answering the phone to your marketing collateral, this name will be synonymous with you and your business.

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What is Business Name Protection?

Business assets like your stock, your office, and your equipment, are easy to recognise and associate with your company’s value and are invariably always protected in one form or another. However, another asset you have as a business owner which is often overlooked and not protected, like it should be, is probably your most important and valuable asset throughout the entire lifetime of your company. – Your Business Name.

For this reason, we offer a product which protects your Business name from ‘Passing Off’ (name copying).  This means that should a business start trading with the same, or confusingly similar name, to yours within the sector and area you trade, you’re able to do something about it easily, as you have protection in place.

We will determine whether there is likely to be a case of ‘Passing off’, if there is, we will begin correspondence on your behalf, we are able to draft cease and desist letters and mutual agreements.  Additionally, we can enter negotiations requesting the alternative business rebrands and changes its name and we can draft undertakings to this affect.  If this does not result in a change of business name from the alternative business, we are able to gain further legal opinion and instruct solicitors to file an application at Court and to commence legal proceedings to stop the Passing off continuing.  Business Name Protection offers cover for up to £10,000 worth of legal costs through the ‘Passing Off Assistance’ contained within it.

Who is Business Name Protection For?
  • Those who cannot trademark their Business Name
  • Those businesses that would need assistance with the steps to take in a case of Passing Off ( name copying)
  • Those who can not afford a trademark
  • Start up businesses
  • Those businesses with a unique name within their geographical location
  • Those who cannot trademark their business name
  • Those businesses with a unique name within their sector
  • Those who could not afford to fund legal advice and representation legal assistance in the event of a passing off case
Who is Business Name Protection not for?
  • Those with a global brand presence.
  • Those with in house legal teams.
  • Those who are infringing upon registered trademarks
  • Those who are already Passing themselves off as another business.
  • If you want to franchise your business – a trademark is more beneficial to you.
Why Should I have Business Name Protection?

To protect your most valuable asset – your business name.

  • Protect your customers from imposters.
  • Peace of mind that your trading name is unique.
  • Thorough name checking process.
  • £10,000 legal cover if a business tries to imitate your name.
  • Almost forty years of business name protection experience.
  • Join our community of 2,500 current Business Name Protection customers.

Registration with Start.biz specifically provides YOUR business with protection against “passing off”, the common law term used to describe copying of a trading name by another business. Your annual subscription means you have peace of mind when it comes to safeguarding your business identity. We will investigate potential cases of passing off on your behalf. In such cases, as part of this service, we will undertake negotiations and instigate legal proceedings, instructing solicitors and counsel where necessary up to the value of £10,000* depending upon the package chosen.

* see our Terms and Conditions

Let us make it easy for you.

Let us take the hassle out of registering your business name. Our team of experts has supported tens of thousands of businesses over the past 39 years, providing the expertise needed to identify any potential risks of infringement or passing off.

We make protecting your business name a seamless and stress-free experience.

Read our FAQ's

Pros of Registering Your Business Name with us

Business Name Search facility

Our comprehensive search facility makes it easy to have full visibility over 10 million existing business names, with a further 25,000 being added every month.

Legal fees

A guarantee that we will initiate and cover up to £10,000 of legal fees if action needs to be taken.

Online reputation

Make the most of social media by protecting your online reputation and social handles.

Legislation updates

Receive information and regular updates about UK business legislation.


Gain access to resources and advice about starting and running your own business that will enable you to save time and money.

Business Name Protection

You can rest assured that your business name meets all statutory requirements and cannot be taken by any competitors in your sector.


Become part of our business community and connect with like-minded business owners.

Certificate of registration

You will receive a certificate of registration that complies with Section 1200–1206 Companies Act 2006, providing peace of mind after registering any business names.

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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 Start.biz will ensure you are protected from ‘passing off’, with our guarantee to cover your fees and representation, should action be required. Here’s all you need to know

How long does the registration last?

Registration is renewable on an annual basis. A renewal notice will be sent to you before your registration expires or you can set up a direct debit for your plan to automatically renew. Alternatively, 2- or 5-year protection plans are available with associated discounts.

How long does it take to register my name?

Registration takes 2 business days from receipt of your application form and payment.

How can I protect my business name?

Registration with Start.biz specifically provides protection against “passing off”, the common law term used to describe copying of a trading name by another business. Your annual subscription means you have peace of mind when it comes to safeguarding your business’ identity. We will instigate and pay for all necessary legal proceedings in protecting your business name using our solicitors and counsel where necessary up to the value of the package that you have chosen.

Are there any words I cannot use in my name?

There are a number of restricted words, which need to be approved for use by the Department for Business and Trade. Restricted words or terms are usually phrases associated with already established official bodies, for example, government departments, health care organisations or other public services. If a restricted word is being used appropriately for your business we will gain permission on your behalf for use of this “restricted” word. If you have any queries regarding possible restricted words, please do contact us before applying.

What happens if my name is already in use?

We will work with you to search for alternative names free of charge.

What is passing off?

“Passing off” happens when someone deliberately or unintentionally passes off their own goods or services as those belonging to someone else. This action of misrepresentation often damages the goodwill of a person or business, causing financial or reputational damage. An example of this would be if business “XYZ Entertainers” established their service in the West Midlands, then a new business starts trading, calling themselves “XYZ of Birmingham”. Customers begin to book the new business believing it to be the previous one, which has a good reputation. 

The potential outcome here is either damage to the reputation of the original business, “XYZ Entertainers”, if “XYZ of Birmingham” provides poor service, or financial loss because the confusion causes customers to book with the wrong company. 

Raising a passing off claim can help you prevent other people from using the goodwill associated with your business for their own benefit and in turn prevents damage to your business’ reputation.

There are 3 elements which must be established when claiming for passing off:

  1. Goodwill - You must prove that you have a “reputation” that the public associates with your specific product or service.
  2. Misrepresentation - You must show that the other business passing off their business as yours has caused confusion, deceived or misled customers into believing that their goods and services are actually yours.
  3. Damage - You must prove that the misrepresentation has damaged or is likely to damage your goodwill, or cause actual or foreseeable loss, whether that be financial or reputational.
What do I need to do to register?

Search your business name here and then apply online here. Once registered, we will send you a certificate of registration which, when displayed, meets all the requirements of Section 1200–1206 Companies Act 2006.

Can I register my name without becoming a limited company?

Yes, we can register your business name whatever the status of your firm, giving you protection and peace of mind.

How do Start.Biz check that my name is available?

We carry out comprehensive searches against all active limited companies, all existing domains and additional business name checks, including our internal Business Names register.

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