The Complete Handbook on Registering Your UK Business Name
Why Your Business Name Matters
Choosing the right name for your UK-based business is vital. It sets the tone and impacts how your brand and business is perceived. So, how do you make it official? Let’s dive in.
UK Business Types and Naming Rules
In the UK, you can register various business types, including Sole Traders, Partnerships, and Limited Companies. Each has its naming rules. For instance, Limited Companies cannot have names which replicate those of existing companies.
It is important to not only use Companies House to check availability, businesses set up as sole traders won’t be present there and so it is important to check domains, search engines and social media handles also.
One other aspect of name selection that is often overlooked is ensuring a trademark search has been completed. Using the likes of @National Business Register to undertake a trade mark search will ensure that your business name is trademark-able and is available. This step prevents legal complications and assures your name’s uniqueness. A business can have several trademarked brands, none of which you will find at Companies House.
Registering the Business Name
Upon finalising your preferred name, the next step is registering your business name. The process varies depending on your business type. Typically, Limited Companies register through Companies House, while Sole Traders may only need to inform HMRC.
Essential Paperwork and Costs
Prepare to part with some money and fill out forms. Limited Companies will fill out the IN01 form and pay a fee. This is something that can be done yourself however, many opt to instruct an accountant or a formation agent to undertake this step. Sole Traders don’t have a registration fee but must keep proper financial records.
Online vs. Postal Registration
You can register online or by post. Online registration is quicker and often cheaper. Postal applications take longer but provide an opportunity to double-check your application.
After successful registration, you’ll receive a certificate of incorporation or a unique taxpayer reference number. You’re now free to trade under your registered business name.
Reporting and Compliance
Maintaining your business name involves reporting changes to Companies House and adhering to legal requirements. Non-compliance can lead to fines or, in extreme cases, your company being dissolved.
The Role of Intellectual Property
Remember, registering your business name doesn’t grant you trademark rights. For that, you’ll need to apply separately through the Intellectual Property Office. There are many agents that can do this on your behalf such as @NationalBusinessRegister.
A trademark gives you exclusive rights to use your name in the sector you work in.
Timeframe for the Whole Process
Expect the online process to take 24 hours. Postal applications can take up to 10 days. Plan accordingly to avoid unnecessary delays.
Registering a business name in the UK involves several steps. By understanding the different business types, checking for name availability, and fulfilling registration requirements, you can secure your business name with confidence.
In summary, the path to successfully registering your business name in the UK can be smooth if you follow the right procedures and prepare adequately. Make your choice wisely and happy trading!
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!