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New company name and trading disclosure regulations cut red tape for businesses

06 April 2015

New regulations which came into force on 31 January 2015 have made it easier for companies and LLPs to choose or change their name.

The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014 introduced a reduced list of words and expressions which companies, LLPs and businesses need approval of the Secretary of State to use in their name. The ‘sensitive’ words that have been deleted from this list include “National”, “Board” “European”, “Group”, “Holding”, “International” and “United Kingdom”.                                                             

Seeking approval for a name can cause a delay in registration. The aim of reducing the list is to allow a greater number of new companies to incorporate quickly without delaying the process.

The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2014 replace five sets of regulations and deal with restrictions relating to the registered names of companies, LLPs and business names, and the requirements for making trading disclosures.

In particular, the regulations implement the following:

  • the list of characters, signs and symbols that can be used in a name is extended. Previous regulations required a company name to consist of letters from the Roman alphabet and a small number of additional characters. The characters have been extended to include “@”; “&” “£” “$” and “€” amongst others.
  • amend the words to be considered or disregarded when determining if a name proposed to be registered is the ‘same as’ another in the registrar’s index.
  • amend the trading disclosures requirements so that if at least six companies share an office, place or location, their registered names may be held and made available for inspection at that venue, rather than the name having to be displayed at all times.

Further details of these Regulations can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk

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