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Almost 57,000 business names rejected by Companies House

2-minute read

Businessman working on business names and ideas with Post-it notes
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

11 October 2022

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A new freedom of information (FOI) request submitted by Simply Business reveals that 56,640 business names have been rejected by Companies House since 2019.

Looking at data between January 2019 and April 2022, 25,400 of these names were rejected because they were deemed ‘offensive’.

Why might Companies House reject a business name?

Registering your business name is an important part of setting up a business in the UK, and Companies House is the body in charge of incorporating (and dissolving) limited companies.

A company name can be rejected if it already exists or if it contains a restricted word.

There’s a list of names that need specialist approval as these could imply a connection to the government and royalty. And the use of some names in your business name are protected by legislation, like Building Society and Physician.

For example, if a business wants to use the word ‘King’ or ‘Royal’ in its name, they’ll need to request permission from the specific body. If it’s the name of a pub, the request should detail where it is, and how long it’s been a pub.

More than 1,400 business names that included ‘King’, ‘Queen,’ or ‘Royal’ have been rejected by Companies House since 2019. Examples include ‘Rooster Royal’, ‘Royal Peri Peri’, ‘Queen of Green’, ‘Queenie’,’Banterking’, and ‘Alpaca Kings’.

That said, there’s been a surge in royal-themed small business names, up 70 per cent in the last three years.

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Impact of a memorable business name

Research shows that having a memorable name can help small businesses succeed.

A recent study of 2,000 consumers found that one third (28 per cent) of people would be more likely to shop at a local business with a funny or witty business name compared to those without.

What’s more, 64 per cent of people say they would also be more likely to notice a small business with a funny or witty business name.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business comments: “The impact a memorable business name can have on your business is incredible – our research suggests that a third of customers are more likely to spend with businesses with witty names. Having said that, it is clearly important to tread carefully when considering your options! We’re incredibly proud to provide tailored insurance to over 800,000 witty, creative and diverse small businesses in the UK, recognising their importance to both the economy and our local communities.”

Perky Blenders, a specialist coffee roasters based in London, was awarded ‘Britain’s Best Small Business Name’ and received a £2,500 grant from Simply Business.

Other finalists in the competition included ‘The Air of the Dog’, ‘Donutkillmyvibe,’ and ‘Grout of This World’.

Beyond a name, small businesses can stand out with their marketing strategy and brand colours, logo and identity.

Our latest TV advert showcases four businesses with especially creative names.

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Photograph: JustLife/
Catriona Smith

Written by

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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