Company and business names

If you want a specific name, then you must check the rules and owners of the names at Companies House and by Trade Mark.

A Trade Mark is a unique word, symbol, icon which is reserved for use by someone and they can sue you if you copy them – the Apple apple is a good example of a symbol and iPhone (the use of a little I is controlled).

You can reserve a company name, if it’s available, by having an inactive company – we’ll show you how to do that later.

Companies House and regulators also have a list of illegal, controlled and sensitive names which you either cannot use or must have special permissions to use; details on these can be found at company names.

You must also think about registering the web addresses in your business name(s), and any similar names or URLs ( or .com or limited etc) as they are unique – this may also affect your choice of company name as the web addresses may already be in use or reserved. You can do this with most web hosting services which will provide a web host, email and other services (like secure cloud) for £10-15 per month.

There are several software packages and local companies who can help you to design a logo and a website – this shouldn’t be expensive and many people do it themselves using very powerful and free software called WordPress and online videos – used in this website and its production.

If you get someone to do it professionally, you should expect to pay from £250-500 for a simple website or £500-2500 for a website which is an online shop and/or has ecommerce capabilities like PayPal.

Of course, you can also spend millions on websites and services but you shouldn’t need to do so in getting your business off the ground!

Have a look at our useful software and links page for some hints on these administrative actions.