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Choosing a name for your business is enjoyable but it is essential to choose the right name, as customers will get their first impression of your business from the name. A name that reflects the purpose and aim of your business may sound dull initially, but in the long term will be valuable to your developing business. There are also regulations which must be adhered to if you are choosing a company name for a limited company, sole trader, partnership or a limited liability partnership.

A limited company or limited liability partnership name has to be registered with Companies House. The name has to have the correct ending, with ltd or limited for a limited company, and LLP or limited liability partnership. The business name must not be offensive and it may not be already included on the index of company names. Sensitive words and expressions can’t be used, unless you have obtained permission for use. A proposed business name isn’t allowed to be similar or the same as a registered trade mark. If your business name is similar to a trade mark, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a complaint.

A sole trader or partnership also ha to abide by certain rules hen naming their business, although a sole trader often trades under their own name. The name must not be offensive or use sensitive words and expressions. The name isn’t permitted to end in public limited company, plc, limited, ltd or LLP. Your business name will create a lasting impression with customers and the authorities; make sure it’s the right impression.

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