Make It Yours: The Ultimate Guide to Customising Your Company Name
Picture this: after an exhaustive brainstorming session, you come up with the perfect company name. It oozes catchiness, memorability and flawlessly encapsulates your brand. However, your joy is short-lived as you discover another business has already laid claim to it. An absolute calamity, right? Not necessarily – consider this as an opportunity for unleashing your innovative spirit!
Understanding the Similarity Rule: The Basics
In the UK, Companies House follows what is known as the ‘similarity rule.’ This principle means that you cannot register a name that bears a striking resemblance to an existing one.
Its purpose is straightforward: to prevent confusion among individuals searching for companies and to safeguard customers from being misled by names that sound alarmingly similar. By similar we mean names so indistinguishable that they could be mistaken for each other. For example, “Snappy Taxis” versus “Snappi Taxis.”
Even if Companies House grants its approval for your desired name people may still challenge it on grounds of misleading customers.
Why this still matters for Sole Traders
There may be scenarios where limited company registration at Companies House becomes necessary. It might become more advantageous from a tax perspective or potential suppliers may only work with registered entities.
Furthermore, pre-emptively registering your distinctive company name serves as an effective defence against individuals attempting to cash in on your hard-earned reputation.
If your chosen name happens to be trademarked by someone, tread very carefully. You can be forced to completely rebrand.
How to make the name yours
How can you keep your chosen name & make sure it’s unique?
Simple: creative prefixes and suffixes.
Here are some ideas:
Locations: ‘Bath Boutique London’ or ‘Newcastle Bath Boutique.’
USPs: What makes your business unique? ’24/7 Bath Boutique’ or ‘Luxury Bath Boutique.’
Brand personality words: ‘Charming Bath Boutique,’ ‘Vibrant Bath Boutique,’ or ‘Timeless Bath Boutique’.
Creative spelling or punctuation: ‘Bath Boutique+’, ‘Bath-Boutique’ or ‘Bath BoutiQue.’
Industry terms: Use words related to your field. ‘Bath Boutique Hub’ or ‘Bath Boutique Solutions’ add “tech” for a technology company or “bakes” for a bakery
On Social Media handles: Include ‘HQ’ or ‘Inc’: consider adding “HQ” (short for headquarters) or “Inc” to the handle, like “@CompanyNameHQ” or “@CompanyNameInc”.
Add ‘The’ or ‘Real’: You can use additions like “The” or “Real” before your company name, as in “@TheCompanyName” or “@RealCompanyName”.
Use Abbreviations or Acronyms: If your company name is long, abbreviate or condensed it into an acronym. For example, if the company name is “Big Green Energy Solutions”, the handle could be “@BGESolutions.”
Include a Keyword: If a particular keyword is relevant to your business and known to your audience, consider including it. For example, if you run a vegan restaurant, you might use “@CompanyNameVegan.”
In domain names add an underscore (_) or hyphen (-) in the middle of your desired name. For example, you could try “Company_Name.co.uk” or “Company-Name.com”
Know Where to Change:
In some cases. You might decide to tweak your name only on certain platforms. For example, our website domain is duport.co.uk, our company registration is Duport Associates Limited and our social media handles are ‘DUPORTUK as “duport” had already been taken.
Reserving a name
Once you’ve spent the time and effort generating your business name you need to know it’s safe for your future. Duport has a unique product; Reserve a Name. This product means no one else would be able to create a Limited Company using your reserved name. Ideal for Sole Traders who want to protect their limited name but don’t want to trade as a Limited Company, or people with a great business idea that isn’t quite ready to launch yet.