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How to protect my business name UK

protect my business name

As with all types of registration there are various ways in which you can choose to protect my business name. All of these options cost different amounts. Here we will look at the various registration options available to a new business with the hope that you can choose the right and most cost efficient name security you need.

Initially you need to think about your business plan, and where you propose taking your business in the future. Registration is future proofing your business name. Whether you want to build a small business and make sure you have your website to name to match or whether you plan on building a brand around a certain name or phrase you need to have a clear idea of what protection each type of registration will give you.

Companies House Registrations

All limited companies need to register at Companies House. Costs start from around £14.99 and will ensure no other limited company is able to register the same or ‘too’ similar a name in the UK and Northern Ireland. This is a preferred type of registration and for many people starting out.

Many sole traders choose to register the limited version of their business trading name to protect the business name for the future. The sole trader then knows as long as the dormant filing of their limited company is taken care of they will have the limited version of their business name for the future or simply to stop anyone else from using it. However, this does not stop other sole traders using a certain name, and a higher form of registration that would prevent this would be trademarking.


A trademark protects the business name, logo, and other symbols associated with your products or business. Trademarks can be of symbols, logos, sounds, and even colours that are symbolic of a particular brand.

In the UK, trademarking is completed through the Intellectual Property Office and is categorised by using a class system. You trademark your phrase, name, logo etc. in certain areas of business. There are currently 45 classes or areas of business within the trademark system. The trademark application and the initial class currently costs £170. Each additional class within the same application will cost a further £50. Currently UK trademarks are renewable every 10 years.

Monitor the IPO and monitor infringements

Once you have chosen to trademark your name, the responsibility lies with you as the owner to monitor the use and infringements of your trademark. Therefore, as the owner you will need to regularly check to identify and act against anyone infringing on the trademark.

The IPO do offer a ‘Track a trade mark’ option on their website, this enables you to trace changes to any current trademarks. Alternately, the trademark journal published each Friday, gives a list of all accepted applications in UK & International trademarks, which include UK. Objections to accepted applications have a 2-month window. So monitoring of this journal wold be vital for your trademark.

Register a domain

A domain name is an identifier for a website, for example ‘’. Domain name registration is an important element to remember when completing name registrations. With any business planning on having a web presence, or simply being contactable by company email, a domain name will be crucial.

If you are building a brand around your name then you may want to think about registering the domain name to secure the web presence of the brand. However, many go a step further and register variations of their business name. Domain names are registered for a certain period, often one year at a time and costs start from around £14.99. Domain names are never deemed too similar so when registering domain names you may wish to protect a selection of variations of your brand name as well as variations of ending (, .com, .net etc.) to ensure no one else can take them.  To search for domain name availability see domain registration.

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.


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