Sensitive words are those that give the impression the company is connected to the local or central government or those that need the consent of the Secretary of State. Examples of sensitive words include university, charity, police, bank and NHS. In addition, sensitive words can be those that imply that a company operates in multiple countries, such as ‘International’ or as part of a group, such as ‘Holdings’.
It is the responsibility of the person forming the company to check the Companies House index of names to ensure the company name is not the same as an existing company. If a company is registered with a name that is the same (or similar) to another company, within 12 months of registration the new company may be instructed to change its name within such a period specified by the Secretary of State. A company can change its name by special resolution or by other means as provided in the articles of association. This is usually done by authorising the directors to approve the change by directors resolution. The name change takes effect on the issue of the Certificate of Change of Name by the Registrar of Companies. Further guidance can be found on the Companies House website.
In addition to this, if there is a company incorporated outside of Great Britain that has a place of business in Great Britain, the name used may need to be changed if too similar to the name of a company already in Great Britain.
If you have any queries related to company names, sensitive words or company formations please email email@example.com or call us on 0844 893 0808.