Use of characters, signs, symbols and punctuation in company names



The Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 sets out the characters, signs, symbols and punctuation that may be used in the name of a company. You may view a copy of the Regulations by clicking from the here. Note especially regulation 2 and Schedule 1.

Companies House will accept the presence of a symbol as a sufficient distinction between a proposed company name, which includes the symbol, and an existing registered company name without the symbol. For example, the name 'Q*Industries Ltd.' would be regarded as different from 'Q Industries Ltd.' because of the presence of the asterisk. (However, care would need to be taken in adopting such a similar name in view of the 'passing off' risk. Also, Companies House may (especially if the other company complains) subsequently issue a direction requiring the name to be changed on the basis that it is 'too like' the other company's name - sections 67 and 68 of the Companies Act 2006. Both of these issues are discussed more fully in the guidance dealing with the question 'Is use of the proposed company name prohibited or legally unsuitable for any reason?'
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