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Pick a name

A rose by any other name… Well, that ended well, didn't it? Naming your business is bound to be one of the hardest decisions you make, unless you're prone to midnight lightning bolts of inspiration, that is.

Either way, here are a few key things to stick by.

What to include

  1. Check for duplicates
    You don't want to confuse customers or cause issues further down the line. Check the internet, phone books, business directories, and Companies House (although remember that only limited companies are registered here) for similar or exact matches to your chosen name. If you're using a brand or trade mark, carry out a similar check with the Intellectual Property Office. They can tell you whether a name or logo has already been registered and, if not, you can register yours with them.
  2. Make sure it conveys the right message
    Ask yourself whether a traditional or modern name is more appropriate for the type of business you're setting up. Think of the values you want to attach to your brand – do you want to convey a reliable, traditional image or be seen as more fresh and innovative?
  3. Don't restrict your future
    If you want to have the option to expand into different business areas and locations in the future, perhaps a more abstract name might be better as you won't be linked with a specific service, product or area.
  4. Appearances matter
    Imagine how the name will look on business cards, signatures and stationery and whether it could work as a web address. It's important that some version of your name works across all of these mediums.
  5. Stress-test your choice
    Run your name past at least ten people to find out what they think. Family and friends can help but it's a good idea to get an objective opinion from people who won't mind if they hurt your feelings.
  6. Follow the rules
    There are a few legal rules that govern the naming of a limited company or limited liability partnership. For more information visit Gov.uk or Companies House.
  7. Don't be difficult
    Don't pick anything that's too long, has an unusual spelling or is difficult to pronounce – it will only cause confusion, even embarrassment, to customers and contacts. Plus you'll constantly be correcting people.
  8. Don't be rude
    Don't choose a name that contains confusing or offensive words, which mean something inappropriate in another region or language. 

Barclays Bank plc takes no responsibility for the content of third party websites or the views and recommendations expressed by named third parties in this webpage. The material on this webpage is for information only. Barclays Bank PLC. Registered in England. Barclays Bank PLC is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Registered No 1026167. Barclays Insurance Services Company Limited is authorised and regulated by the FSA. Registered No 973765. Registered Office for both: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP. Barclays Business is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC. Barclays Bank PLC subscribes to the Lending Code which is monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board and is licensed and regulated by the Office of Fair Trading for the provision of credit products to consumers and related services. Further details can be found at www.lendingstandardsboard.org.uk

Last updated: over 3 years ago