The name must be available. This one should be obvious – unlike a sole trader’s business name, a Limited Company name is protected. If another company is registered using your chosen name, it’s off-limits.
The name cannot be too similar to another. You can’t get around somebody owning your preferred name by changing a letter or sneaking a full stop into the name either – Limited Company names cannot be too similar to another incorporated business.
Avoid protected or ‘sensitive’ terms. You can’t use terms like “Accredited” or “Institute” in your company name without written permission from the government or appropriate regulatory body, nor professional terms such as “Architect” or “Physician” if not qualified.
Avoid trademarked names or expressions. You would think this was obvious – but not judging by some of the formation requests we’ve had!
Keep it professional. You are in business – your name needs to reflect that. Although it can seem like a good idea to pick a non-serious name, it could affect your trading opportunities in future.
Make it relevant. Presumably you are in business to offer particular services or products – make sure your name is relevant to your chosen market to maximise future opportunities.
Think long-term. Are you hoping to expand your business further down the line and offer additional services and products? If so, give yourself room to grow. “Mike’s Spark Plug Replacement Services Ltd.” limits your future activities more than “Mike’s Electrical Services Ltd.”