Business Name

Choosing a business name is a crucial branding element for your product or service.

The name you select will obviously be determined by what best fits your business, however, there are some legal factors which should inform your decision.

As a general rule, if someone in a similar field to yours is already using a particular business or organisation name, you should not use it, nor should you use a name that would be confusingly similar. Choose a name for your business that is distinctive, not one that is generic or similar to the name of another similar business. Consider protecting your chosen business name as a registered trade mark to protect it from infringement.

By law, if a business (Business A) has developed a reputation in connection with particular goods or services which it offers, then no other business (Business B) can represent that its goods and services are those of Business A. You need to be careful not to “pass off” your product or service in this way to avoid a potential claim. Similarly, you cannot use a logo or name which is similar to a registered trade mark, providing similar goods or services, without running the risk of a trade mark infringement claim.


Check for registered trade marks within the EU (which includes the UK and Ireland database) at the “OHIM” website, https://oami.europa.eu/eSearch/

If using a company as your business structure, you cannot use the same or very similar name of a company already in existence. Current company names can be checked at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/


Related Articles