How to ​​register a business name in the UK

If you want to start a limited company in the UK, you will register your business name with Companies House. By incorporating your business, you show your potential customers and investors that you are a legitimate entity.

Steps to take when registering a business name in the UK

Running a business name check

Before registering your business name with Companies House, you will first have to ensure that another party hasn’t already taken it. Additionally, you’ll have to check that it can’t be easily confused with another existing business name.

There’s a lot involved when you want to copyright a business name, so you should consider the following factors when choosing it:

  • Keep away from names that are too difficult to spell
  • Make sure you choose a name that can explain what your business does
  • Consider whether the name you are choosing will do well in a web address

Get yourself in the UK business register

Once you have selected your business name, the next step will be to register it with Companies House. This process is known as incorporation and will be crucial when the time comes for you to file a confirmation statement. Additionally, you’ll also need to complete a few standard legal forms, which are:

  • Memorandum of Association – this includes the name, type, and address of your business.
  • Articles of Association – this highlights your rights as the director of the company and those of any shareholders.

If you don’t have a separate address for your business, it would be best to use your home address for the registration process. Some people may not be comfortable with their home address being made a matter of public record. In this case, you can opt for Registered Agent Services, which allows your business to register under a specific location in the UK, rather than placing your home address on file.

VAT in the UK

Registering your company for VAT in the UK is usually done by companies with an annual turnover of more than £85,000. If you are not sure about this, your accountant can help you figure it out.

Corporation tax

Registering your business for corporation tax ought to be done within the first three months of trading. Failure to do so can result in a fine. The HMRC will forward you all the information to do this once your business is listed with Companies House. They will also include your tax reference number and inform you of the deadline for filing your yearly return.

Employer registration

Registering your business as an employer is a must, even if you pay yourself for your role as a company director.

Setting up a business account

Certain banks will want to see the documents you presented to Companies House, and in some cases, even a business plan before they give you an account. So, you will have to do some research on which bank to visit. You should also not forget to check out their fees for routine business services like creating a standing order or clearing a cheque.


Choosing a name for your business is can be one of the toughest decisions you make at the start of your business journey. Ensuring that it is registered is just as important, so take the time necessary to go through the process.

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