Should I copyright my business name?

Branding can involve many things, including business names, logos and slogans, production or service names, and even colours. For instance, whenever you see a tone of blue on the internet, one of the first things that comes to mind is the world-famous Facebook. This is all because of good branding and effective marketing techniques.

Notoriously, branding makes up a significant portion of a business’s balance sheet. This is because intangible assets like your brand can be highly lucrative and are usually built up over time via consistent marketing campaigns.

If you wish to grow your brand, you must consider protecting it through innovative intellectual management policies. This usually requires knowing how to register a business name in the UK. Contact Harper James Solicitors for more information and get specialised advice from startup lawyers in the UK.

The following information will help you understand how you can protect your brand in the UK by using the services offered by the IPO (Intellectual Property Office) and Companies House.

Your business name

After you’ve spent lots of time and effort creating the perfect business name, the next thing you’ll want to do is protect it the best way you possibly can.

In many cases, people like to use their birth names for their company name, like ‘Elliot John’ for a sole trader. Or, they want to go simple with something like ‘London Cleaning Services’ for a limited company. However, these general names aren’t always viable, so most business owners end up trading under different names. Similarly, a company name that mentions all its owners, where there are several business partners, would not be suitable as it would be too wordy.

Business owners can use different trading names in various aspects of the same business. For instance, a construction firm may trade using one business name for its construction division and another for its materials supplies services.

A brand name used for a product or service is also considered a business name. For example, Microsoft uses brand names like Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on for its various applications.

The process of copyrighting your business name in The UK

When you want to incorporate a limited company in the UK, you’ll have to register its name with Companies House. This will mean filling out an application, and once it’s approved, your business name will be yours and yours alone. No one else will be able to register a limited company with that name.

Registering a business name in the UK provides advantages and disadvantages to different business owners. For example, suppose a business believed another party was using the name they registered with Companies House. In this case, they have the right to make an application for a retraction of that name through the Company Name Tribunal. They would use a form known as CNA1. Once the tribunal has reviewed the facts and found there is a case to answer, they can order the offending party to change its name.


Any business name you choose should be able to build up goodwill for your business amongst your customers, employees, and suppliers. One of the reasons for this is that once your business starts to succeed, your company name could serve as a valuable asset that you can make money off by licensing it to others at a cost.

For further reading, check out our article on Grants: advantages and disadvantages.

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