When registering a company so that it is legally recognised, a lot of paperwork has to be provided to Companies House. Not only will Form IN01, a Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association have to be completed but the name which a company will use has to be provided as well. You cannot use a name for a company which you like the sound of because it matches the services which you will be providing – necessary steps have to be taken so that you can determine whether a company name can actually be used or not.

How can a company name be searched for?

The registrar’s index of company names can be referred to in order to find out whether a company name can be used. It enables you to determine whether a company name already exists and whether it is the ‘same as’ another company. If a company name is similar to one which already exists, it will be rejected when an application is made to register a company.

As well as the registrar’s index of company names, a name can be checked via the Web CHeck service. The Web CHeck service is free to use and enables you to find out information about two million companies. A company can be checked in two ways. Its name can be searched for on the Web CHeck service and also by using its unique company registration number.

Not only does the Web CHeck service enable you to know whether a company name exists but you can also find out its background as well. Provided on the Web CHeck service for each company is its filing history. Copies of the documents which are on the Web CHeck service can be purchased. Apart from buying the aforementioned information, you can find out a lot about a company through the Web CHeck service at no cost whatsoever.

What can be done when a company name has been checked?

After you have found out that the company which you have created is not similar to an existing business and that it follows the rules which all company names have to abide by e.g. not containing obscene words, no reference to a governmental department etc., it can then be provided to Companies House along with the other documents that are needed in order to register a company.

Even when you have sent all of the paperwork which Companies House require, a company name cannot be used until authorisation has been given by Companies House. When approval has been made, it can be printed onto stationary or a sign which will adorn a shop front. If you print a preferred company name before authorisation has been given, you would have wasted a lot of money because it might be rejected. It is highly recommended that you wait until Companies House has given the green light for you to use a company name after what will more than likely only be a couple of days.

As the saying goes, ‘good things come to those who wait’ and this is certainly true when wanting to use a name which has been sent to Companies House.