Choose the right name for your business

Words that you cannot use in your business name


There are some words and expressions that you can't use in a business name unless you have official permission. These are words that might give a false impression about your business. They are known as sensitive words.

The rules about sensitive words apply to all types of businesses and fall into five main groups:

Sensitive words

Type of expression Examples
Words that suggest your business is of national importance or status British, National, International, European
Words that suggest a special status Association, Authority, Chartered, Council, Institute, Society
Words that suggest a particular function Charity, Insurance, Register, Trust
Words that suggest a specialised activity Health Centre
Words that suggest connections with government or royalty Parliament, Government, Royal, Queen, Prince


Getting further help

These guidelines provide a basic summary of sensitive words. For further details on company names see rules for naming your business.

  • Start a business Helpline
    0800 027 0639
  • Companies House Contact Centre
    0303 1234 500