Jan 20, 2015

Changes to Business Names and 'Sensitive' Words Regulations

On 27 November 2014, two sets of regulations ("Regulations") governing company, limited liability partnership (LLP's) and business names and the use of 'sensitive' words in such names were published.

The Regulations revoke and replace the existing 2009 regulations and introduce a reduced list of the sensitive words and expressions which companies, LLP's and businesses need approval to use in their name. The words deleted include "National", "European", "Group", "Holding", "International" and "United Kingdom".

The Regulations also replace five sets of regulations and deal with restrictions relating to the registered names of companies, LLP's and business names and the requirements for making trading disclosures. In particular, the Regulations:

Extend the list of characters that can be used in a company name to include accents, diacritical marks and ligatures.

Amend the words to be considered or disregarded when determining if a name proposed to be registered is the same as another in the registrar's index.

Amend the trading disclosures requirements so that if at least six companies share an office, place or location, their registered names may be held and made available for inspection at that venue, rather than having to be displayed at all times.

Part of the Governments Red Tape Challenge relevant to company and commercial law (see www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/themehome/company-commercial-law/) the Regulations are due to come into force on 31 January 2015, subject to parliamentary approval.

The Regulations can be viewed at:

www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/3140/pdfs/uksi_20143140_en.pdf

www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2014/9780111124154/pdfs/ukdsi_9780111124154_en.pdf

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