Choosing the right name for your service can be incredibly difficult, and is one of the most important.
The name has to speak to the values of your company, and have a good ring to it. A strong company name has to be creative and represent everything your company stands for, whilst standing out.
However, not everyone is as creative.
Encroaching too heavily on other people’s creative content is bound to ruffle some feathers, and for companies who have chosen a name too similar to another’s – the impact can be financially crippling.
All of these elements mean that when a company finally lands on ‘the one’ – they’re quick to protect it when other’s names are a bit too familiar sounding.
And with almost 726,000 new businesses created in the UK in 2020 alone, according to UHY, there are sure to be a few overlaps in creativity.
We sent out a Freedom of Information request, revealing exactly how many complaints were made to Companies House, as well as the number of companies that changed their name because it was too similar to another’s.
Companies House received 533 complaints regarding breaches of section 67 of the Companies Act 2006 in the last year.
Section 67 provides the power to direct change of name in case of similarity to existing name.
That’s 533 companies who had potentially infringed on someone else’s business name, and were complained about to Companies House in the financial period of 2020-2021.
But, how many companies had such a similar name, that they were obliged by law to adapt it to be more unique.
In the financial period of 2020-2021,122 companies were contacted by the Companies House requiring them to change their name after breaching section 67.
Of course, accidents do happen and brands can be blissfully unaware of their controversially similar name to another company.
But as more and more companies are launched every single day, it will be interesting to see if these figures rise – or if creativity will prevail.
The response to our FOI outlined that Companies House does not register ‘business’ names. So to gain a clearer picture, the results are showing the companies that have been directed by the Secretary of State to change their company name under section 67 of the Companies Act 2006.