Corporate: company and business names regulations review

The Government has published a response to its consultation on reducing company and business names requirements.  The consultation was launched in February this year as part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge and prompted over 250 responses. In particular, the Government has confirmed that:

  • It will move forward with proposals to merge the company and business names and trading disclosures regulations so that all the requirements may be found in one place
  • The format of the trading disclosures regulations will be simplified so that they are easier to follow
  • The list of “sensitive” words and expressions (which require permission before they can be used as part of a company name) will be reduced by approximately one third (in particular, the words “group” and “holding” will be removed from this list)
  • The number of words on the “same as” list (being words which must be disregarded in determining whether a company name is the same as another company name) will also be reduced, it being recognised that the current regulations have produced unintended outcomes and caused problems, in particular for companies wishing to change or swap names within their group as part of a restructuring process.

Draft regulations will be published over the coming months. The Government’s response to the consultation can be viewed here.

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