ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Business names

Are you trying to decide on a name for your own business? Use our selection of books, articles, links and guides to find more information on all aspects of choosing a company name.

What's on this page?

  • Legal Alert
  • Online articles
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

Featured link

Changes to the rules for company and business names (GOV.UK)
Government information on the new regulations concerned with company and business names. The regulations came into force on 31 January 2015.

Featured eBook

Financial Times Guide to Business Start Up 2017/18
(FT Publishing International, 2016)
Chapter 11, 'Names and brands', covers legal aspects of registering and how to build your reputation through letterheads, labels and packaging.

You will need to be logged-in to the website to read this eBook.

Legal Alert

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

New guidance: Government guidance urges businesses to take account of COVID-19 when considering their contractual rights and obligations


The new guidance ‘Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency’ strongly encourages parties to contracts that are materially affected by COVID-19 to ‘act responsibly and fairly in the national interest in performing and enforcing their contracts’ by following its recommendations.

Showing 3 of 219 items

Disclaimer: These articles from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Where did you get that name?

Six independent agency start-up owners describe the inspiration behind their company names.

Company name fluency

This research study on business names indicates that corporations with shorter and simpler names attract more trading in their stock, more stockholders, and higher valuation ratios than corporations with longer names.

The right name can make or break a business

Article on the importance of having a company name which helps the customer understand the nature of the work carried out.

Showing 3 of 4 items

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Useful links


Names and letterheads of practising firms
This ICAEW guidance applies to all ICAEW members in practice including affiliates, member firms and employees of member firms.


Choosing a name for your company, partnership or business
Government guidance on what names you can and can't use.

Name availability search
Companies House has developed a ‘Company Name Availability Search’ as part of their WebCHeck service.

Incorporation and names
Companies House guidance on choosing a company name and sensitive words and expressions to avoid. There are a number of restrictions on your choice of company names.

Guides and reports

Choosing a business name
This section of the Startups online business magazine features articles and videos on the legalities of business names, the importance of domain names and changing your business name.

What’s in a name? Get the details right
A 2015 article by Jennifer Adams for AccountingWEB on how important it is to be careful in naming a company. Requires free registration.


To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by email at library@icaew.com or through webchat.

ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.