What's in a (company) name? — an update

Business and company names are regulated to make sure that misleading names, which may imply unwarranted status or authority, cannot be used. The legislation also places restrictions on the registration of ‘sensitive’ words and names that are the ‘same as’ existing names. These mechanisms are felt by many to be lacking in transparency and it has been suggested that the restrictions place a disproportionate burden on the commercial freedom of many businesses.

The consultation asked three questions: do you think all regulations relating to names should be repealed; alternatively, do you think regulations relating to names should be retained but reduced and simplified; do you think the list of ‘sensitive’ words should be reduced and if so which words would you recommend for removal and why; and do you think the list of words on the ‘same as’ list should be reduced and if so which words would you recommend for removal?

Having taken soundings, the government published its responses to the consultation on 4 October. These are to move forward with proposals to merge the company and business names regulations with the trading disclosures regulations and clarify the trading disclosures regulations so that they are easier to follow…

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