Consultation outcome

Company and business names: Red Tape Challenge

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Company and business names: government response

Detail of outcome

Consultation feedback:

  • all respondents agreed regulation is required in this area to protect the public from possible harm
  • the majority agreed that the regulations should be simplified and the ‘sensitive’ words list reduced. Annex A of the government response lists those to be retained and removed

Following consultation, government will:

  • reduce the ‘same as’ list to allow registrants more choice and make name swaps within groups of companies easier
  • merge the Names and Trading Disclosure Statutory Instruments, so that requirements may be found together
  • make draft regulations available for comment in due course

Original consultation


Consults on ways to improve the business and company names regulations, reducing their complexity and easing their burden on business.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The government has reviewed company law as part of its commitment to reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens under the Red Tape Challenge. For further information about company law and the Red Tape Challenge see Company and Partnership law.

Company & Business Names was a sub-section of the Red Tape Challenge company and commercial law theme. Regulation of business names aims to ensure that every company has a name easily differentiated from another and that their name does not misrepresent their position in the eyes of the general public.

We received a number of comments from a large cross-section of society in relation to business names. We consider that there is scope to simplify the regulations and reduce the number of statutory instruments relating to names.

We welcome your comments on the options for improving business and company names regulations.


Published 27 February 2013
Last updated 4 October 2013 + show all updates
  1. Government response published.
  2. First published.