Setting up and running a charity – guidance

Use the words 'charity' or 'charitable' in a company name

If your company isn't a charity, you need Charity Commission permission to include the words ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ in its name.

Charity Commission policy on names

The commission generally objects to any proposal to use the words ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ in the names of non-charitable companies or businesses.

To get its permission, you would need to demonstrate that the words:

  • are essential to describe what your business does
  • will only be used in a way which makes it clear your business is not a charity

For example, if your company provides discounted typing services to charities and you want to call it ‘Charity Typing 4U’, you would need to show that the company:

  • benefits one or more charities
  • will not mislead the public into thinking the company itself is a charity

Also read Companies House guidance on company names.