Set up a charity

3. Name your charity

Your charity name must not:

  • be similar to the name of an existing charity (unless you can prove you need to use it)
  • use words you don’t have permission to use, for example a trade mark
  • use offensive words or acronyms
  • be misleading, for example suggest your charity does something it doesn’t

Search the charities register to check the names of registered charities. Unregistered charities won’t appear in the register.

Additional names

You can use:

  • abbreviations, for example National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is known as NSPCC
  • alternative names, for example Comic Relief is a working name for Charity Projects

You must list any alternative or working names your charity uses when you apply to register.

Non-English names

You must include a translation of any non-English words in your charity’s name when you register.

Using ‘charity’ in a name

You can use the words ‘charity’, ‘charities’ or ‘charitable’ in your charity’s name but you need approval from the Charity Commission if you use them when you register a company name with Companies House.