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Can I open 2 companies with the same name in the UK?

In the UK, it is generally not permitted to register two companies with the exact same name. The Companies Act 2006 sets out rules regarding the uniqueness of company names to avoid confusion and ensure clarity in the business environment. The Registrar of Companies, which is part of Companies House, oversees the registration of company names and has guidelines in place to prevent duplicate or misleading names.

When registering a new company, Companies House will conduct a name availability check to determine if the proposed name is already in use. The name must be unique and not too similar to existing company names to be accepted for registration.

There are, however, some exceptions and considerations. If the companies operate in different sectors or industries, it might be possible to have similar names as long as there is no likelihood of confusion for customers or stakeholders. Additionally, a company may incorporate a specific element, such as a location or industry descriptor, to differentiate its name from others.

It’s important to consult with your accountant when considering company names and registration to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Author

Fungayi Mukosera