by Lina Martinez

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When you first decide to set up a company in the UK, you will need to choose and then register a company name. This is the first step that you will take in getting your new business up and running. If you have decided to operate your business as a sole trader, you are not technically required to register your business name with Companies House, although you do need to register with HMRC. If however you decide to set up your business as a limited company, you will be required to register a business name.

Choosing a business name can often be the most difficult step. You want to ensure that your company name is unique and it must also have something to do with the type of trading that you are planning to do. Once you have chosen your business name, you will need to check to see if that particular company name is already in use. You cannot use a company name that has already been registered, even if you are operating in another part of the country and even if your business is completely different from the one originally attached to that name. You must choose your own completely unique business name to register.

When choosing a new business name, make certain that it does not contain any offensive wording or terms and be sure that you pay strict attention to any punctuation or special characters that you plan to use. Note that the name that you use to register your company does not necessarily have to be the same name that you are trading with. You can choose a business name for actual trading but you must follow the same rules for your business name as you do for your company name. You cannot use words that are untrue. For instance, if your company is not limited or a partnership then you cannot include these words in your company name.

You will also need to decide on an official company address for your business. This will need to be included in your registration and should be a UK postal address where your official business notifications will be sent. You must register your company in the same country that your business will be located in so for instance if your business is in England, then your address should be somewhere in England.

If you are registering your company yourself through Companies House then you will need to create a new account with your email address, name and a chosen password. Once you have registered with Companies House, you can put in your chosen business name and your business location address.

You can use the Companies House official website to register your new company and the process is fairly straightforward. You will be prompted to provide the required information and the site will walk you through the set up process. Once you have finished registering your company, you can begin trading. Be sure that you have set up your business bank account and gone through the steps for registering your company for corporation tax. This must be done within your first three months of trading.