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Tip 46: Brand name protection 101

Trying to come up with a name for your brand? For the love of it all, you need to know this 😱

Graeme Tidd
Graeme Tidd
3 min read

Table of Contents

Companies House

Let's talk trading name vs company name.

Let's say your trading name is your brand name.

Registering with Companies House does NOT protect your brand name (or any type of name) from an IP (intellectual property) perspective.

It just prevents somebody else from registering your chosen name with Companies House.

*Read on to see why you shouldn't care about this if you don't need a limited company.

If you NEED a limited company, you can register with Companies House under any COMPANY name (such as Your Name Enterprises). Your brand name then falls under the umbrella of the company name (your brand name essentially feeds into the accounts of the company name).

This prevents your Companies House registration and associated account filing from showing in search engine results pages under your brand name.

From a branding perspective, this is very important. You don't want to create a beautiful brand only for the .gov website to be the first result in Google search, showcasing all of your personal details (and all of the other nonsense company registration websites that WILL scrape your details).

👎 Forget about Companies House if you don't NEED a limited company

🤔 If you do need a limited company, consider registering a company name that is not your trading (brand) name

*Why you shouldn't care about registering with Companies House if you don't need a limited company:


A trademark is the highest level of protection for a name. This is what you really need to pay attention to.

NOT Companies House. NOT domain name registration.

Click below and go to:'Search by keyword, phrase or image':

Search for a trade mark - Intellectual Property Office

Run a search on your chosen name under the class in which you want to trade.

There are 45 classes in total. Trademark classes are here:

Search UK trade mark classes by word or phrase – Search UK trade mark classes – Intellectual Property Office

If an exact match or a name that appears similar in any way (including how it sounds when spoken) shows in the results, you're dead in the water. Think of a different name.

See trademark costs here:

Register a trade mark
Protect your brand by registering it as a trade mark - how to apply, fees, responding to objections to your trade mark, using the ® symbol

Top tips when thinking of a brand name

🧨 Check you aren't infringing on an existing trademark

🧨 Type the name into Google and see what comes up. Look in Google Images. Look for anything that may relate to competition, inappropriate images, negative news etc.

🧨 Do the same for social media platforms

🧨 Check domain name availability (I use GoDaddy and 123-Reg). Forget using hyphens. Forget using abbreviations (such as 'x' instead of 'ks'). Keep it under 15 characters

🧨 Ensure the name translates flawlessly over the phone

🧨 Consider registering different domain extensions to protect your IP and futureproof your brand

🧨 Consider registering across multiple social media platforms to protect your IP and futureproof your brand

Mindset and business tips

Graeme Tidd

Want to work for yourself? Build confidence and move forward with my honest, inspiring and thought-provoking tips for aspiring freelancers and start-ups 🚀

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