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Incorporating an LLP
Members and designated members
Choosing an LLP name
Sensitive words and expressions
Change of LLP name
Objections to an existing LLP name
Disclosure of the LLP name and other information
Quality of documents
Further information


Choosing an LLP name


Before choosing a name you should check the Trade Marks Register of the UK Intellectual Property Office to ensure that the proposed name is not identical or similar to an existing trade mark. The address and contact information can be found on this website. You can also contact the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys via their website. The registration of an LLP or company name does not mean the name or part of a name might not infringe other laws such as trade mark law.

1. Can I choose any name I want for my LLP?

No. There are a number of controls and restrictions that apply to your LLP name. These are set out in Part 3 of the Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Companies Act) Regulations 2009 which applies relevant sections of the Companies Act 2006 and the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 SI 2009/1085 to LLPs, with appropriate modifications. Information on sensitive words and expressions is in chapter 4.

We will not register an LLP with a name if:

its use would constitute a criminal offence (see, for example, Annex C to this guide) or it is offensive;
the name suggests a connection with Her Majesty’s Government or a devolved administration or certain public authorities, unless approved by the Secretary of State;
it includes a sensitive word or expression, unless certain tests are satisfied and you provide a statement of support by the appropriate government department or other official body;
it includes characters, punctuation, signs or symbols which are not permitted. A list of permitted characters, signs, symbols and punctuation can be found in regulation 2 and Schedule 1 of the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 as applied to LLPs;
it is the ’same as‘ another name appearing on the registrar’s index of company names, unless the proposed LLP will form part of the same group as the LLP or other body that already ‘owns‘ that name and that body has agreed to the proposed name;
it does not end with ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘llp’, ‘LLP’ or (where the registered office is to be situated in Wales) the Welsh equivalents 'partneriaeth atebolrwydd cyfyngedig', ‘pac’, or ‘PAC’;
it contains ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘llp’,‘LLP’ or the Welsh equivalents 'partneriaeth atebolrwydd cyfyngedig' , ‘pac’, or ‘PAC’ anywhere except at the end of the name; or
it includes in any part of the name an expression or abbreviation set out in paragraphs (a) to (o) or (r) to (u) below (for further details see paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 of the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 as applied to LLPs).

(a) public limited company or (with or without full stops) plc (k) european economic interest grouping or(with or without full stops) eeig
(b) cwmni cyfyngedig cyhoeddus or (with or without full stops) ccc (l) investment company with variable capital
(c) community interest company or (with or without full stops) cic (m) cwmni buddsoddi a chyfalaf newidiol
(d) cwmni buddiant cymunedol or(with or without full stops) cbc (n) limited partnership or (with or without full stops) lp
(e) community interest public limited company or(with or without full stops) community interest plc (o) partneriaeth cyfyngedig or (with or with full stops) pc
(f) cwmni buddiant cymunedol cyhoeddus cyfyngedig or(with or without full stops) cwmni buddiant ccc (r) open-ended investment company
(g) right to enfranchisement or (with or without full stops) rte (s) cwmni buddsoddiant penagored
(h) hawl i ryddfreiniad (t) charitable incorporated organisation or (with or without full stops) CIO
(i) right to manage or (with or without full stops) rtm (u) sefdydliad elusennol corfforedig or (with or without full stops) SEC
(j) cwmni rtm cyfyngedig


2. What does 'the same as' mean?

A name is the ’same as’ another name appearing on the registrar’s index of company names if it is either identical to an existing name or would be deemed to be the same because the name differs only by minor elements which the law requires us to disregard when comparing the two names. For example, we would disregard plurals or certain types of punctuation marks when comparing names.

Examples of what we will disregard or ignore when comparing names are:

any of the designated name endings (including permitted abbreviations with or without full stops or their Welsh equivalents set out in question 1 for example,) such as ‘limited liability partnership’, ‘LLP’, ‘limited’, or ‘public limited company’;
words, expressions, such as:

‘biz’, ‘co’, ‘co uk’, ‘co.uk’, ’com’, ’company’, ’UK’, ’United Kingdom’, ’Wales’, ’Cymru’, ’net’, ’GB’, ’Great Britain’, ’org.uk’, ’services’, ’international’ (but see question 3 for circumstances when these will not be ignored) ;
a blank space between or after a word, expression, character, sign or symbol;
punctuation including a full stop, comma, colon, semi colon, hyphen, apostrophe, bracket, exclamation mark, question mark;
permitted characters ‘*’, ‘=’, ‘#’ ‘%’ and ‘+’ if they are used as one of the first three characters in a name;
’s’ at the end of a name;
’the’ and ’www’ at the beginning of a name; or
any but the first 60 characters in a name.
In addition, we will treat certain words and expressions as if they were the same, eg ’and’ and ’&’, ’plus’ and ‘+’, ’1’ and ‘one’, ’6’ and ’six’, ’€’ and ’euro’, ’$’ and ’dollar’, ’%’ and ’percent’, ’@’ and ’at’,

Further information can be found in The Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Companies Act 2006) Regulations 2009 which apply the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 to LLPs which we strongly advise you to read before you apply to incorporate your LLP.

Please note: the ’same as’ rules do not prevent someone else trading under a name that is the same as a company’s registered name in all respects excepting only the designator (eg ’llp’).

3. Are there any exceptions to the ‘same as’ rules?

Yes. Where an LLP is in the same group as an existing LLP or other body (an existing company), they may have names that differ only by certain specified words and expressions (such as ’biz’,’co’, co uk’, ’co.uk’, ’com’, ’company’, ’UK’, ’United Kingdom’, ’Wales’, ’Cymru’, ’net’, ’GB’, ’Great Britain’, ’org.uk’, ’services’, ’international’). This is permitted only if the member of the group whose name is already on the Registrar’s Index of Company Names gives its consent to the other LLP adopting the name that differs from its own in this way. The application for the proposed name must include:

a copy of a statement in which the existing LLP or other body consents to the other LLP adopting the proposed name and confirms it will be part of the same group.


4. Can you give some examples of “same as” names?

If ’Hands Limited’ is already registered we would reject the following applications:

Hand-S Limited Liability Partnership or LLP;
H & S International Limited Liability Partnership or LLP;
@H & S Limited Liability Partnership or LLP;
Hands: Limited Liability Partnership or LLP; and
# H & S Limited Liability Partnership or LLP.
Similarly, if 'Catering LLP' is already a registered LLP we would reject the following applications unless the application is for an LLP in the same group as ‘Catering LLP’ and Catering LLP has given its consent:

Catering UK Limited Liability Partnership (or LLP);
Catering.co.uk Limited Liability Partnership (or LLP);
Catering International Liability Partnership (or LLP);
Catering Company (Services) Liability Partnership (or LLP);


5. Which names need approval?

You will need the Secretary of State’s prior approval if your chosen name:

Suggests a connection with Her Majesty’s Government or a devolved administration or a local authority or a specified public authority (see chapter 4 and Appendices A &B)
a sensitive word or experience (see chapter 4 and Appendices A & B)
In the case of any name that requires approval because of the connection it suggests and also in the case of a name that includes certain sensitive words or expression, you must request the specified Government department or body to indicate whether (and if so why) it has any objection to the proposed name. The application to register an LLP - Form LL IN01 - includes a section requiring you to confirm you have sought the comments of the appropriate body. You must also deliver a copy of any response received and other supporting information with your application. Companies House will then consider whether to approve the name on behalf of the Secretary of State.