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Sensitive words and expressions
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Further information


Sensitive words and expressions


1. What are 'sensitive words and expressions'?

These are words and expressions that, when included in an LLP name, may imply business pre-eminence, a particular status or a specific function. For this reason, you must seek the approval of the Secretary of State before the proposed LLP can be incorporated (or its name changed). The aim is to ensure that the inclusion of the word is justified so that its use in the name does not mislead the public. Companies House administers the approval process on behalf of the Secretary of State.

2. Is there a list of restricted and sensitive words?

If you choose a name, that includes any of the words listed in Appendix A, you will need to provide supporting information with your application to incorporate your LLP -Form LL IN01.

If you choose a name that includes any of the words in Appendix B, you will need to write to the 'relevant body' to ask whether they have any objection to the proposed name and deliver a copy of the response with your application.

The words and expressions included in Appendix C are subject to different legislation and inappropriate use of such words in an LLP name could be a criminal offence. If you wish to include one of these words in your LLP name, you should contact the relevant regulatory authority or ask us for advice.

If you are uncertain about the use of a specific word in a name you can contact us on 0303 1234 500.

3. What types of words and expressions are sensitive?

The following words imply national or international pre-eminence:

British: You would need to show that the LLP is pre-eminent in its field by providing supporting evidence from an independent source such as a government department, trade association or other representative body.

The level of pre-eminence in a name that includes ‘British’ depends on the impact created by the other words in the name. Usually the sense of pre-eminence reduces if the overall name does not describe a product, but you would still have to show that your LLP is substantial in its field, even if this was not described in the LLP name
National: The criteria for use of this word is the same as for 'British'.
England, English, Scotland, Scottish, Wales, Welsh, Ireland or Irish: If one of these words appears as the prefix to a name, the requirements are similar to those for 'British'.

If you intend to use one of these words, for example, 'of England’ in the middle or as the last word in a name this would normally be acceptable provided you can demonstrate that the LLP has its main place of business in the country concerned. If you want to use one of these words because it is a surname, you will usually be given approval if the LLP name includes forenames or initials.
Great Britain or United Kingdom: If you wish to use these expressions at the start of a name or if you intend to use 'of Great Britain' or 'of the United Kingdom' at the end of the name, the requirements are similar to those for ‘British’. Using the initials 'GB' or 'UK' in your LLP name does not require approval.
European: We will not approve names which include this word if they unjustifiably imply a connection with official bodies of the European Union. If there is a genuine connection with an official body, we may allow the name if the appropriate body provides written support for the application.
International: If you wish to use this word as the first word in a name, you need to show that the major part of the LLP’s activities is in trading overseas. If you wish to use it anywhere else in the name we will usually approve it if you can show that the LLP operates in two or more overseas countries.
The following words imply business pre-eminence or representative or authoritative status:

Authority, Board or Council: If you want to use any of these words in your proposed name, you should ask us for advice by telephoning 0303 1234 500.
Institute or Institution: We normally only approve these words for those organisations which are carrying out research at the highest level or to professional bodies of the highest standing. You will need to show us that there is a need for the proposed institute and that it has appropriate regulations or examination standards. You will need evidence of support from other representative and independent bodies.
Government: We will only grant approval for use of this word if we are satisfied that there is no official connection with Her Majesty's Government, any part of the Scottish or Welsh administrations, or any overseas government. We will take the whole LLP name into consideration and judge it on its own merits.
HSC or HPSS: These stand for Health and Social Care and Health and Personal Social Services: We may consult the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) when considering the approval of names containing these words as it could foster a misleading impression among patients, service users and wider public that the business enjoys an approved status in connection with the Health and Social Care or Personal Social Services.
The following words imply specific objects or functions:

Charter or Chartered: We will not approve names that include these words if they unjustifiably give the impression that the LLP has a Royal Charter. If you use the words to qualify a profession, we will seek the advice of the appropriate governing body before considering whether to give approval.
Chemist or Chemistry: If you want to use any of these words in your proposed name, you should ask us for advice by telephoning 0303 1234 500.
Group: If use of this word implies several LLPs or companies under one corporate ownership, you will need to provide evidence of a parent and/or subsidiary association with two or more other UK or overseas LLPs or companies. If the name clearly shows that the LLP is to promote the interests of a group of individuals, then the name will normally be approved.
Holding(s): An LLP wishing to use this word must be a holding LLP as defined under section 1159 of the Companies Act 2006.
Patent or Patentee: We will only approve a name including either word if it does not infringe the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.
Post Office: These words are registered trade marks of the Royal Mail group and we will seek advice on applications that include these words.
Register or Registered: We treat every application for use of these words on its merits. Generally, we will seek advice from the appropriate governing body if names that include these words relate to a professional qualification. We will not register the name if it unjustifiably implies a connection with HM Government or a local authority. If there is a connection we will register the name if the appropriate body supports the application.
Sheffield: If you wish to use a name that includes the word 'Sheffield', we will need to establish details of the LLP’s location and its business activities. We will also consult the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.
Trade Union: We will not approve names including this expression unless they conform to legislation relating to trade unions.
As an LLP is incorporated with a view to profit there are certain names that we may not allow in an LLP’s name e.g. association or trust as these words are used to imply a non-profit status. As an LLP does not file constitutional documents that could correspond with a non-profit making status we feel it is inappropriate for such words to be included in an LLP’s name.