Web tool lets firms safely name names

Coming up with a catchy name for a business and its products can challenge enterprising types, particularly if they want to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

The time and costs involved will increase if the identities which they eventually settle upon emerge as being assigned to other would-be or existing businesses.

Fortunately, the government is onto the problem: its agencies have unveiled a quick online ‘company name and trademark checker’ which is free to use.

The service lets users check prospective company names and trade marks simultaneously against Companies House and the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Trawling each agency’s register to see if others have legal rights to the names an individual wants to use should help “avoid unnecessary and costly mistakes.”

Business Link, which hosts the tool, added that expanding business, perhaps those developing a new range, and pre-stage start-ups should reap its benefits the most.

The agency hopes that basing the service on its website, rather than on a stand-alone site, will direct enterprising types to the help, such as regulatory guides, that it offers.

Freelance UK's fast, online company formation service is here.

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