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Government to simplify limited company naming rules

The Government has announced that dozens of regulations which relate to company and commercial law are to be scrapped or simplified, including simpler limited company naming rules.

Last week, Business Minister Jo Swinson announced the interim results of the Government’s ‘Company and Commercial Law Red Tape Challenge’ – which will result in around half of the current regulations which govern the running and financial reporting obligations of companies being ‘modified’, or scrapped altogether.

Highlights for company owners

Some of the most relevant changes for limited company owners include:

1. Company naming changes – there are currently 161 ‘sensitive’ words and expressions which either cannot be used by new companies at all, or require written approval from various organisations and bodies before they can be used. The Government plans to reform the current rules to remove many of the words from the list. Examples of sensitive words include; ‘Group’, ‘International’, ‘British’ and ‘Institute’.

2. Displaying your company name – the rules which govern where and when you are required to display your company name are confusing, to say the least. The Red Tape Challenge will ensure that the rules which determine how company names must appear on buildings, paper or on the web will be put in one place to avoid confusion.

3. Reporting requirements for micro-businesses – companies with less than ten employees will no longer have to abide by certain accounting requirements, and will be able to submit simpler annual accounts, for example. Around 1.2m UK businesses will no longer have to submit profit and loss accounts, just shortened balance sheets.

Jo Swinson said that the Government had heard the concerns of small businesses ‘loud and clear’, and was now taking action to reduce form filling requirements, and to remove redundant regulations.

“These changes are common sense and make business sense. We are determined to create a flexible business environment for companies to flourish in so they can compete globally and help grow the economy.

You can read the interim findings of the Red Tape Challenge here.

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