How to buy a company name

Looking to register your company name? The good news is that buying a company name is faster, simple and more affordable than you might think.

So, you’re planning to set sail on the rocky ocean of entrepreneurism. Well done! It’s challenging and rewarding, but there’s one thing you need to do first: get set up. Let’s get started by looking at how to how to buy a company name.

Buy a limited company name

There are plenty of reasons you might want to buy a limited company name. However, not all of them mean you’re going to be trading straight away. Indeed, many of the companies registered with Companies House each year fall into the category of dormant company.

A dormant company is one which is registered with Companies House in the same way as a limited company, but is not trading. It simply sits there waiting to spring into life.

The most common reason for setting one up is that you have a specific company name in mind and you want to reserve it until you’re ready to get going with it. For example, imagine you’re a sole trader building up your business before deciding to really go for it.

Why now?

At some stage, you want to expand and become a limited company, but you’re not ready just yet. By the time you do, you’ll have hopefully earned yourself a reputation and a certain number of loyal customers. You’ll want to incorporate your company under the name you’ve been using to avoid losing that reputation.

That’s a great idea, but you can only do that if the name is available at Companies House. If someone gets in there first with a name which is the same or similar you won’t be able to use it, which could make it more difficult to transition seamlessly into your new business and take your customers with you.

How do I get started?

To get started all you have to do is search for a company name to see if its available, and then buy your company name by paying the registration fee and completing a short application. If you go to The Formations Company website, we can do the filing for you and make sure all the paperwork is in order.

Once you’ve registered, inform Companies House of your intention to run it as a dormant company and submit the required paperwork. Because you’re not trading, this is a lighter matter than with a fully operational company, but you will still have to file paperwork to assure Companies House it is still dormant.

Then, when you’re ready to go, simply inform Companies House that you intend to start trading, get a business bank account and off you go.

How to buy a limited company

On the other hand, if you’re ready to get started with your company now, you can register as a company without messing around with dormant filing. If you decide to buy a company name UK rules are still pretty straightforward.

You’ll have to see if your company name is available, register it and pay a fee to Companies House. To become a limited company, you will need at least one shareholder and one director. They both might be you if you’re the only person who will be employed by the company.

Again, if you use an agent such as the Formations Company, we can provide all the support you need. We handle all your paperwork, pass on your application and let you know when it has been confirmed. Unless there is a problem this generally happens within four to five working hours or the next working day.

Why do it?

There are many reasons people choose to set up a limited company. The most obvious is tax. Because tax on dividends is much lower than income tax you could pay yourself a certain amount and make up the rest in dividends. It’s a good idea for people who find themselves drifting into a higher taxation bracket.

It’s also popular for people who are growing beyond a one-man band, and those who want to create a more professional image. There may be no difference between the way you work as a limited company and how you worked when you were self-employed, but having the word “limited” conjures up images of a professional, growing company.

Once you have set up your company you will have to take care of all the administration involved with trading a company. This includes setting up a bank account, registering for tax, filing annual accounts and managing PAYE or any employees.

Where can I buy my company name?

You can do it right here – we’ll even offer all the help and support you need. So, to check your company name is available and buy it before someone else does, enter it into the search bar or check out our package page.

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