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  • Overview

    There has been useful company law reform in relation to restrictions on the choice and use of company names.

    The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Government in 2011 to reduce the costs incurred by businesses as a result of legislative bureaucracy. The latest issue which the Challenge has aimed to address relates to the costs incurred by companies during the incorporation process.

    The scheme recognised that companies often had proposed names rejected as a result of complex rules and requirements, leading them to spend more time and money in the re-application or justification process.

    The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015, which came into force on 31 January 2015, aim to simplify this process.

    The main changes introduced by the Regulations are:

    • an extension of the list of characters that can be used in a company name - previously companies were limited to using the Roman alphabet, but now various accents as well as signs and symbols can be used;
    • an amendment to the rules on the ‘same as’ list to simplify the decision of whether a proposed company’s name is the same as another already registered; and
    • an amendment to the trading disclosure requirements so that companies that operate in a location with more than five companies no longer have to display a register listing all companies.

    Article by Faye Cook, trainee Solicitor in the Corporate & Commercial team. Email Faye.

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