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Foreign Characters in a Company Name

 

Non UK Keyboard Character Set

When registering a UK limited company from abroad using a keyboard character set other than English some people may attempt the use characters which are specific to their particular language.

A frequent example of this are some of the native French characters such as the “^”, which is used to emphasize certain letters in a word.

The person using a French keyboard character set and wishing a register a company using an “^”above a particular letter could enter the full name including the “^”. The UK company formation agent’s name search would probably report that the name as being available (unless it was less sophisticated that it could not compute the character at all).

After completing the remainder of the company formation application and sending it to Companies House, the company would be successfully incorporated.

The person forming the company then reviews the various emails and attachments contained with interest. They believe that they have registered a company with the chic sounding and looking French name.

Invalid Characters in a Company Name

What would have in fact happened would be Companies House’s electronic company formation system would interpreted the “^” character above a letter as an invalid letter. It would have then attempted to convert the letter to its English equivalent or ignored it altogether.

The name which appears on the certificate of incorporation might be misspelled if in this case Companies House ignored the letter with the “^” above it, or the name may be spelled correctly but the “^” would be absent.

The above issue which foreign characters in company names is due to the character set used by Companies House’ electronic company registration system.

UK Companies must use English Characters in their Names

The problem does not extend to foreign words which do not use foreign characters.

Just as with English company names, the name itself does not have to be recognised in the UK dictionary.

 
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