Every UK Company Must have a Distinct Name
The name must not already be used by an existing company. Every UK Company must have a different and distinct name. The definition of a company in this respect is one which is listed on the Companies House current or proposed list.
Companies House Proposed Name List
Its current list contains the names of companies which are already in existence whether they are trading, dormant, in the process of being liquidated or have recently been dissolved. The proposed list of companies contains the names of companies which are in the process of being formed.
For an online company formation, a name may only exist on the proposed list for a short time, typically for the three hours it takes to form a company by this method. Paper formations using form IN10 which can remain on the list for considerably longer, particularly if the forms are delayed due to the person registering the company does not file the correct forms and remittance promptly.
Once the company formation process has been started, Companies House will put the name on the proposed list. This in turn prevents others from registering a company with that name.