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What is a Reserved Word?


A reserved or sensitive word is one which is protected by Companies House and requires justification before it can be used in a company name.

Some examples are: National, Group, England and Scotland.

The main trust behind the restrictions placed on reserved words is to disallow their inappropriate use so that they portray the company as having a particular standing which it in fact does not hold.

By using the word international in a company name, it suggests that the business has a global presence and it a substantial entity.

Third parties might then choose to deal with that entity on the assumption that a world wide business has substantial operations, is secure and has adequate resources to meet the needs to their customers.

The company in question however might just be a small business serving its local community with very few resources and capacity.


In all cases where a reserved word is proposed as part of a company name, written representations are required from the persons making the application.

The length and form of the reasoning will depend on the word and the context in which it will be used.

Some examples follow:

International requires that the persons demonstrate that the company will have substantial business operations in at least two countries other than the UK.

Applications for the word Group would be approved where it can be shown that the company will have a controlling interest over another incorporation business entity.

Reserved Word Payment

The reserved word payment is charged to cover the costs of providing the necessary template for a selected phrase and for attaching the completed documents to the incorporation application.

This is a manual task which requires varying degrees of review and checking to ensure that the company formation request using the chosen words has the greatest chance of being accepted.

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