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Registrar is legally blind - fact!
Did you know that the Registrar of Companies is blind, by law? I didn't.
OK, not completely blind, but there are certain words that he can't see, and you might be surprised to see the list.
Under the Company and Business Names (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2009 the Registrar must disregard certain specified words when deciding whether your chosen company name is to be considered identical to another already on the register. Some are obvious - you can't add "Company" or "Co" to try to differentiate your company from another that already exists. "www", ".co.uk" and ".com" can't be used to create new names. "UK" and "United Kingdom" don't work either, but you may not have realised that "Services" and "International" are also invisible words as far as the Registrar is concerned.
"Holdings" and "Group" are apparently the same word as far as company names are concerned, although you can have them as different companies within the same group if you advise Companies House and give written consent.
And that's before we get onto the even more tricky ground of sensitive words that need approval from the Secretary of State - such as Royal, Chartered, or even Windsor.
So if, like me, you have always thought that a company name had simply to be different from those already registered, make sure you check these regulations first to make sure you're not using one of those invisible words that the Registrar legally can't see. Online company formation services may not point these out to you, so check first before you try to form a company.