Anyone trademarked their practice company name?

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I'm very early on with starting my own practice, in process of applying for my PC with ACCA and have so far registered my company at Companies House.

Has anyone ever gone to the trouble of registering a trademark for their company name so early on in the process or at all?

My concern derives from the fact there are 2 other companies which are similar in name to mine (not actual names):

  • AAA Accounting Ltd
  • AAA Accountants Ltd
  • AAA Accountancy Limited

From a companies house perspective this is of course fine as there is a differentiation (albeit minimal) between all 3 company names. However, I later came across this guidance, in particular the 'same as names' section:

https://www.gov.uk/limited-company-formation/choose-company-name#:~:text....

It seems all 3 above meet the criteria of ''a word or character that’s similar in appearance or meaning to another from the existing name's'' so now contemplating if I should change my name completely, keep it and just trade under a different name, or register a trademark of 'AAA Accountancy' for example to avoid problems down the line!

All companies are based in complete opposite sides of the country which does help in some way but not sure if I'm just over thinking this whole problem and concerning myself too much about this matter. Want to clear this up before spending any further money on branding, website, advertising etc.

 

Any guidance is much appreciated.

 

 

Replies (7)

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By FactChecker
26th Apr 2024 21:14

First - registering a trademark is not the same as protecting your company name (they are different concepts for different purposes).

Second - unless you think there is something truly unique about your company name (which from what you've said is not the case), you probably won't be able to register the words as a trademark anyway - unless you come up with some clever image/colour scheme that incorporates the words (where it's not really the words that are being trademarked).

Third (and most important) - why do you want to use a name that's nearly identical to the names of potential competitors? Any confusion that arises on web-listings etc could well result in them suing you for 'passing off' (even if CH are happy).

You are going to have much bigger and more important things to deal with and to learn as you launch for the first time ... so why make life hard for yourself with something that can't matter to you too much (and will potentially cost you a small fortune in licences, legal fees etc if you go chasing butterflies)!

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By MS Accounting
26th Apr 2024 21:34

Name is basically my initials which is the case for the others probably too!

Through my searches it’s quite typical for accounting practices to have VERY similar names on Companies House. There will be upto 5-6 variations of a company name all saying the same thing so wonder if firms are instead using ‘trading names’ as their differentiator for web listings etc.

Your final paragraph is an eye opener and definitely true. I don’t really want to be worrying about such a matter when really incorporating the company should be the easy bit! - probably easier to find an alternative (or explore a trading name for the company front).

Thanks for the advice!

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By David Ex
26th Apr 2024 21:47

I don’t think, certainly outside the national firms, names count for much. Clients want good service so I’d focus on that.

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the sea otter
By memyself-eye
27th Apr 2024 17:12

I received a letter from a start up cafe asking if I objected to them calling themselves 'On the square' which is the market square they traded from up T'North.
I was chuffed that they bothered and said I was more than happy that my accountancy practice in T'Midlands of the same name would never be confused with their catering enterprise 200 miles away..

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By FactChecker
27th Apr 2024 19:24

Whereas, (in)famously if you have the money and chutzpah to employ a full-time team to monitor every business worldwide ... they can sue you (or at least threaten to do so) if you so much as stick the word Easy on the front of your name!

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By Paul Crowley
27th Apr 2024 19:32

That was exactly the example I was going to mention. Nasty company based on the experience of those they go after, despite not being in the same business. It makes a mockery of British justice.

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By wesicac
02nd May 2024 18:09

Data enrichment involves enhancing and refining existing data sets to improve their quality and usefulness for various purposes. Trademarking your company name provides legal protection against others using a similar name in your industry. This can help prevent confusion among customers and protect your brand identity. A trademarked name can enhance your brand recognition and reputation. It shows professionalism and commitment to your business. Trademarks offer long-term protection, potentially lasting indefinitely as long as they are renewed and actively used. This can be valuable as your business grows and becomes more established. Trademark registration involves fees and paperwork. You'll need to consider the cost of registration and any ongoing maintenance fees. The process can also take time, so you may need to wait before your trademark is officially registered. Before deciding on a name, it's crucial to conduct thorough market research to ensure that your chosen name is unique and not already in use by another company, especially in your industry and geographic location.
https://www.globaldatabase.com/top-10-b2b-data-providers-in-2024

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