If you’re just starting out, you’ve probably gone through the effort of figuring out your business name. This alone involves a lot of thought. However, you probably didn’t realise that you can also simply trade under another name!
Trading Name vs Company Name
Your company name is the name that is officially registered with Companies House. This is assuming you’re living in the United Kingdom. It’s the name that will be associated with your business by government bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. It’s also the name that should be presented on most, if not all, forms of company documentation such as business letters and invoices.
A trading name on the other hand is a name used by a company for carrying out business. As long as you are clear that it is a trading name on all business documentation and premises, by writing it as ‘Company Name T/A Trading Name’, then you can use this name for marketing purposes on your website domain, business cards, branded merchandise, and letterheads.
So what’s the point in having a trading name? We’ll discuss 5 reasons why it makes sense to use trading names…
Reason 1: Registered
It’s extremely frustrating to have a great name in mind and then realise it is not available, having been registered at companies house as a limited company name. A trading name makes it possible for you to register any company name that is available, and then trade under the name you originally wanted.
Reason 2: Unregistered
To use a trading name, you simply have to start using it – that’s it! The only thing you will need to be aware of is that if someone has trademarked the name you want to use, then this normally protects them from someone else using the same name, especially if that someone is in the same business sector. Check the trademark database and consider changing it if someone has already used your trading name.
Reason 3: Multiplicity
Trading names enable you to have multiple functions for a single limited company. Imagine you’re a digital marketing agency and you offer services such as Search Engine Optimisation, Website Design & Development, and Social Media Marketing. Well, it might make sense to have a name for each one of these services like this:
- Unreal SEO T/A Unreal Marketing Ltd.
- Unreal Web T/A Unreal Marketing Ltd.
- Unreal Social T/A Unreal Marketing Ltd.
Reason 4: Undiscoverability
More often than not, your competitors will try to find out more about your company so that they can be one step ahead of you at all times. Having a trading name will reduce the likelihood of your competitors finding out more about your company.
Reason 5: Branding
You may spend hours upon hours thinking up a company name, and still end up regretting it a few months down the line! Trading name to the rescue! With a trading name, you can gain back control and turn your brand around.
Inevitably, companies change and evolve over time. What got you here, might not get you there. With a new name comes new branding which might take you to new heights. You can find the perfect domain for your trading name. You can redesign your logo, get new business cards, and generally feel better about your brand going forward.