The question of how to protect a company name is one which is frequently asked by those in business as a sole trader or other unincorporated vehicle and others who just want to prevent someone else from registering it.
Whatever the motivations for doing so, some aspects of protecting a company name are relatively straightforward and inexpensive; where as achieving total protection can be both arduous and costly.
To begin with the simplest form of company name protection which exists and is in common use; by registering a company with that name it immediately removes all possibility of someone else using it for their own incorporation.
There is no obligation whatsoever to begin trading with the company and it can remain as one of several thousand dormant companies which exist in the UK specifically formed for the same purpose.
Moving now to total protection of a company name, the next stage is to incorporate numerous variations of that name so as to not only prevent its exact use in a future registration, but also to stop any similar title being used.
The number of similar names could well extend in to the hundreds or even thousands and the practically of attaining a complete lockout situation by engaging this means is certainly questionable.
A more feasible approach is more likely to involve protecting those names which bear a strong resemblance to the original and trust that any which are left will be sufficiently distinctive so as not to encroach on the main title.
When considering the protection of a company name, it is important to assess the realistic risks to the business and the actions which are required to in order to negate these.
Others simply registering a name which might be similar to that of your business might have no affect on your activities whatsoever; particularly if the operations are largely internet based and customers know you solely through your website.
After all is said and done, it is the business that will win customers and although so consideration should be given to prevent third party abuses of is goodwill, building a string brand presence is perhaps that most effective means of protecting a company name.