List of banned business names shows Brits still love swearing

Cfuk Limited and Fart Limited are two of the more than 700 business names that were rejected by Companies House in the last year.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
Direct to your inbox Email Newsletter viewed on a phone

Sign up to the Startups Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed on the top business stories with’s weekly email newsletter


Choosing a business name requires a bit of creative thinking. But new data suggests that the upper limits of creativity are being curbed by the government, as profanity-loving business owners come up against the censorship of Companies House.

In total, 766 business names were rejected in 2023, with swearing being the main offence. According to a Freedom of Information request, submitted by 1st Formations, curse words made up 24% of business name applications rejected by Companies House last year.

Companies House has strict rules about what is and is not allowed in a firm’s title. But experts are now cautioning that the government’s laws on registering a trademark or name might be behind the times with Brits’ love of a good swear word.

‘Doofus’ too rude to be registered as a company name

Entrepreneurs might be curious about just how profanity-laden their business name idea needs to be for Companies House to turn it down. As the 1st Formations findings suggest, even a mildly offensive term might be enough to earn entrepreneurs a rejection letter.

Blasphemous business names rejected by Companies House in 2023 include:

  • Little Pricks Tattoo Studio
  • Wtf Where’s The Food
  • Phat Phuc Noodle Bar Ltd
  • See You Next Tuesday Ltd
  • Forkin Recruitment Ltd
  • Fukin Takeaway Ltd
  • Fukim Ltd
  • Fart Limited
  • Cfuk Limited

Insults that wouldn’t be out of place on a primary school playground can be turned down by Companies House. Just ask the owner of ‘Doofus Dream Cars Limited’ and ‘Lmao Ltd’, both of which were rejected as expletives.

Of the 188 business names rejected for swearing, ‘crap’ was also a common occurrence within the list, with names like ‘Crappy Nappy’ and ‘Scrap Your Crap Ltd’ both turned down.

This is despite the eco-friendly toilet paper brand, ‘Who Gives A Crap?’, which is based in Australia, announcing it achieved record UK sales this week, suggesting that Aussie attitudes to swearing are more relaxed than the British government.

Companies House needs bringing “up to date”

Earlier this year, data compiled by US recommendation service Enjoy Movies Your Way found that the annual number of swear words across mainstream TV shows and films in Western media has surged from fewer than 5,000 in 1985, to over 60,000 last year.

Linguists today argue that swear words are becoming more acceptable in the UK, and are today used merely to emphasise points rather than cause offence.

This language transformation could be why Companies House’s strict policies on supposedly rude names now feel out of touch with modern society. 1st Formations’ Director, Nicholas Campion, argues the list shows the government has an “outdated assessment process.”

“Companies House [may] need to bring itself up to date with modern language usage, as the Oxford English Dictionary has done, and, while we’re at it, accommodate the Great British sense of humour,” he adds.

There could be a real business incentive to adopting a punny business name. Last year, a consumer survey by BusinessNameGenerator showed that 64% of Brits would be more likely to notice and remember a funny company name, which could lead to a boost in sales.

How to choose a business name

Profanity was not the only reason for business names being rejected in 2023. The 1st Formations data sorts the list into six prohibited categories:

  • Profanity – 24%
  • Drug references – 16%
  • Sexual content – 15%
  • Violence – 11%
  • Discrimination – 8%
  • Uncategorised – 26%

Here are some examples of the kind of organisation names that are forbidden by Companies House for the above reasons:

Rejected business nameReason for rejection
Horny Brew LtdSexual content
The Prince Albert LtdSexual content
Jerk Off Chicken LimitedSexual content
Dank Productions LtdDrug references
Colin Bakes Dope (Responsibly) Ltd’Drug references
W H Spliff LtdDrug references
Ragnarok Knives LtdViolence
Psycho Traders LtdViolence
Killer Instinct LtdViolence
Aryan Boss LtdDiscrimination
KKK Properties LtdDiscrimination

There are also a number of other reasons why a company name may be rejected by Companies House, such as excluding “Limited”, “Ltd”, “Cyfyngedig”, “Cyf” or if the name lacks uniqueness or is too similar to another company.

For example, W H Spliff would likely be considered objectionable even without the drugs reference, thanks to its similarity to the name of a certain, well-known UK retail chain.

Campion advises that “if your proposed company name is similar or identical to a name already registered, Companies House will likely reject the application.”

Registering a company name is a fundamental step when setting up a new firm. Read our full guide on how to choose the perfect name for your business.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top