'Dental' Name - Definitions

What's in a 'Dental' name

Most dentists, when thinking of incorporating, will probably think about including the words 'Dental' or 'Dentistry' in their company name and perhaps even think that they have the right to include the words without any restrictions or objections. However they would be wrong.

The words 'Dental' and 'Dentistry' are both restricted titles under the Company and Business Names Regulations 1981. This means that the words can not be used by anyone without first obtaining approval from both the General Dental Council ("GDC") and the Secretary of State (through Companies House).

As for the titles of 'dentist', 'dental surgeon' and 'dental practitioner' these are also restricted. Pursuant to Section 39 of the Dentist Act 1984 only those who are registered dentists or a visiting EEA practitioner who is also registered are authorised to use the words.

Establishing whether you can use the restricted words can be a minefield and getting the right advice on the outset of the process could save both time and money in the long run.

The First Stage

Firstly to establish approval from the GDC, a "letter of non-objection" must be obtained for the business name prior to submission to Companies House.

The application must be in writing and clearly state the proposed business name and the business activity (eg dental supplies, dental practice, or dental laboratory). Decisions are made faster by the GDC if the application also includes the full postal address of the business, the applicant's name and GDC registration number (if registered).

Objections are rare but will be raised if the GDC is concerned that the company business name would mislead people as to the nature of the business. The GDC's policy regarding such applications leans towards the business name giving a clear indication of the nature of the service to be provided. For example, if the business is a laboratory then the name "Clean Teeth Dental Laboratory Ltd" would meet no objection. However "Clean Teeth Dental Ltd" may give rise to an objection because there is no indication of the service that is being provided by the company.

The GDC is under no obligation to check whether a business name is being used by another company or business. Its main duty is to ensure that the public are not misled by the submitted business name.

The Second Stage

The letter of non-objection from the GDC in itself is not sufficient for registration purposes. Once the letter of non-objection is...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT