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The UK’s Most Popular Business Names by Sector

Business names have the power to entice customers in, or discourage them from using a service or product. Therefore, it’s important to choose a catchy name that maximizes the potential of your business and leaves a positive, but lasting impression on your customers.
The UK’s Most Popular Business Names by Sector

In 2017, a survey revealed that 71% of consumers were more likely to buy a product or choose a service from a business name they recognised. Another study, that looked at the relationship between branding and consumers, suggests that brand names that include the service or product the business offers, has more of a positive effect on the consumer. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why many businesses choose popular names that have often been used before.

Here at Esme Loans, we’ve been working hard to identify the most popular business names in the UK. We wanted to see how common the business names many of us are familiar with are, and identify the regions that contain the most businesses with the same name.

We’ve analysed a list of over 122,969 registered businesses in the UK and discovered a lot of things on the way - like a third of all Royal Oak pubs are located in the South East, and 27% of the business using the most popular beauty and hair business name are located in London. Read on to find out the most popular business names in the following sectors.

Most Popular Pub Names

  1. The Royal Oak
  2. The Red Lion
  3. The Black Horse
  4. The Plough Inn
  5. The White Hart

Unfortunately, the pub industry has been steadily decreasing, with more pubs closing down and fewer opening each year. In 2000, there were 60,800 pubs operating in the UK, and in 2017, there were just 48,350. But, that hasn’t stopped new and old pubs using the same business name.

To identify the most popular pub names, we started off with a list of 22,651 registered public houses and bars in the UK.

After identifying the most common pub business names, we headed to Google maps to find their location and frequency.

The Royal Oak (including variations like the Royal Oak Inn and The Old Royal Oak) is the most popular pub name in the UK with 232 businesses using it.

According to Smithsonian, the name The Royal Oak came from the last civil war – The Battle of Worcester. The battle was between King Charles I and Oliver Cornwell’s government. Charles II (Charles’s I’s son) was in-line for the throne of England and Scotland, however, during the battle his father was executed and Charles II became a fugitive.

Apparently Charles II hid in an oak tree and watched Cromwell’s troops while they searched the countryside below him.

Once the civil war ended and Charles II took his place on the throne, the oak tree became a symbol or defiance and loyalty to the kingdom. Today, the name lives on and has become the most popular pub name in the UK.

The Red Lion came in second place with 231 businesses using the name. Followed by The Black Horse with 168, The Plough Inn with 147 and The White Hart with 145.

The White Horse, The Crown Inn, The Railway and The Bell also proved to be popular names with over 500 pubs sharing those names.

Can you spot your local Royal Oak?


The majority of Royal Oak pubs are located in England and Wales with only 1 Royal Oak pub in Northern Ireland and 3 in Scotland. The South East of England in particular uses the name Royal Oak the most with 69 pubs in the region, followed by the South West of England with 65 and the North West with 60. Greater London has 20 pubs called The Royal Oak, making it the most popular county for the pub name. Following closely in second place is Greater Manchester with 19 Royal Oak pubs.

Most Popular Pub Names map

Most Popular Takeaway Names

  1. China Garden
  2. Golden Dragon
  3. Lucky House
  4. Great Wall
  5. Taste of India

While the pub industry has experienced a decrease, takeaway and fast food industries are on the increase. According to the BBC, The UK has seen a 34% increase in fast food outlets from 2010 to 2018. In 2010, the average number of fast food and takeaway outlets per 100,000 people was 47, in 2018, this rose to 61 per 100,000 people. The UK has very much made a takeaway a weekly staple with Brits eating a whopping 100 million takeaway meals each week.

According to a recent Channel 5 documentary, Chinese food was named the UK’s favourite takeaway choice, so it’s no surprise that the top 4 spots belong to Chinese takeaways.

After analyzing a list 34,603 registered takeaways and mobile food stands in the UK, we crown China Garden as the most popular takeaway name in the UK, with 132 businesses using it. The Golden Dragon wasn’t far behind with 114 businesses using the name, followed by The Lucky House with 85, The Great Wall with 84 and Taste of India with 76.

Back in 2016, The Washington Post analyzed the names of 40,000 Chinese takeaway names in the US. The study found that the words China and Chinese appeared in about one-third of the names analysed. While words like wok, garden, house and kitchen were also very popular in Chinese takeaway names. Golden was the most-used colour, and pandas and dragons were the most common animals used in takeaway names. From our results, we can see the same naming theory very much applies to the UK’s Chinese takeaway sector.

Can you spot your local China Garden?


From the map below we can see that the business name China Garden is popular across the UK, but even more common in the North West and East, Midlands and South East. During our research we found that in the South East of England there are 52 China Gardens compared to just 6 in the South West and 7 in Scotland altogether.

Most Popular Takeaway Names map

Most Popular Fish and Chip Names

  1. Mr. Chips and Mr. Chippy
  2. Village Fish and Chip Shop
  3. Golden Fry
  4. Codfather
  5. Ocean Fish Bar

According to the Channel 5 documentary mentioned above, British food including fish and chips was voted the second best takeaway choice in the UK. The National Federation of Fish Friers states that 382 million portions are sold from fish and chip shops every single year and that 80% of people visit one at least once a year.

In first place came the very catchy and ‘does what it says on the tin’ - Mr. Chips or Mr. Chippy - with 88 businesses using it in their name. In second place we have The Village Fish and Chip Shop (including Village Chippy) with 69 businesses using it. The Golden Fry came third with 66 businesses. In fourth place was our personal favourite - Codfather – inspired by the famous movie series, The Godfather, with 60 businesses using it. In final place was Ocean Fish Bar with 41 businesses choosing it as their fish and chip business name.

The Frying Pan, Silver, Rumbles and Riverside Fish and Chips also proved to be popular names amongst fish and chip businesses.

Can you spot your local Mr. Chips?


During our research, we found that the most popular regions for Mr. Chips/Mr. Chippy fish and chip shops were in the South East with 24, with 10 of them being in London, followed by the North West of England with 14. South Wales was also a popular spot for the fish and chip shop name with 7 businesses using it.

Most Popular Fish and Chips Names map

Most Popular Café Names

  1. The Village Café
  2. The Coffee House
  3. Central Café
  4. Café Express
  5. Love Coffee

According to Tea and Coffee, the UK’s coffee and café industry is continuously growing - between 2017 and 2018 there was a 5.8% growth in the number of coffee shops opening. And in 2018, UK coffee shops made a huge £10.1 billion in sales.

Starting with a list of 20,232 unlicensed restaurants and cafés in the UK, we found that The Village café is the most popular café name in the UK with 68 businesses using it. The Coffee House came in second place with 54 businesses using the name, followed by 34 Central Cafés, 27 Café Express’ and 24 Love Coffees.

Ironically, the most popular county for the name The Village Cafe is Greater London, with 19 businesses in the capital and surrounding areas using it. The second most common county is West Midlands with 7 Village Cafés.

Most Popular Cafe Names map

If you’re looking for business finance to invest in your café, get in touch with Esme Loans today. We have provided our fair share of business loans for cafes and hospitality businesses. Click here to find out how to apply.

Most Popular Hair and Beauty Salon Names

  1. The Beauty Box
  2. Hollywood nails
  3. Cutting Edge
  4. House of Hair
  5. Mirror Mirror

The UK’s hair and beauty industry has continuously grown year on year. In 2005, consumer spending on hair dressing salons and personal grooming establishments was £5.1 billion. In 2018, that grew to a huge £7.9 billion - that’s an increase of 54% in 13 years!

We analysed a list of 27,323 registered hairdressing and beauty businesses in the UK, and found that The Beauty Box was the most popular name with 134 businesses using it.

In second place was Hollywood Nails with 102 business using the name, followed by 96 different places called Cutting Edge, 77 different House of Hairs and 48 different Mirror Mirrors.

There were also some unconventional names that popped up during our search, like Curl up and Dye (including variations like Kurl up and Dye), which 26 different businesses surprisingly share.

Can you spot your local Beauty Box?


There are 37 businesses using the name Beauty Box in Greater London, which means 27% of Beauty Box businesses based in London are using the same name. However, the north east and west of England definitely won on this one with 52 businesses using it as their business name. Birmingham and close surrounding areas were also a fan of the business name with 33 businesses choosing to use it.

Most Popular Salon Names map

If you’re looking for a business loan for a hair salon or beauty business, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to find out how to apply for a business loan with Esme Loans.

Most Popular Garden and Landscape Business Names

  1. Four Seasons
  2. All Seasons
  3. Cutting Edge
  4. Country Gardens
  5. Grass Roots

The Horticultural Trade society says that in 2017, UK households spent around £7.5billion on garden goods and £2.4billion on the services of gardeners and landscapers.

After looking at the names of 11,423 registered gardening and landscaping businesses in the UK, Four Seasons (including 4 Seasons) came out on top with 84 gardening and landscape businesses using it. In second place was All Seasons with 45, followed by Cutting Edge with 31 businesses, Country Gardens with 15 and Grass Roots with 12.

Other popular names include A Man for All Seasons, Weed Man, Down 2 Earth and Cutting Hedge.

Most Popular Landscape Names map

Most Popular Driving School Names

  1. 1st Gear
  2. Learn 2 Drive
  3. 1st Choice
  4. Fast Pass
  5. Pass Fast

According to government data, there were 3,339 new driving instructors in 2017/18, bringing the total number of UK registered driving instructors to an incredible 39,710. The number of license holders has also grown, in 2003 there were 28 million UK driving license holders, fast forward to 2018 and there are now an estimated 34 million people who are able to drive in the UK.

To identify the most popular driving school names, we started off with a list of 1,757 registered driving school businesses in the UK.

1st Gear came out on top with 31 businesses sharing the name. In joint second place was Learn 2 Drive and 1st Choice with 24, followed by Fast Pass with 17 and finally Pass Fast with 11.

Most Popular Driving School Names map

Most Popular Pet Shops and Services Names

  1. Pampered Pets
  2. Posh Pets
  3. The Pet Shop
  4. The Pet Pantry
  5. Animal Magic

Almost half of the UK population own a pet and according to, UK pet owners spend a whopping £57 billion on their dogs every year - excluding pet food and medical costs. That equates to roughly £3,000 a year per dog owner, on services like dog walking and grooming.

To find the most popular name in this sector, we started off with a list of 3,222 registered businesses which fell into the category of pet animals, pet supplies and plant/flower stores.

Pampered Pets stole the first spot with 60 businesses sharing the name. Posh Pets came in second place with 21 businesses, closely followed by The Pet Shop with 18, The Pet Pantry with 13 and Animal Magic with 11 businesses using the name.

Creative names like Paws For Thought were also popular with 9 separate businesses using the name.

Most Popular Pet Shop Names map

Most Popular Photography Businesses Names

  1. Capture
  2. Smiley Booth
  3. The Photo Factory
  4. Through the Lens
  5. Shoot Me

The UK may have access to better cameras in their pockets, but it doesn’t mean that professional photography is going anywhere. Webkick states that professional and quality photographs on your business’ website can increase the chances of conversion by a huge 161%.

Just under a quarter of a million couples get married each year, with each couple spending an average of £1,560. It’s easy to see why the services of professional photographers are very much in demand.

We looked through a list of 1,758 registered photography businesses in the UK to find the most popular photography business name.

Capture came out on top with 76 businesses using the word in their business name. In second place came Smiley Booth (including Smile Booth) with 11, followed by The Photo Factory with 9 and finally Through the Lens with 6.

During our research we discovered that the majority of photography businesses use their full name in their business name, for example, photography by ‘name’ or ‘name’ Photography. Words like flawless, makeover, lens and light were also popular in photography business names.

Most Popular Photography Names map

Here at Esme Loans, we offer photography business loans if you’re looking for finance to invest in growing your business. Try our business loan calculator today to see how much your monthly repayments could be.

How could Esme help?

If you’re looking to rebrand or start a business - thinking of a unique business name that describes what your business does is hard, and can sometimes feel like an impossible task. Whether you choose a completely unique name, or one from our list, delivering the best service or products for your customers should always be your highest priority.

Head over to our blog for more advice and information on running a successful business and managing your finances.