Company Name on API verses Website Company Name Issue

Hello - I was looking at this company on the website;
Company number 11939968

and from API (endpoint for Company Detail) - you get this;

There is an extra (or double) space in the API response (between ‘FRESH’ & ‘GROCERS’)

It only appears to happen on a very small number of responses, that I have noticed
Is this a known issue or can anyone add to this question?

Obviously I’m not Companies House so cannot speak to:
(a) the “correct” name and
(b) allowing companies to register names with variable amounts of whitespace between words

BUT I suspect what is happening here is:

  • Companies House have allowed this company to register with two spaces in the name - possibly not intentionally e.g. by double-pressing space in a document / via an online submission.

  • This is correctly reported in data e.g. via the API, however in web pages attention is not often paid to whitespace and - by specification - multiple spaces in the HTML will be rendered as a single space.

This appears to be the case as by viewing the page source e.g. in the search for this name - you can see there are indeed two spaces (I’ve highlighted this):


I know that Companies House does have some specific rules on company names. Of course if I ruled the world I’d be tempted to add some ones about canonicalisation of these e.g. obtaining a single representation for matching purposes (I hope they do this themselves internally but it would be helpful for consideration to be given to external users of their data - possibly even those in other branches of government etc.). (In some schemes there can be are several ways of representing “identical” text - and even extremely similar-looking text and the latter can cause trouble!) and whitespace (e.g. you can only have one horizontal space - and not other whitespace characters - between words)…

Our view is that there is an embedded gremlin at work here and that double spaces should nor form part of the name.

Each day generally produces a few (say, six or seven tops) new registrations with names that contain one or more double spaces. We strip them out before the incoming data is processed to our database unless there is clear evidence to the contrary within the incorporation images.

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Thanks everyone – appreciate your replies.

I picked up on the point Frank makes with the incorporation image and for this company, with the aid of some OCR on the pdf image, there is only one space, at all points, in this company name.

How then can Companies House hold the name with two spaces, as detailed?
I think the embedded gremlin thought may have some merit here.

Perhaps the Admin’s can join in with the actual rules/theories or issues at play here.

This one was an “electronic filing” e.g. online - IN01(ef). So I imagine that system (or its interface - again this could be user error plus failure to filter these out…) would be the place for them to start.

This has been raised here before it seems - although extra spaces by “limited” or “ltd” may have been fixed:

The example here was in e.g. officer names - but possibly part of the same general principle?

Possibly separate bug limited to “limited” / “ltd”:

…which may have been fixed:

Thanks @voracityemail for your update - appears a varied and perhaps an ongoing issue for CHS

I did, in the end, a work-around on the import code I use for this issue. :+1:

Kind regards.