New research reveals growth of ‘& Daughters’ suffix in recently-registered UK business names, hinting at an emerging succession trend in British family businesses

In recognition of International Women's Day 2024 (8th March), SumUp (, the London-based global financial technology company, has analysed data from Companies House (, the UK’s official registrar of companies, to examine gender-based conventions when it comes to naming family-run businesses. 

A 2022 report from the IFB Foundation - a charity focused on deepening the understanding of the role family businesses play in the UK economy -  highlighted that family SMEs are more likely to have female leaders than non-family firms. SumUp has examined whether the naming of family businesses reflects this in relation to companies registered as either ‘& Daughters’ or ‘& Sons’ - a moniker commonly associated with continuity and succession. 

The research finds that over the last five years (from Feb 2019 to Feb 2024), the rise in the number of companies with the suffix ‘& Daughter(s)’ is significantly lower than the more traditional ‘& Son(s)’:

  • Over the last five years (from Feb 2019 to Feb 2024), 114 new companies registered under the ‘& Daughter(s)’ bringing the overall total since records began in 1844 to 266 businesses.

  • In the same timeframe (Feb 2019 to Feb 2024), 2,379 new companies (more than 20X more) registered as ‘& Son(s)’ bringing the overall total since records began to 7,022 businesses. 

  • Since records began, 10 companies have registered with ‘& Grandson(s)’ and 2 companies with ‘& Granddaughter(s)’ 

Despite this significant disparity, SumUp uncovered that ‘& Daughter(s)’ companies have had a greater percentage growth over the past 5 years: 

  • As of five years ago, in February 2019, there were a total of 152 companies on Companies House’s books with the ‘& Daughter(s)’ suffix; a total of 266 have now been registered since records began. Over the past 5 years, ‘& Daughter(s)’ companies registered on Companies House have thus seen a 75% growth. 

  • As of five years ago, in February 2019, there were a total of 4,643 companies on Companies House’s books with the ‘&Son(s) suffix; a total of 7,022 have now been registered since records began. Over the past 5 years, ‘& Son(s)’ companies registered on Companies House have thus seen a 51% growth.

In conjunction with this new research, SumUp is also highlighting historic family business, Newport-based Funeral Directors, Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters, which chose to reflect their line of succession by changing their name, after years of being an ‘& Sons’ company. 

Additionally, SumUp has cross referenced Company House data with historical records to establish both Britain’s earliest registered “& Daughter” company - fishmongers ‘H Marment & Daughter’ of Caterham, Surrey which operated from 1928 - 2022, and one of the most recently registered companies, Sloan & Daughters Wheely Good Gym of Pembrokeshire, established in August of 2023. Full information on both companies can be found below. 

Corin Camenisch, Global Product Marketing Lead at SumUp, comments: “The rise in adoption of the “& Daughter(s)” suffix is testament to the historic impact women have had on the business landscape, especially in the sense of contributing and giving back to their communities. In fact, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ‘Women typically invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men’; creating a good base for economic growth and prosperity. But female entrepreneurship is about more than just economic empowerment; it's about paving the way for future generations of women in business. We are seeing an increasing number of women embracing entrepreneurship, often in the face of much adversity considering that many still want to balance caretaking responsibilities with work. For one, women appreciate the freedom and flexibility entrepreneurship offers but it also allows them to set their own terms and charge their full worth. This is particularly important given the persistent gender pay gap since, despite progress, the gap still stands at 14.8% for full time employees in the UK. Women are indispensable for economic growth, and SumUp recognises how it greatly benefits from the contributions of female entrepreneurs and SMEs. A female  presence not only enriches the entrepreneurial ecosystem but further enhances market competitiveness, fosters economic development, and promotes gender equality.” 

Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters

Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters are Newport-based funeral directors. Originally founded as Michael G Ryan & Son in 1998, the company’s name was changed to Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters Ltd on January 1st, 2011, following the introduction of Michael’s daughters, Louise and Rachael. Michael’s wife Patricia also works as a Funeral Director at the firm - with so many female leaders within the company, Michael saw the name change as hugely important. 

Michael George Ryan, Managing Director at Michael G Ryan Son & Daughters, comments: “I decided to change the name of the business in order to accurately reflect the contributions of all the family members involved in the company. As my daughters Louise and Rachel - and my wife Patricia - became more involved, it just seemed like the logical choice, in the same way that when I originally started the company with my son, I didn’t think twice about using the & Son suffix. Patricia joined the team full time in 2014 to become the face of our Cardiff branch, Louise has been working with the company since 2006 and is now Managing Partner, and Rachel became Britain’s youngest funeral director at just 16 - the company would not be where it is today without its female leaders. I understand people may not want to change company names that are steeped in tradition, but with the growing use of the suffix, it would be great to see more family businesses giving proper representation to the women within their companies by altering their trading name accordingly.”

Britain’s first & Daughter

Since the registration of the first British business with '& Sons' in its name, Tuttle and Son of London, founded in 1873, there have been thousands of businesses bearing the suffix, yet it was only following the First World War, when women on the home front had become increasingly essential to the running of businesses (in the absence of male family members), that the first '& Daughter' appeared. 

According to Company House records, the first company in Britain to be registered as ‘& Daughter(s)’ - incorporated on January 14th 1928 - was a fishmonger called ‘H Marment & Daughter’, which operated out of Caterham, Surrey. This original ‘& Daughter(s)’ company, made headlines at the time for Mr. H Marment’s decision to change his company’s name to reflect the excellent leadership of his daughter, Miss Amy F. Marment, during her time running the business during the First World War. On January 18th 1928, The Daily Mirror ran a front page article titled “DAUGHTER AS FATHER'S BUSINESS PARTNER”, highlighting the abnormality of the use of the suffix during this period. Demonstrating clear recognition of the efforts of women during the First World War to maintain businesses while male relatives were away, the name change was well received by local and regional press. The January 31st, 1928 edition of The Brechin Advertiser stated “This is certainly the age of women's recognition”, before correctly preempting that H Marment & Daughter had established “a precedent which will, probably, be often followed.” 

The Manchester Evening News also ran a story about H Marment & Daughter with the headline “Dombey and Daughter” on 17th January 1928. The article referenced Charles Dickens’ 1848 novel, “Dombey and Son”; “The and daughter phrase will no doubt soon become commonplace in business now that women have a sounder position in commerce. After all, “Dombey and Daughter” would have sounded very well, and most readers of Dickens will agree that Florence Dombey, especially if she had retained Susan Nipper as adviser-in-chief, would have been a better business head than the dreamy Paul.

One of Britain’s newest & Daughters

According to Company House records, one of the most recently registered & Daughter(s) companies  is Pembrokeshire-based gym leasing service, ‘Sloan & Daughters Wheely Good Gym’. Incorporated on the 28th of August 2023, the firm provides semi permanent gym units, available to hire, for companies that wish to offer their employees gym access  within their health benefit schemes. 

The family owned business was founded by the husband and wife pairing of Thomas and Christian Sloan. The inclusion of the and daughters suffix is in homage to their daughter Zaralena who, whilst still being a toddler, they hope will assume leadership of the company when they retire.

Thomas Sloan, Director at Sloan & Daughters Wheely Good Gym, comments: “We were thinking about the future when it came to naming the company. Whilst our daughter is too young to start thinking about the world of work, we intend to pass the reins over to her one day - when she is old enough of course! We wanted to include the suffix from the outset as we’re committed to building the company as a family, even if it is only Christina and I at the minute. It’s great to see that an increasing number of companies are being registered with the suffix, showing that more family owned companies are changing their names to recognise the female leaders within their companies, and that more women are choosing entrepreneurship as a career path - just as we hope Zaralena will. Being one of the most recently registered & Daughters companies  is great, but naturally, we would hope the numbers keep rising and more businesses follow suit.”