Malcolm ZoppiThu Sep 28 2023

Expert Guide: How to Change Company Name in the UK

If you want to change your company name in the UK, you must follow the legal procedures set by Companies House

how to change company name
Changing a company name can be a complex process, but it is often necessary for businesses looking to rebrand or shift their focus. To make this transition as smooth as possible, it is essential to follow the legal procedures set by Companies House, the regulatory body responsible for overseeing company registration and administration in the UK. Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company, changing a company name requires meeting specific requirements and adhering to strict guidelines. However, with proper planning and careful consideration of the steps involved, you can successfully change your company name and update your legal documentation accordingly. In this expert guide, we will take you through the process of changing a company name in the UK, including the legalities, procedures, and tips for a successful transition. We will cover everything from conducting a name availability search to submitting the necessary forms to Companies House.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you want to change your company name in the UK, you must follow the legal procedures set by Companies House.
  • The process involves preparing the necessary documentation and submitting the appropriate forms, such as the NM01 form for a resolution to change your company name.
  • Before choosing a new name, it is essential to conduct a name availability search to ensure that the name is not already in use and does not conflict with existing trademarks or sensitive words and expressions.
  • A special resolution to change your company name must be passed by at least 75% of the shareholders or, if a sole trader, by yourself.
  • After the resolution has been passed, the company must file a form NM04 to register the new name with Companies House and update its statutory registers and articles of association accordingly.

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Steps to Change Company Name

Changing a company name in the UK is a straightforward process that involves several steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change your company name:
  1. Conduct a name availability search: Before changing your company name, it’s important to ensure that the new name is available. You can check the availability of your chosen name on the Companies House website.
  2. Prepare the necessary resolutions: If all shareholders agree to a written resolution, this resolution must authorise the change of the company’s name, and the new name must also be specified.  May also need to be update the articles of association to reflect the new name.
  3. Complete the NM01 form: The NM01 form is the application to change the company name. A director or the company secretary must complete and sign this form.
  4. Submit the NM01 form: Submit the NM01 form online or by paper application. The fee for changing a company name is £10. Send your paper form to the registrar of companies along with the original resolution authorising the name change, if you opt for the paper form.
  5. Wait for approval: Submit the NM01 form pay the fee. Thereafter the Companies House will review the application. You will receive a new certificate of incorporation on change of name if the name change is approved.
  6. Update your company details:  Update your company’s details with the Companies House after the name change, registered office address, and any changes to the articles of association has been approved.
  7. Update other documents and records: You will also need to update other documents and records, such as your VAT registration, bank accounts, stationery, and website domain name.
By following these steps, you can successfully change your company name in the UK. It’s important to ensure that you follow the correct procedures and comply with the legal requirements to avoid any issues in the future.

Conclusion

Changing a company name in the UK can seem like a daunting task, but by following the legal requirements set by Companies House, it can be a straightforward process. Before making any changes, it is important to carefully consider the new name and conduct proper checks to avoid any conflicts with existing trademarks or sensitive words. The process to change a company name involves submitting the necessary forms and resolutions. By following the steps outlined in this guide, business owners can smoothly navigate through the name change process and update their company’s identity in compliance with the Companies Act 2006.

FAQ

Q: How do I change the name of my company in the UK?

A: To change the name of your company in the UK, you need to follow the legal requirements set by Companies House. This involves submitting the necessary documentation, forms, and resolutions, as well as conducting a name availability search. Once approved, Companies House will issue a new certificate of incorporation with the updated name.

Q: Can any company change its name?

A: Yes, any company registered in the UK can change its name. However, it is important to ensure that the new name complies with the Companies Act 2006 and does not infringe on existing trademarks or contain sensitive words or expressions.

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Q: What forms do I need to complete to change my company name?

A: To change your company name, you will need to complete Form NM01 – Notice of change of name by resolution and submit it to Companies House. You may also need to complete additional forms depending on your specific circumstances, such as Form NM04 for changing the name of a private limited company with share capital.

Q: How long does it take to change a company name?

A: The time it takes to change a company name can vary. Generally, it takes around 5-10 working days for Companies House to process the application.

Q: Can I change my company name online?

A: Yes, you can change your company name online by submitting the required forms and documents through the Companies House Web Incorporation Service. This allows for a quicker and more efficient process compared to submitting a paper application.

Q: What should I do if my desired company name is already taken?

A: You can choose a different name that is available. It is important to conduct a name availability search before submitting your application to ensure that your chosen name is not already in use.

Find out more!

If you want to read more in this subject area, you might find some of our other blogs interesting: Disclaimer: This document has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. You should always seek independent professional advice and not rely on the content of this document as every individual circumstance is unique. Additionally, this document
Disclaimer: This document has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. You should always seek independent professional advice and not rely on the content of this document as every individual circumstance is unique. Additionally, this document is not intended to prejudge the legal, financial or tax position of any person.

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Get the specialist support you need

Whether you require specialised knowledge for your business or personal affairs, Gaffney Zoppi can support you.