RegulatoryHow To Change Your Company Name?

How To Change Your Company Name?

Sometimes you need to change the name of your company. This is a significant change because it impacts your brand, your messaging to your customers and needs legal and regulatory forms to filled in and filed at Companies House.

If you need to change the name of your company, you’ll need to learn about the process first to make sure that the name change doesn’t affect your business too much.

With that being said, circumstances sometimes arise that necessitate changing a company’s name.

If you need to change the name of your company, you’ll need to learn about the process first to make sure that the name change doesn’t affect your business too much.

Here’s everything you need to know about changing your company’s name in the UK.

Why Change Your Company Name?

There are many reasons why you might want to change the name of your company.

Maybe your business has evolved over the years and the original name no longer reflects the company’s brand or ethos.

Perhaps you’ve realised that your chosen name is too similar to that of another company.

If the company was named after the owners and ownership has now changed, a change of name also makes sense.

The same goes for situations where two companies merge together.

Risks Of Changing Your Company Name

You should always think carefully about changing the name of your company.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to do so, but generally speaking, we only recommend changing your company’s name if it’s absolutely necessary.

Not only can changing the name of your business be a time-consuming process involving a lot of paperwork, but name changes can cause confusion for customers, which has the potential to impact the success of your business.

Ultimately, changing the name of your company is a form of rebranding, and while rebranding can definitely be a positive thing, it can also involve legal costs, equity losses, and other implementation costs.

Steps To Changing Your Company Name

Having thought carefully about whether rebranding by changing your company’s name is the right decision, you can proceed to carrying out the process.

Changing a company’s name is a step-by-step process that begins with brainstorming and ends in legal paperwork.

Here’s everything you’ll need to do if you want to change the name of your company:

Find A New Name

Find A New Name

Once you’ve decided that you need to change the name of your company, you will, of course, need to come up with a new name to replace the existing one.

You will need to spend some time brainstorming new names and running checks to make sure your suggestions are suitable for use.

Your new company name can’t be the same as (or too similar to) the name of another company or another registered trademark.

You can verify this using the company name availability checker provided by Companies House.

It also can’t be offensive in any way, so you’ll need to check the list of sensitive wording to avoid provided by the UK Government.

Unless you’re prepared to seek out a letter of non-objection, you should also avoid any wording that implies that your company is connected to the government or any local public authorities or administration.

Again, there’s a list to help you out here.

Special Resolution

Most of the time, company names are changed by a process called special resolution.

A special resolution is a resolution that involves 75% of shareholders voting in favour of the name change.

The first step is to hold a board meeting where the special resolution can be proposed.

If you’re a private limited company, you can propose a written resolution, although you’ll need to provide a copy of the resolution to every eligible member of the company in this case.

Before your board meeting, you will need to provide a notice for the meeting which has to be compliant with the guidelines outlined in the Companies Act (2006).

At the meeting, eligible company shareholders will vote on the change of name, and if the special resolution passes, a copy has to be filed within 15 days at Companies House.

You’ll also need to complete a NM01 form and pay the relevant fee.

Once the Registrar of Companies issues you with a certificate acknowledging the change of name, the name change becomes official.

Note that if the company’s articles of association mean that you can change the name by other means (for example, a vote by the board of directors), you can follow that process instead and then fill out the NM04 form complete with payment of any fees.


Even after Company’s House approves and acknowledges your changed company name, your work is not done!

You still need to go through all the formalities involved in making sure that your customers as well as relevant authorities know about your new name.

This will involve changing any signs at your office, amending your website, and changing the company name on any publications, letters, and other forms of documentation or correspondence sent out by your company moving forward.

Amending the company name on any cheques on behalf of your business is very important.

It’s also crucial to make sure that licence applications, invoices, bills, payment demands, credit letters and receipts are all changed to reflect the new company name.

You’ll also want to ensure that your new company name appears on any orders on your company’s behalf in the future so that you don’t miss out on any deliveries due to confusion.

Of course, any business partners will need to be notified, and if you’re a listed company, there will be various other formalities involved.

Final Thoughts

Changing the name of your company is a big decision, but it’s often a necessary one.

Most of the time, changing your company name involves first choosing a new name for your company and then calling a special resolution before sending a copy of the resolution to Companies House for approval.

In some cases, a change of company name can also be achieved through the company’s articles of association.

In either case, the relevant form must be filled out and the relevant fees paid.

After that, it’s a question of going through all the formalities to rebrand your company under its new name.

Written by

Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson is one of our expert writers. Mark is our lead researcher and editor who writes our main guides and expert topic coverage. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with practical advice delivered clearly. Mark’s worked for a number of business magazines and titles and has started two small businesses himself, so has first-hand experience in setting up, managing and growing a small business and shares his expertise with our readers.

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