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How to change your company name

Thinking about changing your company name?

Many companies will think long and hard before deciding on their company name a long time before registration. While at the time of incorporation your company name may have seemed perfectly fine, further down the line you may have a good reason for wanting to change it.

No matter what you want to change your company name to, you first have to make sure your new chosen name is actually available to use and not already registered to someone else. You will also want to make sure that your new name does not go against the rules set by Companies House about what they deem to be acceptable. You can search the register on the Companies House service page here to see if you chosen name is already in use.

There are a whole list of sensitive words or expressions that you are not allowed to use, such as profanities or anything that may conflict with already registered trademarks or infringe on copyright.

How to Inform Companies House

Once you have decided on your new company name, you will need to inform Companies House, the registrar of all UK companies. You can register your change of name by filing Form NM01, along with a copy of your special resolution, agreed by your board.

If you prefer, you can submit your change of name manually on paper rather than via the WebFiling service, or via software filing – whichever method you prefer or is easiest for you to do. There will be a charge involved when submitting your changes.

Once your change of name has been filed successfully, Companies House will send out a new certificate of incorporation to you, including the date of your new name registration. Your registered number will remain the same as it was when you originally registered your business at the time of incorporation.

If you have an accountant, they will need to update HMRC with your new company name. You will also need to update your business bank account provider with your new information, as well as remembering to notify your clients or customers of your changes.

Your company letterhead and office stationery will need to be updated, as well as any names displayed on your website.

Just to recap:

A company may change its name by:

  • Special resolution (Form NM01 needed)
  • By means provided for in the company`s articles (From NM04)

When changing the company name, double check to make sure the new proposed name is not already in use by another company. If the company name is already in use, the new name will be rejected by Companies House.

Other important points to note:

A company in liquidation may not change its name only unless the liquidator has given permission and or requested this themselves.

A company in administration or administrative receivership may change its name if the administrator or receiver has given consent in doing so.

Special Resolution

If it`s needed that the company wants to change its name by the special resolution method, companies house requires the business to file a copy of the resolution along with the form NM01. There will be a fee for changing the name and this must be included in order for the change to go through. If you are looking for a template of the form it can be located at the companies house website on this link to the companies house NM01 Template Form.

What is a special resolution?

A special resolution is a resolution passed at a general company meeting help by the companies members, where 75% of those members are entitled to vote.

Company`s Articles
If the company is requiring to change the name through companies house, you are required to use the NM04 form. Again you will need to pay companies house a fee in order for the name change to get processed correctly.

Changing the company name via Software Filing
Companies house charge £8 or £30 if you decided to take the same day name change service. If you are looking to file the change of name, applications can only be filled through formation agents such as ourselves.

Web Filing
Again Companies House charge £8 or £30 if you decide to make use of the same day service. The online WebFiling service allows you to change the company name online via the Companies House website, the service also gives you access to other important documents that relate to your company.

You can visit the Companies House website by using this link.

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