Introduction to this document

Change of company name checklist

You have decided to revamp your company with a change of name. Make sure the process goes smoothly and the change is accepted by Companies House by following our checklist.

Advice

There are many situations in a company’s life that call for a change of name. For example, when its ownership changes, it wants to signal that its business is branching out into new areas or to distinguish itself from competitors. As with all important changes during a company’s life, there are statutory requirements to be met (under the Companies Act 2006 and the Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015). The name must comply with the rules, and certain administrative steps need to be followed in order for the name change to be valid. Mistakes can be costly: you don’t want to change your company stationery and marketing material only for your new name to be rejected by Companies House. Our checklist sets out what you need to remember.

Special cases

The standard procedure applies in most cases. A company can set out an easier procedure in its articles, for example allowing the board to change the company’s name without a shareholder resolution, so its worth checking the articles. However, there may be additional hoops to jump through, such as consents to be obtained and extra information to be filed. These situations are outlined in our checklist so you can make sure that you follow the right procedure for your circumstances.

In a hurry?

Companies House charges £10 (£8 online) for name changes. Provided all the information is correct, it usually takes 24 hours to process a name change submitted electronically; or five working days if submitted by post. If you need the name change to take effect straightaway, you can pay for an express service (£50, or £30 online). During the coronavirus pandemic, Companies House encourages companies to file online unless a paper filing is absolutely necessary. It has suspended most of its same-day services, but a same-day change of name can still be performed online if filed before 11.00am on a working day.