Methods for Rebranding Your Company

It is simple to change your company name, whether as part of a re-branding exercise or simply to correct an error. Indeed, nearly 60,000 UK companies changed their names in the year to December 2020, according to Companies House, and 87 4% were submitted electronically. Most change of company name requests do not require a large investment, and if you use a simple online solution like Inform Direct, you can complete the application process in a matter of minutes.

This guide will show you how to change the name of your company. We assume you've already decided on a new company name, but if you're stuck for ideas, check out our guide to naming a business. Our explanation of the rules governing company names should also be helpful in this regard.

After deciding on a new company name, you must first obtain permission from the company to make the change. This must be completed prior to submitting your request to Companies House.

The Companies Act of 2006 provides two methods for authorizing the change, though the majority of companies will only have access to the first:

Inform Direct makes it simple to electronically submit a request for a change of company name to Companies House, with approval typically taking as little as 3-5 hours.

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In most cases, the Companies Act of 2006 requires a special resolution to change the company name to be passed in order to gain shareholder approval for the new name. A resolution is simply a formal way for the company to propose a decision for approval by the shareholders.

A special resolution can be passed in two ways: at a general meeting or through a written resolution.

During a general meeting

This should happen at the annual general meeting or at a special meeting called to discuss the resolution (possibly alongside others).

  • The precise text of the special resolution must be included in the meeting notice.
  • A special resolution must be approved by a majority of at least 75% of those who are eligible.

You can modify and use our free special resolution on name change template to obtain shareholder approval for the new company name at a meeting.

By written agreement

To change the name of a private company, no shareholder meeting is required. Instead, either the directors or the shareholders can propose a written special resolution that is distributed to all voting members. According to Section 283 of the Companies Act of 2006, the written resolution must state that it is a special resolution and must be approved by a majority of at least 75% of the members eligible to vote.

Inform Direct provides a free template written special resolution for name change that you can complete and distribute to all shareholders who are eligible to vote.

An alternative procedure for changing the company name may be available for some private companies. If your company was formed with bespoke articles of association, it is worth checking to see if they contain any special provisions allowing the directors to authorize the change of company name by board resolution (without the need for shareholder approval). )

However, if your company was formed using model articles, you must obtain shareholder approval by passing a resolution to change the company name in the manner described above.

You are now ready to complete your change of name application and submit it to Companies House after receiving approval for the new company name.

The quickest and easiest way to file a name change request

A paper application (Form NM01 for approval by shareholder resolution or Form NM04 for approval by provision in the company's articles) can be completed. The paper form, along with a copy of the special resolution (if applicable) and payment of the fee, must be mailed to Companies House. However, this method can take ten days or more to complete, and the company name change will not be effective until it is approved by Companies House.

Instead, nearly 90% of businesses now file Companies House change of name requests online, utilizing a simple dedicated solution such as Inform Direct. Companies House approval is frequently received in as little as 3 hours if you file online.

It is simple and quick to submit your Companies House change of name application using Inform Direct. Three simple steps:

  • Then, register your company for free:
  • On the "Company" tab, click the "Change company name" button.
  • Fill in the name checking field with your proposed new company name.
Name check your new company name

Our intelligent software will directly communicate with Companies House to determine whether your new company name is both available and compliant with current naming rules.

After ensuring that your new company name will be accepted by Companies House, simply:

Select method by which you will change company name
  • Tick to indicate whether the new name was approved by a special resolution or by a provision in the articles.
  • When using a special resolution, you must confirm that a shareholder meeting was held or that the written resolution was circulated, and you must enter the date the resolution was approved.

You will now be able to double-check the information you have provided before clicking "Confirm" to electronically submit your completed change company name application to Companies House.

Inform Direct will immediately notify you that your application has been successfully received by Companies House.

Confirm your change company name details

What happens now that the Companies House has given its approval?

Companies House will enter the new name on the register and issue a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name as soon as your change of name request is approved.

The date on the Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name indicates the effective date of your new company name.

This certificate should be kept at the registered office or SAIL address (if the company has one) and be available for inspection if necessary. It is important to note that the Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name does not replace the original certificate of incorporation, which must be kept in a safe place.

Inform Direct will send you the certificate via email as soon as it is available. We will also automatically update your company records within Inform Direct, including your entire suite of electronic statutory registers, saving you time and effort on a task that is frequently overlooked.

Online applications are much faster and more reliable than paper forms submitted to Companies House. Normally, you will receive approval within 3-5 hours of submitting your change of company name application - though this can vary depending on the volume of applications received by Companies House at any given time.

Inform Direct provides a quick and easy way to change the name of your company for just £18 VAT (including the Companies House fee).

This article was previously published on June 13, 2014.

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