A company’s name is shown on its records at Companies House and its Certificate of Incorporation. A company must display its name on all official documentation including invoices, contracts and cheques.
Changing a company’s name
The directors of a company can change its name by submitting the appropriate documentation to Companies House with the required fee.
Before making a change, the directors should check that the new name will be accepted by Companies House. If the name includes a sensitive word, you will have to provide the appropriate documentation to support your application. For more information about company names and sensitive words.
To change a company’s name, the Directors will have to comply with the provisions of the company’s Articles of Association (the articles) and any terms included in a shareholders agreement.
Where the articles make no provision:
The model articles of association used by most companies make no provision about a change of name. Without a provision, the company should pass a special resolution of the shareholders or the guarantors, if the company is limited by guarantee. A special resolution requires a majority of 75% to vote in favour of the change of name. When the resolution is passed, the directors should send a copy of it to Companies House together with completed form NM01 within 14 days of the resolution. The NM01 and resolution can be submitted online, either by using our free service or directly with Companies House. Companies House charge a fee of £8 for online submissions.
Where the articles provide that the directors can change the company name:
Form NM04 is the form used to notify Companies House of a change of name when the directors resolve to do so. It is not possible to submit form NM04 online.
Once Companies House accepts the change of name, they will send a change of name certificate to the registered office of the company.
Company Trading name
A company can also have a trading name which is not registered at Companies House and which is not official but by which it is more often associated. For example; XYZ Ltd (the name by which the company is registered) trading as (T/A) The Old Street Steakhouse (the name by which the company is usually known). The trading name can be changed at any time without application to Companies house.
Updating company stationery and media
A company has 14 days, following the name change, to update all its documentation and media. So websites, contracts, invoices, cheque books are the most obvious starting points.
How to use our services to change your company’s name:
Our automated service: log into your account with us, and you will be able to file your change of name documents (NM01+Special Resolution) online with Companies House. If the new name is acceptable, the change can be made in 1 working day or less. We charge £10+vat and Companies House charge £8.
Our assisted service: Ask us to complete the entire process for you. We charge an additional £10+vat