Changing a company’s name
A company can change its name by passing a special resolution in general meeting (CA 2006, sec77(1)), or by such other means as are provided for by the company’s articles (e.g. a resolution of the directors). A copy of the resolution must be sent to Companies House with form NM01 and the registration fee of £10 (£50 for same day service).
As from 19th. August 2010 it is possible to register a change of name electronically at Companies House (though the special resolution or other authorised procedure must still be followed). The electronic registration at Companies House is only registration of the decision. The registration fee in this case is £8 and £30 for same day service.
The choice of name is subject to the same restrictions as when a new company is registered.
On receiving the resolution, the NM01 form and payment of the registration fee, and providing the name is acceptable, the registrar enters the new name on the register of companies in the place of the old name and issues a certificate of incorporation on change of name. The time period of a change of name done on paper is the same as that of an incorporation, currently 7-10 days. Companies House also provides a same day change of name service, at the cost of £50, provided the name does not contain sensitive words, etc. If the change of name is registered electronically it will usually be processed within a few hours.
The change of name takes effect on the date of the issue of the altered certificate. The company retains the same company number even after the change of name. The company with the altered name is the same company it was before the name change. No rights or liabilities of the company are affected by the change: CA 2006, sec81.
It will also be necessary to change the details on company’s notepaper, websites, email address, etc. to show the new name and it must be remembered that the company’s correct name must be displayed at the registered office, outside every place of business, and on the company’s seal, if it uses one.