Company formation Registration - HOME

Directors and secretaries
Change of registered office
Company records
Resolutions
Change of company name
Change of constitution
Share capital
Re-registration of a company
Charges & mortgages (England and Wales, Northern Ireland)
Charges and mortgages (Scotland)
Quality of documents
Further information


Change of Company Name


1. What is a change of name?

A change of name occurs when a company registers a name which is different to its previous registered name. For example, a company changing its name from J Smith Limited to John Smith Limited. It is not a change of name if J Smith Limited starts trading as John Smith: in which case, ‘John Smith’ is its business name.

If the new name and documents are acceptable we will process them and issue a certificate of incorporation on change of name. The new name is only effective when we have registered all the necessary documents and issued the certificate.
If possible, to speed up your application, you should deliver all the appropriate documents together.

You do not need to put the new name on your articles and/or memorandum.

2. How can I change my company name?

A company can change its name by:

special resolution (the special resolution may be conditional on the occurrence of some event);
other means provided for by the company’s articles;
Different procedures apply in the exceptional circumstance under which a company is required to change its name.

Each of these methods requires a specific notice/s and/or additional documents. Please make sure that you are using the correct notice. If you do not deliver the appropriate fee with the notice we will reject the notice.

3. Change of name by special resolution without conditions

The company may change its name by passing a special resolution in a meeting, or the members (representing not less than 75% of the total voting rights of eligible shares) may agree to change the name by written resolution. In both cases the company must notify the Companies House by delivering a notice of change of name, Form NM01 with the appropriate fee and a copy of the resolution.

We will only change the name when we receive Form NM01 with the fee, and the copy of the resolution.

4. Change of name by special resolution conditional upon some event

Where the change of name is dependant on the satisfaction of a condition, the company can pass a special or written resolution to that effect. It must notify the registrar by delivering a notice of change of name by conditional resolution,
Form NM02.

If the condition has been satisfied at the time you passed the resolution, the company must indicate this on the notice, which it must deliver with the fee and a copy of the conditional resolution. We will only change the name when we receive the notice with the fee and the resolution.

If the condition has not been satisfied at the time you pass the resolution, the company must indicate this on the notice and no fee is required at this time. When the condition has been satisfied you must deliver a notice confirming the satisfaction of the condition related to the resolution for change of name on Form NM03 and a copy of the resolution accompanied by the appropriate fee. We will only change the name when we receive either Form NM01 or NM02 and, if necessary, the NM03 with the fee and the copy of the resolution.

5. Change of name by means provided for by the company’s articles

A company can also change its name by any other means provided for by the articles. This is a new method of allowing the company to change its name. The articles must contain a provision specifying the way a company can change its name. You must deliver a notice of change of name by means provided for by the articles on Form NM04, accompanied by the appropriate fee.

Existing companies wishing to use this method must amend their articles to include a suitable provision before filing the change of name documents.

6. Change of name by resolution of directors

The Secretary of State may direct a company to change its name so as to reinstate ‘limited’ or ‘cyfyngedig’ in the company name because the company is no longer exempted. In these circumstances, the company must deliver to Companies House a notice of change of name by resolution of directors on Form NM05. No fee will be payable; or

If a company is restored to the register under its registered number because the name it previously had is no longer available, then the company must change its name within 14 days. This change may be by resolution of the directors and, in these circumstances, the company must deliver to Companies House a notice of change of name by resolution of directors on Form NM05 together with the appropriate fee.

7. Change of name by the Company Names Tribunal or the High Court

The Company Names Tribunal (also known as ‘the Adjudicator’) considers complaints from any person or company about opportunistic registration. Such a complaint could arise if a company has a name which is the same as a name associated with the complainant in which he has goodwill or is so similar that it would likely to mislead by suggesting a connection between the company and the complainant.

Please note: Companies House cannot deal with any complaints about opportunistic registration. You must deliver objections and enquiries to the Adjudicator, who is based at the UK Intellectual Property Office. Further information and contact points are available at www.ipo.gov.uk/cna

8. How long does it take to register a change of name?

If all the documents are correct, Companies House will normally process the change of name within five working days of receipt.

You can also take advantage of our ‘Same Day’ service the fee for which is £50. If we receive the resolution before 3 pm (Monday-Friday) and accept the name and documents, we will issue a change of name certificate on that day. The service is available from any office of Companies House.

If you deliver your ‘Same Day’ documents by post or courier please ensure you mark the outside of the envelope clearly with ‘Same Day Change of Name’ and ‘for the attention of New Companies’.

9. Can I register a change of name and re-registration together?

Yes. You can combine a resolution for change of name and re-registration, for example, resolving to change the name from ABC Limited to XYZ PLC

Wherever possible, you should deliver all the forms together. The change of name will not take effect until Companies House has registered all the necessary documents accompanied by the fees for change of name (£10) and re-registration (£20).The combined fee for a ‘Same Day’ application is £30.

Further information on re-registration can be found in chapter 8 of this booklet

For further information on Company Names, such as rules on names which require justification or are unacceptable to Companies House, please see the guidance - Incorporation and Names.