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Change Company Name 2024: Change Limited Company Name Advice

Change company name via NM01 form

Introduction

As a UK contractor and business owner, you may ask if I can change company name. The answer is yes; however, how can I change the company name (UK)? If you decide an amendment is necessary, how long does changing the limited company name take? What’s more, when we consider whether you can change a company name and how to amend your business name (UK), where do we start when selecting the new name of a company? If we do our research, the good news is you can make a company name change (UK) via the Companies House name change form NM01 form. This form enables you to modify your name on Companies House. Therefore, the next step is to look for available UK company names. In summary, private limited companies can proceed with changing the company name on Companies House anytime they choose.

You may wish to change a company name (UK) when you’re a UK contractor. Therefore, we’ll consider why you might want to amend your contractor company name. In addition, we’ll investigate what else to consider when you’re replacing your limited company contractor name. We’ll also look at some good ways to research new Ltd company names. When you investigate new UK company names, you may require some good ideas for your new choice of business name.

In this guide, we’ll look at how to check business name availability (UK) for a limited company. Once you’ve found some UK company names available and made your choice, we’ll explain how I can change my company name. In addition, when you amend your business name (Companies House), we’ll cover the complete process involved.

Initial thoughts 

First thoughts

When considering a new business name, we must amend it with an official government body. In the UK, the Registrar of Companies (also known as Companies) are a body that looks after company formation procedures. What’s more, they look after the UK public register. This contains a list of all companies with their respective limited company names. Basically, this register of Companies House names includes some basic details about all UK limited companies. However, the official record must be updated when you amend the business name. As a result, the new information of such a recent company change is recorded officially. Therefore, as the register includes all company names, a business owner should inform the UK public body when they make a company name change (Companies House).

Every UK company has a name and a company number. Basically, this number will stay the same during the company’s existence. However, the owner can modify the business name anytime. Therefore, what should we consider when investigating how to amend your business name? Besides checking for UK company name availability, there’s a form to file with Companies House. This form is required when businesses amend Companies House company names (UK). In addition, when we ask how to change the company name online, the same form is required. Therefore, you can file this either online or through the postal system. To sum up, many limited company contractors and small business owners let their accountants amend the Companies House business name on their behalf. Others who don’t have an accountant can ask a formation agent to make the amendment.

Common questions

Many limited company owners may look to amend their business name at one time or another. As a result, they may have specific questions about this. Therefore, these include:

  • Can you change your company name?
  • How to change your company name?
  • Can I change my business name?
  • How do you change the business name on Companies House?
  • How much to change company name?

In this guide, we’ll research all the above, including the process involved. We’ll also look at what else to do when you switch your business name to a limited company.

What to consider when you change a company name on Companies House? 

First considerations

As a UK contractor or small business owner, you must choose a registered office besides your business name when setting up your company. However, at some point during your contracting career, you may research how to change the name of a Limited company for one reason or another. As a result, you should know how to amend the name of a private limited company. Alternatively, you could ask your accountant to do this.

When might you look at changing the company name?

At some point, when you run your own UK company, you may decide the time has come to choose a new business name. Indeed, when you amend your business name, it could be for several reasons. You may feel the name is no longer appropriate for your current line of work. Alternatively, you may decide the current business name is no longer suitable for the type of professional services you’re now offering. Therefore, you must investigate how to amend my company name.

Other tasks

Besides investigating how to change a company name (UK) with Companies House, there are other tasks to perform when amending a limited company name. Please see later in this guide for our business name change checklist of what else to do when you switch your business name.

Further thoughts when changing a Ltd company name

Companies House -check company name 

Before you amend your company’s name, you can do a Companies House company name check. You can perform the Companies House business name check (UK) by visiting the Companies House website. Next, you can type the name in the search box and click the search icon to check Companies House for names. As a result, you can perform a UK company name search, or check a limited company name. Consequently, you’ll discover if your proposed new name choice is available. However, when you check Ltd company names, if any already registered company names (UK) are in use by other companies, you can’t use them. Therefore, if a name is taken, you can repeat the process and check Companies House for available names based on what you’re considering for potential new contractor company names.

Please note, when you look for available company names (UK) and perform the limited company name check (Companies House), you shouldn’t choose a UK contractor company name that’s the same or similar to another company. If you do, Companies House may reject your request. In addition, as part of the UK company name change, your business must receive the required permission to include sensitive words and expressions. These words include ‘international’, ‘bank,’ and `certified.’ 

Other guides

Besides this guide on how to change the company name (Companies House), we’ve many other Companies House guides. Indeed, these help you navigate Companies House regarding official filings and reporting. Moreover, these explain what this public body is and how to make a particular amendment and report this correctly. We’ve covered the following in our guides:

How to change the company name on Companies House -what is the process? 

Initial steps

Let’s look at how to amend a business name at Companies House officially. In larger businesses, company secretaries will initiate the process of amending this. However, as a small contractor company, you’ll make the amendment yourself or ask your accountant to do this. In addition, some larger companies may have to consider any trademark implications of an amendment to their business name.

The process of amending the limited company’s name is straightforward enough. Moreover, when we look at the official process of amending a contractor’s company name, the most common way is to pass a special written resolution at a general meeting. This is a formal decision that at least 75% of the company’s members votes agree to. The special resolution can be passed in writing or in a general meeting to approve the change.

To consider how to amend the business name, a company must complete Companies House form NM01 -notice of name change by resolution. Indeed, the Companies House change of name form is used by UK limited companies to give notice to Companies House of a written resolution on amendment of the business name. Therefore, you can complete the Companies House NM01 form and change the company name online. As an alternative, you can send a completed form through the post. Either way, it will ensure the Companies House registers are updated correctly.

We have a separate guide that covers choosing a name for your UK company. Selecting a business name is relevant when forming your company for the first time.

What is the cost & how long does it take to change the company name?

When you amend the business name, what’s the cost of changing the company name, and how long does a name change take (UK)? Indeed, when changing the business name, the first option is to submit a paper NM01 form to Companies House. As part of making a postal application, the fee for the change of name form (Companies House) is £30. Moreover, when you complete the form NM01 (Companies House), you can pay by cheque or Postal Order. In addition, you can send the NM01 and payment to the address on the form.

On the other hand, the more popular option is to amend your business name via Companies House online. Indeed, you can do this by filing the NM01 form online via their WebFiling service. When you use this method, the Companies House fee is £20. Moreover, there’s an alternative cost of £83 for an NM01 same-day name change (Companies House). Therefore, the same-day service is preferable if you’re in a rush for the name amendment. However, most will use the £20 company name change service.

If you use the £20 service, the Companies House change name process will take a day or two. Furthermore, the process is complete once Companies House approves it. In summary, most UK contractors and small businesses will use the online service when making the amendment.

Complete forms to change the Ltd company name

The Companies Act 2006 (sections 77-79) allows a company to amend its name by:

  • Passing a special resolution of the members, or
  • By other means, provided for in the articles of association.

When you’re amending a limited company name, the company can pass the special resolution at a board meeting. Therefore, if you’re a limited company contractor with your own company, you can hold a director’s general meeting, and the shareholders can sign a written special resolution. However, your Articles of Association may define another method to do this.

After you pass the resolution, you can submit the NM01 with the correct fee to Companies House. Indeed, they’ll process the business name amendment within a working day or two.

If you’re to select a new business name via the second method above, as defined in your company’s Articles of Association (this isn’t likely if you’re the owner of a contractor limited company), you can use form NM04.

Once you’ve sent the change of name (Companies House) form through the post or filed online and the Registrar of Companies have processed the amendment, you’ll receive a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name.

More thoughts

Changing company name checklist (UK) & what other tasks should you do?

When you update your new contractor limited company name with Companies House via the NM01 form, there are other tasks to perform. Therefore, once the amendment to the business name via the NM01 process has taken place, as part of a changing your company name checklist, you should:

  • Inform your accountant.
  • Update the company statutory registers -if your accountant looks after these, they’ll do this for you.
  • Change business name on bank account -advise your company’s bankers so they can update your bank account or accounts.
  • Update your company’s insurance company so they can update your policy.
  • Let any clients and contacts know.
  • Update your business website and any social media. If you have a business email address that contains your company’s name, you’ll also want to update this.

What should you do after changing the name of your company?

Once the Companies House name amendment has occurred, the official body will send you a Notification of Change of Company Name and a new Certificate of Incorporation. This will include the date of the change of name. Nothing else changes besides the amendment to your business name, as the registered number remains the same. However, you or your accountant must inform the tax authorities (Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE), and you should update the bank and any other professional contacts. In addition, your business website, invoices, and any official company stationery must include the new name in future.

Final thoughts

The answer is yes when considering whether I can change my Ltd company name. Moreover, you may decide on a name amendment for several reasons. However, there’s a specific process to follow via the NM01 for such an official change. In this guide, we explain the process of searching online for company name availability (UK). We cover how to change the company name and the process to follow when you do this. Indeed, once your business receives approval of the new name, you can inform all relevant contacts and third parties of the new name.

First, you can inform your business bankers and insurance companies. Next, you should tell professional organisations of which your company is a member. Further, you must advise the VAT, PAYE/NIC, and Corporation Tax offices. However, in many cases, UK contractors rely on their contractor accountant to make the changes with the tax authorities. Another step is to tell any clients or contacts about your new limited company name. Finally, you can update any online profiles, such as social media and your business website, if you have one.

Recap

Step by step, when you look to amend a company name, you should:

  • Decide on your new business name.
  • Choose the method you want to use to make the change.
  • Apply to make the amendment.
  • Once you receive confirmation, inform other relevant parties.

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