Change company name via NM01 form

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Change company name (UK) -introduction

As a business owner, can you change a company name, and if so, how can I change my company name? Furthermore, how long does it take to change limited company name? The good news is you can via an NM01 form which you file with Companies House. Therefore, do not worry; private limited companies can change their name anytime they choose. In this article, we will look at how to change a company name (UK) and the process involved.

Companies House are a body that looks after company formation procedures. They also look after the UK public register. This register contains the basic details about all UK limited companies. When some official details of a UK company change, the record will need updating. Therefore, as the register includes the business name, the company needs to inform Companies House when they change ltd company name.

Every UK company has a name and a company number. The number will never change; however, the company’s owner can choose a UK company name change at any time. Therefore, a form is to file with Companies House when you make the change. You can file this either online or through the normal or through the postal system. Notably, many contractors and small business owners will let their accountants change the business name on their behalf.

Initial thoughts

As a contractor or small business owner, you will need to choose a name for your company as well as choose a registered office when you first set your company up.

At some future point, while running your own UK company, you may decide that the time has come when you would like to change your business name. Making this change could be for one reason or another. You may feel the name is no longer appropriate for your current line of work. Alternatively, you may also think that the current business name is no longer suitable for the type of professional services that you are now offering. Therefore, we will need to investigate how to change my company name.

Besides changing the official business name with Companies House, there are also other tasks to perform when you are changing limited company name. Please see later in the article for our checklist of what else to do when you change your business name.

Other guides

We have many other guides that help you navigate Companies House and how to report and make certain changes. We have covered in our articles:

Companies House -check company name 

Before you make the change, you can do a Companies House company name check to see if your proposed new choice of name is available. You can perform the Companies House name check by typing the name in the search box and click the search icon to check Companies House for names. If the name is already in use by another company, you cannot use it. Therefore, you can further check Companies House for names that are available based on what you are thinking of naming your company.

Please also note, when you do the limited company name check if you pick a name which is very similar to that of another company, Companies House may reject this. 

If the name is unavailable and you apply for this, Companies House will reject your request.

In addition, as part of the UK company name change, your business will need the required permission to include sensitive words and expressions. These words include ‘international’, ‘bank,’ and `certified.’

How to change company name on Companies House -the process

Initial steps

Let us look at how to change a company name at Companies House. Notably, the process of changing the limited company’s name is straightforward enough. When we look at how to change company name, the most common way is to pass a special written resolution. 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.

As part of the change, a company must complete Companies House form NM01 -notice of change of name by resolution. This form is used by UK limited companies to give notice to Companies House of a written resolution on change of name.

You can complete the Companies House form NM01 and change company name online. Alternatively, you can send a completed form through the post.

We have a separate guide covering choosing a name for your company. Selecting a business name will be relevant when forming your company for the first time.

How much does it cost, and how long does it take to change company name?

When changing the business name, you can submit a paper NM01 form to Companies House. The fee is £10, or £50 for a `same day service.’ You can send the form and payment to the address on the form.

Alternatively, you can file the form with Companies House online via their WebFiling service. The fee is £8, or £30 for a `same day service.’ If you use the £8 service, the change will happen within a couple of days once Companies House approves this.

Most contractors and small businesses will use the online service when making the change.

Completing the forms

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

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

A company can pass the special resolution at a board meeting. If you are a contractor with your own company, you can hold a director’s general meeting, and the shareholders can sign a written special resolution. Your Articles of Association may also define another method to do this.

Once you pass the resolution, you can submit the NM01 form with the correct fee to Companies House. They will process the name change within two or three working days.

If you are to change the business name via the second method above, as defined in your company’s Articles of Association (this is not likely for a contractor), you can use form NM04.

Once you have sent the change of name form through the post or filed online and Companies House have processed the change, they will issue a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name.

Changing company name checklist (UK) -other things to do

Besides changing company name with Companies House via NM01 form, there are some other tasks to perform. Once the name is changed, you also will need to:

  • Inform your accountant.
  • Update the company statutory registers -if your accountant looks after these, they will do this for you.
  • Advise your company’s bankers so that 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 will also need to look into updating this too.

Once the change is made

When your business name change has taken place, Companies House will send you a new certificate of incorporation. This will include the date of change of name. Besides the change of name, nothing else has changed as the registered number remains the same. You or your accountant will need to inform the tax authorities (Corporation Tax, VAT and PAYE) and you will need to update the bank and any other professional contacts. Your business website, invoices and any official company stationery will need to include the new name in future.

Final thoughts

Once you receive approval of the name change, you can then inform all relevant contacts and third parties.

First, you can inform your business bankers, insurance companies and professional organisations that your company is a member.

You must also advise the VAT, PAYE/NIC, and Corporation Tax offices. In many cases, contractors rely on their contractor accountant to make the changes with the tax authorities.

The next step is to tell any clients or contacts. Finally, you can update any online profiles, such as social media and your own business website, if you have one.

Link to Contractor Advice UK group on

LinkedIn   https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4660081/

Published On: August 1st, 2022 / Categories: Running Your Own Company /

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