Q. I run my own business (a limited company) and have decided to re-brand including changing the name of the company. Is there anything I need to know or do before I proceed?
A. Before changing your name you will need to consider whether the name you want is available and complies with the relevant legislation. For example, a company’s name cannot be too similar to one already on the register, be a “sensitive” name requiring consent before use or likely to cause offence. As such, appropriate checks should be made to ensure the name is suitable.
As you are a limited company it is likely that you will need shareholder consent before you proceed. Subject to what your articles of association say, it is likely that you will need at least 75% of the shareholders (who are entitled to vote) to agree to the change of name. Once that consent has been obtained, you will need to notify Companies House by completing the appropriate form and paying the applicable fee. This can be done online or via the postal service, although filing online is cheaper. You should also file a copy of your articles of association showing the new name.
Once the name change has been registered at Companies House, you must display the new name at your place(s) of business, on your stationary (including letterhead and email footers) and on your website, if you have one, as well as notifying your customers and suppliers.
Ashley Sutherland, solicitor
*Previously printed in the Stamford Mercury and Peterborough Telegraph