Your Checklist For Changing Your Company Name
There's a lot to consider ...
POSTED BY JONATHAN VOWLES ON 06/06/2017 @ 8:00AM
If you're thinking of changing your company name, there is a lot to consider and to get right. My blog post this week gives you some pointers you may not have thought of ...
Thinking of changing your company name? Take a close look at my checklist!
copyright: stevanovicigor / 123rf stock photo
When you change your company name you obviously need to think of a range of issues and it is a good idea to have a plan, not only of what things to change but also how you are going to clearly communicate this so that you get a marketing advantage out of doing it.
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list and there will be other things that are unique to your company that you need to add to it. Do your own research to identify all the extra things you need to do and then tick them off as and when they are done.
Important and visible things to update are:
Stationery - letterheads, business cards and marketing resources like brochures and other business documents. Remember it is well worth getting a professional graphic designer involved for both digital and paper stationery.
Website and email changes (and have you bought the new domain name already?)
Email footers - yes, you need to check every single employee has done this!
Communicating the change to your customers and suppliers
Updating your social media accounts
Voicemail or answering machine messages on fixed line and mobile phones
Important, but boring, things to update are:
Update your company's statutory registers and the Articles of Association
Inform the taxman for corporation tax, VAT, PAYE, etc
Domain name registration, ie the ownership of your domains
Inform your bank
Update your computer systems
Update the contracts of employment
Are there any business licences or permits that need to be updated?
All of your suppliers will need to be informed, and they will probably want to update your supply contracts
Tell your insurers as your insurance schedules need to be updated, office, public liability, professional indemnity, vehicle, etc
Consider if you want your customers to sign fresh contracts in the new name
All those online services you have signed up for!
And remember to create a marketing advantage by:
Writing press releases for your website, local news, the trade press
Updating all those online directories you are listed on
Don't just communicate with your customers, make a splash by writing and emailing to current, former and potential customers. Maybe have a new name launch party!
But what to do first? I feel that the most important thing you need to do is a domain name and company name search to make sure that the name is available! But also, what about a trademark search?
Importantly, don't actually make any real changes until you have confirmation from Companies House that you have successfully changed the company name!
I know of several businesses that started down the route of changing things, but end up wasting money as the name they originally wanted was not available.
Making the actual change itself is perhaps one of the easiest parts. You will need to have a special resolution of the company's shareholders and to lodge a copy of that resolution with Companies House.
Companies House have a form for this and charge a £10 filing fee. Processing typically only takes a day or two, and then they will send you a fresh Certificate of Incorporation showing the change of name.
"What about contracts signed in the company’s old name?"
Any agreements or contracts signed in the company's old name do not lose their validity because you have changed name. Companies are identified by their registered number as well as their name.
Any legal challenge to a contract has to formally identify the company by number as well as by name and the company number is the one thing that is a constant.
However, it is good practice to always have up-to-date paperwork and therefore I advise you update the various contracts and to make sure that all of your agreements contain the company number as well as company name of your customers.
"If you feel you need some help with the process of changing your company name, then let us help!"
Whether you are befuddled and confused by it all, or just stupefied into inaction by the amount of stuff you need to get done, get in touch with me on 01234 752 566 or click here to send over an email enquiry and let's see how I can help.
Until next time ...
More about Jonathan Vowles ...
I've been an accountant in and for business since 1987 and have a wide experience of consultancy, audit, accounts, taxation and wealth planning work from individuals and small businesses to multinational corporations and charities.
My eclectic interests in growing and developing business span a number of areas, which can be summarised as strategic business advice and tax saving advice.
I have worked with the Chamber of Commerce to deliver courses for people about starting up in business and have lectured about tax for a major accountancy practice and for Milton Keynes College.
I relax by reading fiction and by getting away from the office in a campervan.
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