If you change your company name, you must update the name on your business bank account as soon as possible. The company name on this account – and any other legal agreements or contracts set up in your company name – must exactly match the official name that is registered at Companies House and displayed on public record.
Different banks have different procedures in place for updating account details, so you should contact your bank in the first instance for clarification. Some banks may allow you to make changes to your business bank account online or by telephone. Others may ask you to provide a written instruction that is signed in accordance to your company’s mandate, along with a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name issued by Companies House.
What is a business bank account mandate?
Your business bank account mandate is a document that contains a set of instructions and a list of account signatories (e.g., directors, company secretary, shareholders) who are authorised to manage the company’s business bank account.
It is important, therefore, to ensure that your mandate is up to date and that the details of all account signatories registered at Companies House are also correct and up to date.
Additional requirements when you change a company name
Limited company directors are responsible for ensuring the following obligations are fulfilled when a company changes its name:
- Updating company details at HMRC (i.e., new company name and bank account title)
- Notifying clients, suppliers, service providers, and other business contacts
- Updating business stationery, including company signage and websites within 14 days
- Making changes to visual and audio advertisements
- Registering a new domain name
- Updating statutory company records and registers.
There is no need to update the memorandum of association. Issued during the company formation process with the names of all subscribers (first members), the memorandum is a historical document that remains in its original form for the life of a company.
How to change a company name
You can change a company name at any point after company formation. This can be authorised by special resolution of the members or by means provided for in the articles of association (e.g., by approval of the directors).
To change a company name by special resolution, a majority vote of at least 75% must be achieved at a general meeting or in writing. A majority vote is worked out by counting the number of voting shares, not the number of voting shareholders. A copy of the resolution must be filed at Companies House within 15 days of the date it is passed, along with Form NM01 and the appropriate name-change fee.
Alternatively, the articles of association may allow the directors to change the company name without the approval of members. To change a name in this way, the directors must complete Form NM04 and file it at Companies House with the appropriate fee.
Your new company name will not come into effect until Companies House approves the change and issues a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name.
What is a Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name
A Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name is an official document issued by Companies House to verify that a company has legally changed its registered name in accordance with the Companies Act 2006. The certificate will state the following details:
- Company registration number (CRN
- Jurisdiction of issuing registrar (England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland)
- Previous company name
- New company name
- Company type (limited by shares; limited by guarantee; LLP)
- Situation of registered office (England & Wales, Wales only, Scotland, Northern Ireland)
- Date on which the change of company name was approved
All of these details will be exactly the same as those stated on the Certificate of Incorporation that was issued when your company was formed, aside from the new name. It is not a replacement for the Certificate of Incorporation, so you must keep both of these documents with your company’s statutory records. These should be stored at your registered office or SAIL address.
Change a company name online
You can change a company name online in just a few working hours using Rapid Formations’ Client Admin Portal. Our software filling system allows you to update company details online and send copies of resolutions and other documentation instantly and securely to Companies House.
This facility is available to all UK-registered limited companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs). Existing clients are automatically registered for this service upon incorporation. Non-clients can create a free account online and import an existing company onto our system at any time.
When Companies House approves your change of name request, we will notify you by email and provide a digital (PDF) copy of your Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name. Typically, most applications are approved within 3-6 business hours. You can update your business bank account details as soon as you receive your certificate.