How to change a business name - checklist

Employee with name tag on

There are certain steps you need to take if you change the name of your business, ranging from notifying Companies House to updating your website and literature.

  • Choose your new business name.
  • Check there is are no legal reason why you cannot use the name. Some names are prohibited. Check that there isn't already a business registered with the same name or  similar name that puts you at risk of being confused with another business.
  • Review all your internal documentation, eg employment contracts, and update these as necessary.
  • Update your social media profiles, eg LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Remember to include links to your new website.
  • Refresh your marketing literature and notify any directories that list you.
  • Amend the content of your website (and newsletter), and notify any external websites that link to it.
  • Update your invoices, stationery and business cards to include your new name and logo.
  • Change the signage at your premises and any livery on vehicles. If you rent your premises, the landlord may ask to see the Change of Name Certificate.
  • Discuss any necessary changes with your bank, eg changes to account names.
  • Consider whether you need to continue using your old name alongside your new one until clients are used to the new company name. For example, 'Atom Content Marketing (formerly BHP Information Solutions)'.
  • Consider using PR or blogging to publicise the name change. Will you tell some people confidentially ahead of the launch, to make them feel special?
  • Communicate the name change to staff, customers, suppliers, the authorities (where are you registered under your old name?) and other contacts.
  • Consider any other IT-related naming issues. For example, if you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), update its name.
  • Switch email address from your old one to your new one, and change the contact details in your email signature. Remember to forward emails from your old address for a while so that you do not miss important messages.
  • Set up a website redirect from your old website to your new one.
  • Create a set of designs (logo, website, stationery, Twitter wallpaper, and so on) incorporating your new name. Consider using a freelance marketplace for this, eg Upwork or Peopleperhour.
  • Consider trademarking your new name.
  • Register the new name at Companies House if you are a limited company.
  • Register your new website url: consider registering other similar urls and establishing redirects to your main website.

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