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Company Name Change




When the company changes its name from the old name to a new name.


Reasons for a Company Name Change

* The main reason for Company name changes is mergers and acquisitions. When two companies become one, they have to adopt one of the old names, combine the two or develop a new name.

* Times change and business names change with them - meaning that whenever a company recognises that the landscape of the industry changes it might have to change its core business and with it its name

* A Change of Name might be part of a change in Corporate Branding Strategy. For Example a company might decide to compete on the lowest price in the industry and change their name to a name that highlights good value for money.

* Sometimes names could be much easier and consumer friendly (especially for internationally expanding companies where language barriers might cause problems).

* Company names are subject to fashion and might therefore have to be changed (think for example of the dot.com bubble. After the bubble burst, many companies changed their name to names less associated with the digital hype. In more recent years there has been a tendency to "become more Green" which has been reflected in the names of several companies around the world.


Process of a Name Change

1 Company to adopt a strategy to which defines its core business and to chose the correct name for it as part of their Overall Branding Strategy (often based on advise from management consultants, Branding Consultants, its own shareholders and industry experts). Often extensive research will have to be carried out as to how suggested new names appeal to customers before the final new name is chosen.

2 Company to check the availability of the new name with the Companies House Register (in the UK)

3 Company to prepare minuts and resolutions of a director's meeting recommending the name change to the members of the company.

4 Company to put the proposed name change as a voting point on the agenda of the AGM / EGM

5 The proposed company name change is a special resolution. This means that 75% of those shareholders that are entitled to vote should vote in favour of the resolution. Under circumstances that there is no AGM / EGM scheduled in the near future, a written resolution (representing not less than 75% of the total voting rights of eligible shares suffices.

Company's Share Register, the (I)CSD and all other parties holding the security change the name in their records and pass the information on to their clients.

7 Company to submit the Companies House Form NM01 for the notice of the change.

8 Company to register the name as a registered trademark if and when required


Examples of a Company Name Change

* Apple Computers changed its name to Apple Inc. (reason was that they would no longer focus on selling computers only, but also on mobile phones, Ipods, Ipads, apps etc. - in other words, the landscape of their industry changed, what they regarded as their core business changed and so they changed their name along with it.

* Daimler and Chrystler once were seperate companies. When they merged they decided to combine the names of both old companies to one new one: DaimlerChrystler.


Name Changes and Tax

There are no tax consequences as a result of a Name Change of the issuing company.





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