Changing your company name can come with a lot of things that you as a director, needs to consider. Some of these things will be obvious, and already on your to-do list. Other things may not have even crossed your mind. We have created this list to help you to make sure you’ve covered all bases when you change your company name.
The first thing you will need to consider is letting your staff know and updating their details on your system. Firstly, you need to let them know that the name is changing and the date it will be effective from. This will allow them to start using the new name when contacting customers. It allows them to update their own details for correspondence with clients.
You will also need to update contracts of employment for all the staff and directors. Next, you need to ensure the name is up to date in case there are ever any queries. You will also need to review the details on your system and with your pension provider. Any pension arrangements will need to be updated to ensure that the contributions are made correctly.
Customers and Suppliers
Updating your customers of the name change is one of the most important steps when changing your company name. You should let them know of the change before it happens, so they are aware. You will need to express that you will remain doing the same work in the same industry to ensure you do not lose your existing loyal customers. If they suddenly begin being contacted by a company name they haven’t heard of, your message may be ignored as they don’t know who you are. Additionally, if they can no longer find your old company name online, they may assume you no longer exist and seek help from your competitors.
Suppliers will also need to be informed so that they know they are still working with the same company, just under a new name. Again, correspondence may be missed if you do not inform them of the change as they may not know who you are. Further to this, they will need to update their records and systems to reflect your name change when creating invoices or delivering goods.
Updating your Bank
Your bank will need to be informed of any changes to your company name. You will need a suitable bank account to ensure the operation of your company runs smoothly. If they have the wrong address this could cause problems. Statements could end up with the wrong people and it may cause problems when depositing and withdrawing money. Standing orders and Direct Debits may also be affected if you do not update your bank accordingly.
You may even decide to switch you bank when you change your company name as different banks now offer different incentives and benefits, which could help your company further, following your name change.
Hire Purchase Companies and Similar Creditors
It’s important to update your company name with these types of companies so that any loans and agreements are valid and up to date. If the name of the company is wrong on the agreements, then it may be invalid.
You will need to inform HMRC of the change in company name. As always, your limited company will need to submit annual accounts and tax returns so updating your company name with them is vital to ensure there are no problems when trying to file these. You will need to update them with regards to your PAYE Scheme, Corporation Tax and VAT.
HMRC have some guidance on how to report to them when you make changes to your business. You can see more about this here.
Rating authorities and public utilities
When you change your company name its important to let the local councils and authorities know. This is to ensure your regular services are maintained. For example, the collection of bins may not be kept up if the council can’t find your company as they’re looking for you under the old name. Their records will need to be up to date so they can continue to provide you with their services.
Insurance companies will need to be aware of any changes to your company name so that they can update their records and ensure that your policy is up to date. If this is not updated on their system, your insurance policy could be no longer valid. This could lead to problems if you ever needed to claim on it and lead to large fees if you were unable to use the policy.
Change Name in Xero
When submitting MTD for VAT, if the company name has not been updated, HMRC may not accept the submission. This leads to extra work having to resubmit and extra costs in the time it spent or potential late filing. Any reports generated for the company will be in the wrong name. Again this leads to extra work and potentially extra costs.
Updating your website is really important for the marketing and branding of your company. Ensuring the website is up to date and has the correct name on means that existing and potential new customers will be able to identify you and your new name and consider you when they require your goods or services.
Further to this you should ensure that your previous website domain, forwards to your new website. Or that it has a notification or link which directs visitors to the new webpage. Otherwise, potential new clients may think your company no longer exists and turn to your competitors.
Changing your company name will have an impact on your emails. As it one of the most common forms of correspondence these days it is important to ensure they are up to date. if your old company name was part of your email address, you may want to change them completely. If you do this ensure that there is a re-direct set up so that emails sent to the old email address don’t get lost whilst people readjust to the new name.
It is also important to ensure that signatures at the bottom of the emails are up to date and include the new company name where applicable.
In conclusion, there are so many things to remember when changing the name of your company. We hope this list is helpful. Hopefully, it serves as a guide for you when you decide on the name for your company. If you need to speak to us in more detail, we are happy to help. Fill in the below form and we will be in touch to help!