Starting to feel that your company’s name doesn’t quite represent the values, products or services that you offer to your customers? A business name is a lot more than something to stick on your website: it needs to appeal to your core audience, giving a clear message as to not only what you deliver, but also who you are.
This is why it’s so important not to get stuck in a rut with your name: as a small business, you can make the change before your brand has grown too large, and make sure that your company resonates. Best of all, changing a company name is a lot simpler than you might imagine – with just a couple of simple steps, you can start getting your new name out there.
Agreeing to a Change
The most important stage of a name change is getting all the relevant company members to agree to it. In most cases this will just be the directors, and you only need a majority decision – which means anything more than 50%. And of course if there’s just one of you leading the ship, as is the case in many start-ups, this should be an easy agreement to come to!
Some companies may have special provisions which mean that the directors alone cannot approve a name change. In this case, you will need to have a general meeting in which the proposal is put to the members – and the members will then need to reach at least 75% approval before a change can be made. Make the case for your new name by clearly laying out exactly why it’s the right change for your company.
Making it Official
Once everybody is agreed on the direction for your company name, you need to make the change legal and official by registering it. If the shares in your business are going to be traded publicly, then you need to get in touch with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an organization in Washington that keeps an online register.
You can also register at the Small Business Administration (SBA), who helps smalls companies choose a name, as well as start and grow their businesses. As soon as everything is ready and set up, you can start bringing your new brand name to life.
Spreading the Word
The steps we’ve listed above cover all the legal steps for a company name change, but if you want it to be a great success, you’d be foolish to leave it at the bare minimum. With this in mind, the final step to consider is how you’re going to let your existing client base know about your new identity.
Whether you take to social media to explain why this is the right time for a rebrand, or have a party to celebrate the change with some of your most valuable clients and associates, the important thing is ensuring that everybody understands why you’ve made the change, and sees it as a part of your ongoing company story.
Quality Formations are a UK formations agent who specialise in assisting with the process of setting up a limited company and registering it online; they also offer advice and resources to help along the way – just like this handy guide!
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