Provided a new proposed company name is available, a company incorporated in Ireland may, by special resolution, have its name changed.
Reasons To Change Name
A company may decide to change its name for a number of reasons, some of which are listed below:
The company may change ownership;
After a merger or acquisition, a new name may be used to take into account the change, e.g. J.P. Morgan Chase was created in 2000 after a merger between Chase Manhattan Corporation and J.P. Morgan & Co;
A large corporation may consolidate several of its small companies under one company name;
A company may change its name if it has developed a bad reputation and wishes to start afresh, e.g. Worldcom changed its name to MCI after it was engulfed in an accounting scandal; and
Lastly, it may simply be a strategic decision. In 1996, Larry Brin and Sergey Page decided to change the name of their company from Backrub to Google based on the term googol (1 with one hundred zeroes after it) to reflect the seemingly endless number of search results.
Pre Name Change
A company should first check the availability of the proposed new name before engaging in the name change process. This can be done through the Company Search facility on the CRO (Companies Registration Office) website or by contacting the CRO New Companies department.
It is important to note that a company’s request to change its name will not be processed where the company is in default of its annual return filing obligations under sections 125 and 127 of the Companies Act 1963. Similarly, the name change cannot proceed if the company is on a strike off list or CRO prosecution list.
The company must then have the new name passed by special resolution. This can be done in one of four ways:
Name Change Process
Once the name change is passed by special resolution, the company must complete and file the relevant forms, together with the required filing fee, at the CRO.
Post Name Change
Once the new name is registered the CRO will issue a certificate of change of name to the company. The name change becomes effective from the date on the certificate and can only be used by the company from this date.
The new name will be required to be changed outside of every office or place where the company’s business is carried out, on the company website, on the business letters and on cheques, invoices and receipts of the company. A new company seal should also be made.