Its all in a name

Poodle Registered Posts: 711 Epic contributor 🐘

I have a company that would like to rebrand and probably change their name.

Having not done this before I see two options here.

1 apply to change the company name, I know to process this through CH and advise HMR&C but would appreciate feed back form anyone who has done this and possible pitfalls/problems.


2 leave the company as it is and then have it as ABC Ltd trading as XYZ. Not sure how this one works with companies house, HMR&C or banks. and could the company put XYZ on advertising, leterheads, vehicles etc but have ABC Ltd in small print on the items as well in order to comply with CA

or is there something else.

Feedback would be appreciated



  • groundy
    groundy Registered Posts: 495 Dedicated contributor 🦉

    If you use ABC Ltd t/a XYZ then you must ensure that the bank will be happy to accept cheques with the trade name instead of co name. Also I would suggest checking that no one has registered the name as a company as they may have grounds to prevent you using the name (we have had experience of this with a sole trader client).

    The obvious pitfall of a trading name is you are not protecting yourself from someone registering a ltd co in that name.

    Hope this helps a little.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    I have done both options before. For option 1 I used Waterlow Legal to draw up the appropriate documents. Bit more admin and can sometimes cause problems at the bank because some banks will want a completely new account set up in the new name.

    Option 2 is certainly much simpler and the only people you need to notify are the bank so that they can add the new trading name to the existing account and thus accept cheques to either ABC or XYZ. XYZ can be used for advertising and letterheads providing you have the 'XYZ is a trading name of ABC' in the small print. I believe leases, vehicles and other legal documents still have to be in the name of ABC.

    The shortfall of option 2 is that you will never escape the ABC name completely if this is something your client wants to disassociate themselves from.

    3rd option that I sometimes go for is just set up a new company altogether. Probably cheaper to administer than a change of name plus you get a fresh start from an enquiry (VAT, PAYE or CT) point of view. Not suitable for everyone.

    Keeping the bank happy seems to be the most difficult thing in all the above.
  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711 Epic contributor 🐘
    Thank you both for your help.

    Not sure what way this will go. An interesting point regarding the possible challenge to the name. Apart from CH not sure how far you can go to protect a non incorporated name. You used to be able to register a business name is that still the case? I do recall that this register was classed as a bit of a sham not sure of the up to date situation

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