A common query which we get is from clients looking to change company name. Even after incorporation, the name of a company can be changed. There can be a variety of reasons why a company would want to change its name. The new name could be a better representation of the business or it could be part of a rebranding exercise. It is important to note that under the updated business profile, the name of the company would be reflected as New Company Name f.k.a. Old Company Name. Thus if someone were to purchase the business profile, it would show what the company was previously called.
The first step would be to pick an available company name. You can check for the availability of the new company name using the BizFile+ system. You can proceed to apply to change the company name and make payment for the change. Once the Application for change in Company name is approved, you will receive an email informing you that the name has been reserved for 120 days pending the filing of the special resolution for the change in Company name.
Next, you will have to call for a general meeting to gather the shareholders to vote on this matter. If the company is a private company, a minimum of 14 days’ written notice must be given for the meeting. The meeting can be held at a shorter notice if shareholders with at least 95 per cent of the voting rights agree to this.
At the meeting, the directors must obtain approval for the change in Company name from shareholders with at least 75 per cent of the voting rights. Once this is obtained, the special resolution can be passed and filed with ACRA. Only then will the change in Company name take effect.
A few things to take note:
- You will not need to make changes with IRAS or most government agencies.
- You will still be using the same constitution that was in effect before the name change.
- You will need to make changes to your company stamp and seal if your company are still using these instruments.
- Changing a company’s name does not change the companies rights or obligations. The company still has to fulfil all its debts and obligations.
Changing a company name can be tedious and to some, complicated.
If you are unsure of how your company can change its name, you can contact an experienced ACRA Filing Agent or seek legal advice.
The editorial team at Singapore Secretary Services