Company Name Change

What you need to know

A company name change is a simple 2 step process.  It starts with the proposed new name submission.  Once this is confirmed by CIPC the company name change can be processed.

The selection of the name options is important as this can delay the process and add costs if the initial names proposed are rejected. 

Good to know

If all 4 proposed company names are rejected, there is an additional R110 cost to CIPC for the submission of  a further 4 options. 

Price :  R650
How long does it take?   1-2 Days

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Frequently Asked Questions

It is a 2 step process which starts with the submission of  4 proposed names for  approval to CIPC.  Once the new name is approved, it needs to be resubmitted to CIPC to do the company name change.  The name approval is an online digital process which is relatively quick - provided the names are not rejected by CIPC.
It is farily simple process and usually between 1 to 2 working days.  However, if all of the names are rejected by CIPC, this adds costs and delays the process as another 4 names will need to be subitted for approval.  
It shouldn’t take more than a day, unless your proposed company names are rejected – if that is the case the 4 new names need to be submitted to CIPC as well as the additional costs. 
If your names are rejected, then the overall process will be delayed as new names need to be submitted and extra costs paid to CIPC.
Yes, CIPC will not make any changes to your company if your annual returns are outstanding.&nb sp;
Yes, your company name can have an objection lodged against it even if it was approved by CIPC. If another company feels aggrieved by the approve name, they can lodge a complaint with Tribunal. vbLf & A more likely scenario is an objection from a Trademark holder.  Whilst company registrations and trademarks are all managed by CIPC their databases are not linked.  This is likely due to the multi-level categorisation complexities of Trademarks. Therefore, Trademark infringements are manually policed usually by the attorneys of the Trademark holder. This is a cumbersome manual process which explains the delay in the objection for up to a year between an approved company name and a Trademark objection.
A Trademark will always take precedence over an approved company name in a dispute as it is a legally protected asset. 
The franchisor is required to provide the franchisee written permission to use the name. The name application must be accompanied with this letter of permission for the applicant to add the suburb to the name. For example Nando’s N1 City or Nando’s Cape Town. These applications are manual application and take longer to process. 
It is the responsibility of the directors to inform SARS as well as their bankers of the company name change. It is also recommended to re-issue the share certificates in the name of the new company. 
Be creative and unique, also add a descriptive word to your pr oposed named. For example Orion shoe manufacturing. The names are submitted in order of preference therefore each proposed name, out of the set of four proposed names should be gradually more creative and unique than the previous name. Unfortunately CIPC does not have a name search facility available to the public, therefore is may also be a good idea to check and see if the domain name is available to help you with ideas.  
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Why change the company name?

The decision to change a company name typically begins with discussions among the company`s stakeholders, including directors, shareholders, and possibly legal advisors. Reasons for changing the name may vary, such as reflecting a change in ownership, repositioning in the market, or resolving trademark conflicts.

The problem with finding the right name

Before proceeding with the name change, it`s crucial to ensure that the desired new name is available for registration. Try doing google searches to find out if other people are already trading with that name. If you cant find other potential clashes, then you are ready with a potential name. As CIPC will test four names at the same time, consider choose a totally different name if that first one fails. This will be entered as option 2, and will save you time and money if you specify it up front during the CIPC name search.

Name changes and your board meeting

Once a suitable name is chosen and confirmed to be available, the company`s directors must convene a board meeting to pass a resolution approving the name change. For a PTY Ltd company, this resolution must be recorded in the company`s minutes. Additionally, a special resolution must be passed by the shareholders, as per the requirements of the Companies Act of 2008. The special resolution should be properly documented and filed with the company`s records. As SwiftReg wants to expediate the process, we will normally create some automatic minutes to show that this process has been completed.

How is your documentation submitted for your Name Change?

SwiftReg solves all of this for you, by submitting all the appropriate documentation so that you do not have to worry at all. Upon receiving the documentation, the CIPC will review the application for compliance with regulatory requirements. If everything is in order and the proposed name meets the criteria, the CIPC will issue a new certificate of incorporation reflecting the company`s updated name. This certificate serves as official confirmation of the name change.

Public disclosure of your name change

Once the name change is approved, the company must update its business stationery, website, signage, and other relevant materials to reflect the new name. Additionally, the company should inform its customers, suppliers, creditors, and other stakeholders about the name change to avoid any confusion or disruption in business operations. The application for changing a company name in South Africa involves a structured process overseen by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). It requires careful planning, compliance with legal requirements, and proper documentation to ensure a smooth transition and maintain transparency in business operations. By following the prescribed steps and procedures, companies can successfully rebrand and adapt to evolving market dynamics while complying with regulatory obligations.
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