Companies House – New rules for company names

Limited Company, News,

Following the recent announcements around Companies House new powers under the The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023, their latest update includes details of the checks they are now running on company names which may be deemed to give a false or misleading impression to the public.

These checks are intended to improve the accuracy and quality of the data held at Companies House and help tackle the misuse of company names.

The new powers to challenge and change company names

Companies House can now reject an application to register a name where it believes:

  • the name is intended to facilitate fraud
  • the name is comprised of or contains a computer code
  • the name is likely to give the false impression the company is connected to a foreign government or an international organisation whose members include two or more countries or territories (or their governments)

It is also possible for Companies House to direct existing companies to change their name. If a company fails to change its name within 28 days, Companies House can now determine a new name for the company, for example, changing the company name to its registered company number.

They can also suppress a name from the register while a company responds to a direction to change its name.

Failure to comply is an offence

If a company does not respond to a direction to change their company name within 28 days, an offence is committed.

It’s also an offence to continue using a company name which Companies House has said should be changed.

If you receive any communications from Companies House, please be careful to check it’s authenticity. If you’re unsure, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

You can see further updates on the impact of the changes being made as part of the Act in these posts:

Important Company Law Changes

Companies House Data Improvement

New Companies House powers are now live! 

Business News

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