How can I change my company name?
Change company name: This is what happens when you change your name!
A company name change may be necessary for various reasons. If you want to change the company name, you should plan a corresponding preparation time and calculate the costs realistically. This is the only way to say goodbye to the old company name and to restart with the new company name. In our guide we will show you what else you have to pay attention to.
If you want to change the company name in your company, this process is legally referred to as a change of name. When the name is changed, the company name changes, but not the legal form or the legal structure of the company. A change of name always makes sense if you want to change the trade name of your company. Although you decided on a seemingly suitable company name when you founded the company, it may happen that you want or need to change the company name after a while.
We show you what you should consider when changing your name and what legal limits apply when changing your name!
When is a change of company name possible?
A change of name is always important when it comes to changing the company name of a company. The desire for a change can have different reasons:
- Company name is inappropriate: It is true that when you founded the company you decided on an apparently suitable name. In everyday business life, however, this has proven to be unsuitable. This can be due, for example, to the wrong or even bad impression of the services being given to customers or partners. Anyone who decides here to change the company name will attach importance to choosing the new company name more appropriately.
- Company name is too complicated: Creative is not necessarily also practical - a fancy company name can prove to be too complicated in everyday life. This is especially true if the company name is often misspelled. The same applies if the company name is not easy to remember: Even then, after some thought, you should change or adapt the company name.
- The company's core business is changing: If the direction in the company changes, this often has an impact on the company name. You will want to change the company name if it no longer fits the company - this also applies if, for example, cooperation or mergers result in completely new fields of activity.
- Company name creates legal difficulties: It may also be necessary to change the company name from a trademark point of view. This is the case, among other things, if another company asserts an already existing claim on the company name.
Important to know: In order to avoid such difficulties and situations, you should carry out a detailed check with regard to the appropriate company name before starting your business. This check also includes possible claims from other companies - here you can actively counteract legal problems at an early stage.
Change company name: Who do I have to inform about the name change?
If you want to change the company name, then this is not only done with a change in the letterhead. As an entrepreneur, you must also communicate the change of name to the outside world: This not only affects customers and clients, but also suppliers and business partners. Anyone who tacitly assumes that their own contacts will automatically notice a name change will usually be punished by a loss of sales. Accordingly, it is part of a professional corporate culture that you approach your contacts on your own initiative and inform them about the name change.
This is especially true for the online area. If you change the company name, you also have to adapt your company's website - think of internal links and backlinks too!
Important to know: Backlinks are an important parameter, especially when ranking via the well-known search engines. It should therefore be important to you that these backlinks do not come to nothing. But that happens quickly if the entire Internet address changes - forwarding must then be set here. A competent expert can give you valuable assistance in this regard. Valuable tools are also available online for this purpose: Hosters often offer to set up redirects.
From a legal point of view, the change of name requires a notification of the change to the trade office. There is usually no charge for this. At many commercial offices, the notification can also be made conveniently using the online form.
In addition to notifying the trade office of the name change, you must also take the name change into account for reasons of trademark law. In the event that you change the company name: deletion of the brands that are no longer used and registration of the new brands. This is associated with considerable costs - you should also take these into account when considering a change of name.
What should be considered when changing the name of a GmbH or UG?
If you want to change the company name and your company appears as a GmbH or UG in commercial transactions, then the change of name also requires a change in the articles of association. This process requires - just like the establishment of the company - the notarial certification and also causes costs.
Important to know: In order to change the company name, a change in the articles of association is required. However, this is only possible if the shareholders are in agreement on this. A shareholders' resolution is made in accordance with Section 53 I GmbHG and requires a qualified majority. The votes cast are decisive. It is therefore usually not enough that only one of the shareholders wishes to change the company name - this wish should rather be borne by the majority of the shareholders.
What are the costs of a change of name?
A new name is found quickly - but far too often, entrepreneurs are not sure what costs they will incur in the event of a name change. In addition to the costs already mentioned in the form of re-registration with the trade or trade register and the possible costs that you as an entrepreneur due to the notarial authentication, advertising and marketing costs are often a large item in your own budget.
These include, for example:
- Information brochures
- online ads
- Redesign of the online presence
- new stationery
- new logo
- Shipping material.
Important to know: The cost of online marketing alone can quickly blow a tight budget. This is given in particular by the fact that there are no limits in terms of search engine optimization and advertisements on the Internet. This does not even take into account the large area around social networks: Here, too, the costs for advertisements go up quickly.
What risks does a name change entail?
The big risk when you change the company name is the fact that nobody knows the new brand yet. Therefore, publicizing the newly introduced brand must be given top priority. Remember that you may have to convince customers in a personal conversation that nothing has changed apart from the company name: Some clients find it difficult to give innovations the appropriate place here.
You should therefore be aware that a name change is not always greeted with unlimited enthusiasm. In the worst case, this can also lead to loss of customers. This often happens when the previous company name is established and has a corresponding range in the online and offline area.
Important to know: If you change the company name, it always means a turning point. Are you aware of this and take this hurdle with the appropriate preparation, but it will not cause any long-term damage from a business perspective!
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