Changing a company name

The steps to take to change your company name

To change the company name on the register you use the ‘Change Company Name’ function under 'My Tools'. You’ll also need to follow the procedures set out in your constitution, if you have one, for changing your company’s name.

Authority to update a company name

Before you can change the name of a company you must have:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the Companies Register
  • authority to act for your company.

Checking that a company name is available

The name you choose cannot be identical or almost identical to that of another company. ONECheck allows users to compare the availability of a business name among existing company names, domains and trademarks. ONECheck provides:

  • the ability to check registered company names, web domains and social media usernames in one simple search.
  • a measure of the originality of a trade mark (word mark) on a sliding scale.
  • a description of the difference between a company name and a trade mark, which addresses a common misconception for people starting their first business.

Because reserving or registering business names or web domains doesn’t automatically give new businesses trade mark rights, ONECheck lets users check if their proposed trade mark or trading name appears to be unique and original. It also provides additional guidance around what to do next.

ONECheck provides a useful starting point for businesses seeking to register a distinctive trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.

Names that can’t be reserved

There are some names that aren't acceptable under the Companies Act 1993.

Company names that can't be reserved

Change a company name

To change a company name log in to your online services account, enter a company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) and follow these steps.

  1. First select one of the following options:
    • I would like to reserve a new company name, or
    • I would like to swap names with another company.
  2. Select Continue
  3. Check that the name you want to change to is available to use.
  4. Click on Submit.
  5. Change company name

Swapping company names

You can swap names with another company, but you must be a director of, or have authority over both companies that are changing names.

To swap a company name, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your online services account.
  2. In My Companies, select the company that is swapping names.
  3. From the ‘My Tools’ menu, select ‘Change company name’.
  4. Select ‘I would like to swap names with another company’ and click submit.
  5. Search for the company that you want to swap names with, select the company by clicking on the radio button, and click Submit.

If your company isn't registered in NZ

Changing the name of an overseas company (other than Australia) follows the same online process as for a New Zealand company.

If your company is incorporated with ASIC (Australian Securities & Investments Commission), you need to register the change of name with ASIC first.

All help topics

Before you start a company 5 guides

Get an overview of how companies are structured, find out about the company records you need to keep, and what's involved when you incorporate with and report to the Companies Office.

Shares and shareholders 7 guides

When you incorporate, you must provide details of all company shares and shareholders. As changes occur, you must update this information on your own share register and in your company's annual return.

Company directors 7 guides

Directors have responsibilities to their company and shareholders, and under the Companies Act 1993. You must register all your directors with the Companies Office and they must sign a consent form.​

Filing annual returns 7 guides

Find out about filing an annual return — the information you need to update, how to change your filing month or request a time extension — and what happens if you don't file your annual return by the due date.

Complying with the law 11 guides

Restoring a company to the register 4 guides

Only some companies can be reinstated to the Companies Register once they've been removed. Find out who can apply, what evidence to provide and if you should apply to the Registrar or the High Court.

Getting support to use the Companies Register 6 guides