Changing the name of a company

What's required when changing your name

You'll need to follow the procedures set out in your constitution, if you have one, for changing your company’s name.

To change your company's name on the register, you must first reserve a new name using our 'Change Company Name' service. Before you begin, you'll need to make sure the new name is available, and that it meets our criteria for a suitable name. There is a fee of $10 (plus GST) for reserving the new name.

On this page:

1. Checking that a company name is available

The Companies Act 1993, and various other laws, contain rules and guidance on the naming of companies. For example, under the Companies Act, the new name you choose for your company cannot be 'identical or almost identical' to that of another company or a reserved name. There are also certain names the use of which is restricted or protected by legislation.

How you can check your proposed company name

A company name is separate from a registered trade mark – reserving or registering company names doesn’t give you trade mark rights. You might unintentionally infringe a trade mark if your company name is confusingly similar to someone else’s trade mark and you are trading in the same or similar goods and services. 

ONECheck from Business.govt.nz allows you to check if a company name is potentially available. It 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, on a sliding scale.
  • an explanation of the difference between a company name and a trade mark.

Start a ONECheck search

2. Changing a company's name

What you'll need to change a company's name online

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.

How to change a company's name

To change a company name, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your online services account.
  2. Find and select the company under the 'My Companies' section of your dashboard, or by searching for the company using its company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).
  3. From the 'My Tools' menu, select 'Change company name'.
  4. 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'.
  5. Select 'Continue'.

If you are reserving a new company name

  1. Enter the new company name you’d like to reserve. The name of a limited liability company must end in 'Limited' or 'Tapui Limited'.
  2. Confirm the availability of the name using the 'Auto check'.
    This step should not replace your own checks, as described above.
  3. Add any comments you may have and attach any supporting documents.
  4. Click on 'Submit'.
  5. Confirm that you wish to reserve the name.
  6. Pay the reservation fee of $10 (plus GST).

If the name is acceptable, we'll send you an email confirming that it has been reserved. You'll then need to complete the change by doing the following:

  1. Log back in to your online services account.
  2. Find and select the company under the 'My Companies' section of your dashboard, or by searching for the company using its company name, company number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN).
  3. From the 'My Tools' menu, select 'Change company name'.
  4. Under 'Change to new company name' select the radio button beside the new name you reserved.
  5. Click 'Submit'.

If you are 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.

  1. Search for the company that you want to swap names with.
  2. Select the company by clicking on the radio button.
  3. Pay the reservation fee of $10 (plus GST) for each company.
  4. Click 'Submit'.
Change company name

What happens next

We’ll send you an email confirming that the name of your company has changed. We'll also attach an updated Certificate of Incorporation that records the name change.

More information on changing the name of a company

Making a minor change or correction

If you need to make a minor change to the name of an existing company, be it ‘cosmetic’ or a correction (for example, a spelling error), use the same online service described above to register the change.

If your company is an overseas company

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.

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