Changing the name of an overseas company

What’s required when you change an overseas company's name

Changing the name of an overseas company follows the same online process as for a New Zealand company. You must first reserve a new name on the Companies Register. To do this, there is a fee of $10 (plus GST).

Changing the name of a company incorporated in Australia

If your company is incorporated with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), you must first register the name change with ASIC. Once ASIC has notified us of the change, we’ll ask you by email to register the change on the New Zealand Companies Register.

What to do if your company was incorporated in another country

If your company is incorporated in a country other than Australia, you will need to change its name in that country before you apply to change it on the Companies Register. We will ask you to provide a proof that it has been done, before we confirm the name change on the Companies Register.

Checking that a company name is available to use in New Zealand

The name you choose cannot be identical or almost identical to that of another company.

MBIE’s ONECheck service allows you to confirm the availability of a proposed company name. It provides:

  • the ability to check registered company names, web domains, trademarks and social media usernames in one simple search
  • a measure of the originality of a trademark, on a sliding scale
  • an explanation of the difference between a company name and a trademark.

Because reserving or registering business names or web domains does not automatically give new businesses trademark rights, ONECheck lets you check if your proposed trading name or trademark is unique and original. It also provides guidance on what to do next.

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

The rules relating to company names

The Companies Act 1993, and various other laws, contain rules and guidance on the naming of companies.

Names protected by legislation

There are also names that are protected or restricted by legislation.

Names protected by legislation

Authority to change your company name

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

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

How to change the name of an overseas company

To change a company name, follow these steps.

  1. Log in to your online services account,
  2. Select the company from 'My Companies'.
  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 'Submit'.

If you are reserving a new company name

  1. Enter the proposed company name. This must exactly match name of the company in its home jurisdiction.
  2. Check the name is available using the ‘Auto Check’.
    This step should not replace your own checks, as described above.
  3. Add any comments you may have.
  4. Attach any supporting documents.
  5. Click 'Submit'.
  6. Confirm that you wish to reserve the name.
  7. Pay the reservation fee of $10 (plus GST).
  8. Click 'Submit'.

If the new 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. From the 'Online services' menu go to the section 'Keeping company details up to date' and select 'Change company name'.
  3. Enter your company name or number.
  4. Click on your company name.
  5. Under 'Change to a new company name' select the button beside the new company name.
  6. Click 'Submit'.
Change company name

If you are swapping company 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, and attach a Certificate of Registration.

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 8 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.

Managing your online account 8 guides