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Companies House red tape

Comment 12th July 2010

My company is a Group which owns a number of wholly owned subsidiary companies.  For commercial reasons (i.e. to help with branding issues), it would like two of these companies to swap their names.  Companies House has refused to allow this change because of regulations put in place by the last Government in October 2009.  The reasons given are that (a) swapping the name of one to the other cannot be allowed because there is already a company in existence with that name (this is despite the fact that we own that company!); and (b) there are other companies in existence with similar names (this is despite the fact that the two companies whose names are being swapped are already in existence – we are not creating new companies with new names!). 

This is clearly complete nonsense but it is actually the letter of the law put in place in October 2009.  I can only think that the drafting of this aspect of the law was hurried with little thought or understanding of the difficulties to be created for companies wishing to make such a simple change.  It is also very difficult to see what purpose this law serves.  Whose interests are being protected?

Therefore, this idea is to amend that aspect of the October 2009 regulations affecting company names.   

Why does this matter?

This change would remove a nonsensical error in the drafting of the law in October 2009 and allow Group companies to swap the names of companies they wholly own for commercial reasons.

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