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All about changing your legal company name

October 30, 2022
Author
Amal Eeckhout
Legal Company name change

Simplifying the Legal Company Name Change Process in the UAE

Changing your legal company name in the UAE can seem daunting due to various formalities and obstacles. However, with clear guidance and a strategic approach, the process can be streamlined and efficient.

Key Reasons to Consider a Name Change

Understanding the reasons behind a name change can help in making informed decisions:

Trademark Issues

  • Risk of Customer Confusion: If another company has a similar name, it could lead to customer confusion, especially if both companies operate in the same sector.
  • Potential for Reputation Damage: There's a risk that the other company could engage in fraudulent activities, negatively impacting your company's reputation by association.

Rebranding

  • Aligning with New Goals: When expanding with new products/services or undergoing a rebrand, a name change can reflect the new direction and quality of your company.

Avoiding a Common Name

  • First Impressions Matter: Your company name is often the first impression you make. A unique name helps in establishing a strong, memorable identity.

Navigating Legalities and Regulations

Being aware of the legal framework and specific requirements is crucial:

Understanding UAE's General Laws

  • The UAE has overarching laws for company name changes, but they vary across different Emirates.

Knowing Your State's Specific Rules

  • It's important to be aware of the rules in the state where your company is registered.

Requirement of Dual Registration

  • Companies in the UAE generally register two names: the legal business name and the operating name. In some Emirates, a change might require updating both names.

The Step-by-Step Process for Name Change

A structured approach can simplify the name change process:

Preliminary Research

  • Understand the specific requirements for your state and prepare accordingly.

Document Preparation

  • Gather necessary documents, including proof of trade name reservation and shareholder resolutions.

Submission to Authorities

  • Submit the required documents to the relevant department, such as the Department of Economic Development (DED).

Securing Approval

  • Await the publication of the company's name change and the issuance of amended articles and association memorandum, following no objections.
change company name legally

Detailed Process for Company Name Change in the UAE

The process of changing your company's legal name in the UAE involves several critical steps, each requiring careful attention to detail.

Step 1: Obtaining Initial Approval from the Department of Economic Development (DED)

The initial DED approval is a crucial first step in the name change process. To start, you need to meet specific requirements:

  • Proof of Trade Name Reservation: This document confirms that the new name you have chosen is reserved and approved for your use.
  • Shareholder Resolution: A formal decision documented by your company's shareholders, stating the new name.
  • Registration Licenses and Certificates: Provide the original and a copy of all relevant licenses and certificates issued by the commercial register.
  • Approval from the Ministry of the Economy: This is specifically required for public shareholding companies in the UAE.
  • Be Prepared for Additional Requirements: Depending on your business type and location, there may be other documents or approvals needed.

Step 2: Securing Initial Approval

Once you have submitted the necessary documents to the DED, the process to secure initial approval starts:

Publication of Name Change:

  • The local authorities will publish your company's intended name change. This step is essential for transparency and public record.

Waiting Period for Objections:

  • After the publication, there is a waiting period to allow for any objections to the proposed name change.

Issuance of Amended Documents:

  • If there are no objections, the DED will issue an Amended Articles of Association and Memorandum. These documents are legal proof of your company's new name.

Important Considerations

  • Timeliness: Ensure all documents are accurate and submitted promptly to avoid delays.
  • Legal Compliance: Adhering to all legal requirements and regulations is essential for a smooth process.
  • Professional Guidance: Consider seeking advice from legal professionals or consultants who specialize in UAE business law for a hassle-free experience.