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Who to inform when a company changes its name
Many business owners start their businesses with a particular vision. However, sometimes the vision changes along the way and the company name changes along with it. A name change can reflect a company’s new direction, and it is vital to inform the government agencies and relevant parties of this critical milestone. Therefore, we have collated a list of essential parties that should be notified in the event of a company name change.

ACCOUNTING AND CORPORATE REGULATORY AUTHORITY (ACRA)

Any official company name change needs to be lodged with ACRA by the company officer or its appointed registered filing agent.

INLAND REVENUE AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE (IRAS)

There is no need to inform or update IRAS separately of the change in the company name, as it will be automatically reflected in the system once the company name change is lodged with ACRA.

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)

The company needs to complete and submit an “Update MOM on changes to company name or paid-up capital form” together with its latest ACRA business profile (reflecting the new information). The form can be submitted via iSubmit found on MOM’s website.

CENTRAL PROVIDENT FUND (CPF) BOARD

If the company has a CPF account, the company needs to inform the CPF Board and attach either its latest ACRA business profile or its Certificate of Incorporation on Change of Name of Company. The CPF Board can be notified either via the online form/My Mailbox on CPF Board’s website or via written notice.

Banks

Most banks accept walk-ins at their branches where the company can complete and submit the relevant forms to change its name in the banks’ records. It is advisable to check with the bank what relevant supporting documents may be needed.

Customer & Suppliers

The company should issue a letter to its customers and suppliers to inform them of the impending change of the company name. Ideally, this should be carried out a few weeks or months prior to the change.

Business owners should also pay attention to changing the company name on collaterals and platforms such as:

  • company letterhead, invoices, brochures, common seal and stamps;
  • social media profiles, packaging and signage;
  • domain names, logos, trademarks and patents;
  • email signatures and other communications materials.

To avoid confusion, it is advisable to have the company’s former name appear after its present name in all company stationery for at least twelve (12) months. Under ACRA’s guidelines, all companies are required to state their company name and UEN on all business correspondences as outlined above.

It is important to take note that there is a difference between a company name and a trademark. Changing your company name does not automatically accord you trademark protection, which requires a separate registration.

More importantly, a change of name does not affect the company’s identity or any rights or obligations of the company. Any legal proceedings commenced by or against it under its former name may be continued or commenced by or against it under its new name.

Business owners who prefer to have the logistics of its name change outsourced to professionals can engage one of the many companies providing corporate secretarial services.