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change company legal name in the UAE

How to Change Company Legal Name in the UAE

A solid business name can help identify a business apart from its competitors and tell potential and existing customers something meaningful regarding the brand. However, what should a business in UAE do when the name that it has been using is not effective or helpful in achieving its goals?

Although it is unwise for a business to constantly change its name just because the administration is in the mood to try something new, there’s a couple of instances wherein a change in the company’s legal name in UAE is for its best interests.

Here is how to change the company legal name in UAE: 

Process of Changing Company Legal Name in UAE  

The process of changing the company name of a business operating in UAE and under the jurisdiction of the Department of Economic Development involves two phases: obtaining the DED’s Initial Approval and following the Initial Approval.  

Securing of the Initial Approval  

In order to change the legal name of a company and secure the Initial Approval, a business has to compile and furnish the following: 

  • Proof of the trade name that is reserved; 
  • Application for registration and licensing; 
  • Original and copies of the license and the original certificate issued upon company registration with the Commercial Register; 
  • Ministry of Economy approval for UAE public shareholding companies, as well as foreign company branches that have been registered and approved by the Ministry; 
  • A board resolution that shows the agreement of changing of the name for a foreign company branch that is not registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy; 
  • A copy of a UAE company branch’s commerce registry. This applies as well to a GCC company branch, free zone company branch, and foreign company branch if it is operating with a professional license

Following Initial Approval

  • The local authorities shall publish in the local newspapers the change of name of a company for a certain duration; 
  • The local authorities will issue an amended Articles and Memorandum of Association when the company register is updated successfully.

Why PRO Services Should Be Sought by Business Owners

Why a Change of Company Legal Name May be Necessary 

Here are some of the common reasons as to why a business would consider changing its legal name: 

Trademark issues  

Occasionally, two or more companies run under one name. The names may also be very similar to the point wherein customers get confused as to the source of products. When this occurs, there is a good change one company will acquire a letter of cease and desist which is a request to stop using a similar name of another company.  

There is absolutely no surprise there. A business can lose money when someone else is operating under a name that is very similar to its name. Also, a business who was first in adopting a name that was intentionally or unintentionally copied will be at a huge disadvantage when another business gets caught up in an issue or scandal.  

It will have a reputational blow which affects the business when it is not supposed to. It is very important to make sure that your business’ name is unique and that you have full control over the message that your brand conveys.

Business is evolving  

A business constantly grows and it changes over time. There are names that can be adaptable to survive the growth; however, there are also those that do not. When a business already outgrows its name, it’s when company administration starts thinking of another brand.  

The name that you have hatched during the early days might no longer fit the market, brand and activities (including character) of the business. It is the best time to change the company’s name if you have recently switched to new products and services or you have merged with another business. You may also want to consider changing the name of your business if you have changed the mission or philosophy of your business significantly. 

The company name is not unique  

The name of a business has to stand out. A company’s legal name should not only support the overall brand identity of the business but also be unique. A generic name e.g. Publishing Services will not differentiate the business from competitors. It’s most definitely not memorable as well.  

Regardless of whether you’ve delivered fantastic products or services, customers that mean well may get your name wrong when they are asked for referrals. Worse, they may not remember at all! This is when the name of the business must be changed.

In the United Arab Emirates, the process on how to change a company legal name slightly differs, depending on the type of company that is being run. In order to get more tailored advice, call us here in FAR Consulting Middle East. Our team of Corporate PRO specialists will be able to address any concerns you have regarding the changing of the company legal name in the UAE.