The Procedure of Changing Company Legal Name in the UAE

There may come a time when a company will have to change its name. The reason can be intentional or as a result of some external pressure such as your name being very similar to that of another brand. Regardless of why you need to change your company name, it is important to make sure you adhere to the correct legal procedures. The UAE has some of the strictest company name changing policies when dealing with both local and international companies within its branches across the UAE.

The Department of Economic Development is the government body responsible for this process. However, various registration authorities offer the same services for a fee. It is also important to note that the Legal company change name process is done in two phases: The Initial DED Approval and Following Initial Approval.

Acquisition of Initial DED approval

Before you can initiate a company name change process in the United Arab Emirates you have to satisfy various requirements being:

  1. Providing proof of Trade Name Reservation.
  2. Original and Photocopy of Registration Licenses and certificates issued by the Commercial Register.
  3. Approval from The Ministry of the Economy for Public Shareholding Companies in the UAE.
  4. A Shareholder’s resolution stating the new name.

It is good to know that the responsible registration authority has the right to request additional requirements during this process.

Following the initial approval

After submitting all the required documents to the DED, following the initial approval begins. During this phase, the local authorities will publish a company’s name change for a given period of time. If there are no objections they will then issue an amended Articles and Association’s Memorandum. This is only done after the company register’s a successful name update.

Why would you want to change a company name in the UAE?

There are many reasons why you would want to change the name of your company, some of which include:

  1. When a company expands its activities – When a company grows and decides to venture into other sectors a name change may be required to make the company’s name relevant over the old and new sectors. For example, Starbucks Coffee had to change its name to Starbucks after deciding that they will no longer be dealing with just coffee but baked products as well.
  2. Trademark issues – As an example, let us say that a company name be registered and then another company for whatever reason is allowed to register a very similar sounding name. A possible impact of this is that either company may lose customers because of the confusion over the very similar company names. To solve this particular situation and establish a unique brand, one or both of the companies may decide to change their name.
  3. Rebranding – A name change can result from rebranding even if the company is not intending to expand or introduce new goods and services. Rebranding here would mean picking a new name more relevant to their revised target audience. Some companies decide to change their name simply because they feel a new name is more suitable for the company and its objectives.

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Things to consider when thinking about a company name change

While there are general company name change laws that govern the United Arab Emirates, it is important to note that these laws may not affect all the emirate states. Places like Abu Dhabi Global market and Dubai have separate internal name changing laws. It is therefore important to know where your company will operate before knowing which law to work with.

A company usually registers two names, the legal business name and the operating name for naming change. Depending on the state you are in the UAE, you may be required to register only the legal name or both names. Many people don’t know the difference between the two names. A good example of a company with both names is KFC which is the operating name for the legal business and Kentucky Fried Chicken for all else.

Need to change your company name? Let us help you

If you are a company looking to change your company name let us here at Payroll Middle East will assist you. We have a seasoned team of Corporate PRO‘s that is more than capable of helping you.

Feel free to call to make a booking with us today for an initial consultation.