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Registering a Company using a Dissolved Name


Re-using a Dissolved Company's Name

Dissolved company names are available to be re-used when setting up a new UK business.

The newly registered entity will be issued with a different company number and will in no way be related to the old dissolved business except that they will have the same name.

Any transactions that were entered into by the previous company will not be transferred to the new business. The two companies will be seen in law as separate legal entities, the same way that they are seen as distinct from the people who own and run them.

Reputation of the Dissolved Company

One practical consideration when registering a company and using a dissolved name is the reputation (if any) that the previous business may have had. For example, it might be some time until someone chooses to form a company using the names Polypec or Enron.

Setting up a company with these names would likely to be detrimental to the new business. The public would in all likelihood make an association between the new and old companies. This would happen even though the two companies would be completely separate businesses and run by a difference set of directors and probably engaged in different industrial sectors.

List of Dissolved Company Names

The list of dissolved names contained at Companies House can contain some attractive call signs. For people registering a company, it may be worth scouring the lists of dissolved names and perhaps the companies currently in liquidation. When these become available, they can be chosen and will cost no more than the standard £15 Companies House registration fee.

Problems Registering Dissolved Company Names

Company formation agents using electronic incorporation often have problems registering dissolved names. Many of their searches which interrogate the current and proposed lists (which also contain recently dissolved companies) at Companies House are unable to distinguish the status of the businesses returned in their searches. They therefore interpret any name found on these lists as taken.

This is not usually a serious problem in terms of purchasing a company with a recently dissolved name registered; it can however take longer to form as the purchaser would have to contact the company formation agent who will usually invoke some form of manual override to their system.

Once this has been done and the apllication has been sent to Companies House, the three hour clock then begins.

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