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Companies Act 1948

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Provisions with respect to Names of Companies

17Prohibition of registration of companies by undesirable names

No company shall be registered by a name which in the opinion of the Board of Trade is undesirable.

18Change of name

(1)A company may by special resolution and with the approval of the Board of Trade signified in writing change its name.

(2)If, through inadvertence or otherwise, a company on its first registration or on its registration by a new name is registered by a name which, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, is too like the name by which a company in existence is previously registered, the first-mentioned company may change its name with the sanction of the Board of Trade and, if they so direct within six months of its being registered by that name, shall change it within a period of six weeks from the date of the direction or such longer period as the Board may think fit to allow. If a company makes default in complying with a direction under this subsection, it shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds for every day during which the default continues.

(3)Where a company changes its name under this section, the registrar shall enter the new name on the register in place of the former name, and shall issue a certificate of incorporation altered to meet the circumstances of the case.

(4)A change of name by a company under this section shall not affect any rights or obligations of the company or render defective any legal proceedings by or against the company, and any legal proceedings that might have been continued or commenced against it by its former name may be continued or commenced against it by its new name.

19Power to dispense with "limited" in name of charitable and other companies

(1)Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade that an association about to be formed as a limited company is to be formed for promoting commerce, art, science, religion, charity or any other useful object, and intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects, and to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members, the Board may by licence direct that the association may be registered as a company with limited liability, without the addition of the word " limited " to its name, and the association may be registered accordingly and shall, on registration, enjoy all the privileges and (subject to the provisions of this section) be subject to all the obligations of limited companies.

(2)Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade—

(a)that the objects of a company registered under this Act as a limited company are restricted to those specified in the foregoing subsection and to objects incidental or conducive thereto; and

(b)that by its constitution the company is required to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects and is prohibited from paying any dividend to its members;

the Board may by licence authorise the company to make by special resolution a change in its name including or consisting of the omission of the word " limited ", and subsections (3) and (4) of the last foregoing section shall apply to a change of name under this subsection as they apply to a change of name under that section.

(3)A licence by the Board of Trade under this section may be granted on such conditions and subject to such regulations as the Board think fit, and those conditions and regulations shall be binding on the body to which the licence is granted, and (where the grant is under subsection (1) of this section) shall, if the Board so direct, be inserted in the memorandum and articles, or in one of those documents.

(4)A body to which a licence is granted under this section shall be excepted from the provisions of this Act relating to the use of the word " limited " as any part of its name, the publishing of its name and the sending of lists of members to the registrar of companies.

(5)A licence under this section may at any time be revoked by the Board of Trade, and upon revocation the registrar shall enter the word " limited " at the end of the name upon the register of the body to which it was granted, and the body shall cease to enjoy the exemptions and privileges or, as the case may be, the exemptions granted by this section:

Provided that, before a licence is so revoked, the Board shall give to the body notice in writing of their intention, and shall afford it ah opportunity of being heard in opposition to the revocation.

(6)Where a body in respect of which a licence under this section is in force alters the provisions of its memorandum with respect to its objects, the Board of Trade may (unless they see fit to revoke the licence) vary the licence by making it subject to such conditions and regulations as the Board think fit, in lieu of or in addition to the conditions and regulations, if any, to which the licence was formerly subject.

(7)Where a licence granted under this section to a body the name of which contains the words " Chamber of Commerce " is revoked, the body shall, within a period of six weeks from the date of revocation or such longer period as the Board of Trade may think fit to allow, change its name to a name which does not contain those words, and—

(a)the notice to be given under the proviso to subsection (5) of this section to that body shall include a statement of the effect of the foregoing provisions of this subsection; and

(b)subsections (3) and (4) of the last foregoing section shall apply to a change of name under this subsection as they apply to a change of name under that section. If the body makes default in complying with the requirements of this subsection, it shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds for every day during which the default continues.

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