Tip of the month: difference between a name change and a transfer

What is the difference between a name change and a transfer?

In case of a name change, the statutory name of your company will change. It remains the same company, only the name has changed. If the holder/owner of a trademark or design changes, this will be a transfer. This is, for example, the case when the trademark or design holder changes from a natural person into a legal person.


  • Changing "Peter Bowles doing business as Bowlie" into "Bowlie Limited" is a transfer
  • Changing "Peter Bowles" into "John Newport" is a transfer
  • Changing "Peter Bowles Limited" into "Peter Bowles Holding Limited” can be a change of name or a transfer

A merger may involve a name change or a transfer. This depends on which party disappears and which party remains. If the current holder of the trademark or design is 'the remaining' party, the merger will result in a change of name of this holder. If the current holder is 'the disappearing' party, there will be a transfer from the current holder to the new holder.


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