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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Changing your charity's name

On occasion a charity may wish, or need, to change its name.

If a registered charity changes its name, the Commission must be notified as soon as possible. This will ensure that information available on the public register of charities remains accurate and up to date.

If a registered charity is also registered for charitable tax status with HMRC, it must inform HMRC of its name change. If a registered charity is a charitable company it must notify Companies House of its name change.

If the charity is not yet registered by the Commission please click here for information on notifying the Commission.

The Commission can object to a charity’s name and, in certain circumstances, can direct it to be changed. For example, if the name:

  • is the same as or, in the opinion of the Commission, too like that of another charity
  • is likely to mislead the public as to the nature of the charity
  • is likely to give the impression that the charity is connected in some way with a government department, council, body or individual, when it is not
  • is offensive.

The Commission has produced guidance, available below, for charities that are considering changing, or have changed, their name.

Download CCNI EG020 Changing your charity's name guidance PDF (914.3 KB)

Use the online Name change: notification form below to notify the Commission of the change of name:

Name change: notification form

Charities which are not yet registered

If your charity is not yet registered with the Commission there is no requirement to notify the Commission of your name change. It is, however good practice to notify the Commission of the name change to ensure any details we hold for your organisation remain accurate. 

To notify the Commission first check the register of charities and the applications in progress list.  If your organisation is included, please use the Contact us form to update your details. 

If it is not included, please complete the online Expression of Intent form (external link) to provide your details to the Commission, including your previous and new name in the Special circumstances box.  This will also enable you to be called forward to apply for charity registration at a future date. 

Please note that submitting an Expression of Intent form does not mean that you will be called forward immediately, registration is a managed process and further guidance can be found in the Registration support section.