How to change the ownership of a company

In the course of a company’s life it may be necessary to change the ownership of the company. It could be for a variety of reasons such as:

–          You might be selling the company on to someone else

–          You might have made a mistake in submitting information when you registered the company.

We have often come across the latter scenario. In the digital age of online company formation it is easy to enter the wrong name or the wrong address and click the submit button.

Imagine a scenario where the company was supposed to be in your name, you should have been the director and the shareholder but you gave your daughter’s details in the shareholder’s page when forming the company. Now that this mistake is made, you are having difficulty opening a bank account.

So, what is the solution?

You will need to transfer the shares from your daughter’s name to your name by completing a form J30 stock transfer form. In order to do this, you will need your daughter’s consent. This can be obtained on the stock transfer form which has to be completed with your daughter’s name, address and signature in the box asking for the details of the transferor. The details of you, the new shareholder will have to be entered in the box asking for the details of the transferee. On the back of the form, your daughter will have to make a declaration that the share or shares are being transferred as a gift and no money was exchanged. This will make the transfer of shares exempt from stamp duty.

However, your problems will not end here because the stock transfer form is an internal company document and the share transfer does not have to be registered at Companies house until it is time to file the company’s annual return. A member of the public or bank official carrying out a search at Companies House will still see your daughter as the registered shareholder (owner) of the company until an annual return has been filed to show the transfer of shares. Until such time your only evidence of ownership of the company will be the signed stock transfer form and the share certificate which the company secretary should have issued from the company’s statutory register, assuming that you purchased a statutory company register when you registered the company.

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