Changing your society's rules or name
How to request a change, and what's required
An incorporated society can change the rules that govern how it is run. So it’s worth reviewing your rules periodically to make sure they stay relevant. You may wish to seek legal advice when doing this.
It’s free to update your society’s rules on the register. A change to your rules must be made according to the procedures outlined in your existing set of rules. Any changes must also comply with the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.
A rule change takes effect only when you have registered it with us. Until then, your society and members must follow the existing rules. To check that a change has been registered, you can search the Incorporated Societies Register.Search for societies
Need help revising your rules?
To help you draft or revise your society rules, we have a help guide on drafting rules for a society. We also have a ‘do-it-yourself’ online tool — the ‘Constitution Builder’. If you're making significant changes to your constitution, you may find this tool useful.Use our Constitution Builder tool
Let us know what you think
We’re keen to refine the Constitution Builder tool to make it as useful as we can, so we’d love to hear your feedback.
Let us know what you think of our Constitution Builder tool
Changing your society’s name
If you wish to change your society’s name, you’ll need to follow the same process as that for changing your rules. This is because a society’s name is established by its rules – in fact, it’s the first rule of an incorporated society.
Before deciding on a new name, be sure that you can use it.
Once we have registered the name change, we will send you a new Certificate of Incorporation stating the new name.
What you’ll need to provide
When changing your rules, or your name, you’ll need to submit:
- a copy of the updated rules with the alterations highlighted OR
a copy of the rule (or rules) that have been changed.
This must be signed by 3 members of the society.
- If you’re filing manually, you'll also need to complete and include Form IS2: ‘Certificate for alteration of rules’.
How to change your rules or name
To update your society’s rules or name online
To change your rules or your society's name using our online services, you must have:
- a RealMe® login
- an online services account with the Companies Office
- authority to manage information on behalf of your incorporated society.
- Log in to your online services account.
- On the dashboard, select the incorporated society for which you wish to file a rule change from 'My Businesses'.
- On the 'View Details' page, select ‘Maintain Incorporated Society’ and, from the drop-down menu, choose ‘Change Society Rules/Change Society Name’.
- Confirm whether your rule change involves a name change. (Alternatively, you can click the 'Name Change' button on the 'View Details' page.)
- If yes, enter the proposed name. You can use the ‘Name availability check’ button to ensure the new name is available.
- Upload a copy of the updated rules.
- Include any documents to support your change of rules or change of name.
- Tick the certification box.
- Complete the signatory details and click ‘Submit’.
To submit a rule change manually
- Download Form IS2 – Certificate for alteration of rules.
- Complete the form, making sure the confirmation box is ticked if the alteration involves a change of name for your society.
- Attach a copy of the updated rules, signed by 3 members of the society, and any other supporting documents.
Send your completed form to us.
By post to —
Private Bag 92061
Victoria Street West
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens next
Reviewing your request may take up to 3 working days. We'll send you an email or letter confirming the rule or name change has been registered.
Any change of name takes effect from the date we update the register. At that time we'll issue an updated Certificate of Incorporation.
A name change does not affect the rights or liabilities of the incorporated society, and doesn't affect legal proceedings by, or against, the society. Legal proceedings taken against the society under its former name may be continued against it under its new name.