Our client, a dormant publicly-traded company, wanted to sell its name and symbol to another publicly-traded company and revitalize itself in order to take on new business. To change the name and symbol of a company, a corporate action must be filed with FINRA after a change of name is filed with the Secretary of State in the state in which the business is incorporated. FINRA refused to accept the changes.
While a symbol change is well within the purview of the SEC and FINRA, a name change is made through the Secretary of State in the State where the corporation was formed and currently resides. We cleaned up the tax filing for the company and filed a name and symbol change after receiving an amended certificate of incorporation from the Secretary of State.
FINRA rejected the requested changes. We appealed the name and symbol change internally to FINRA, where it was again denied. We then appealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission to review FINRA’s decision. As a result, FINRA conceded to the symbol change but stood firm on the name change. Through subsequent briefing to the SEC, we were able to convince FINRA that it did not have the authority to deny the name change.
Due to our efforts, the company was able to change its name and symbol, and sell the symbol to a third party. It then began business anew.