Last Updated: March 17, 2023
In a dynamic environment, you may have realized the need to change the name of your LLC. This article addresses such questions as can you change the name of an LLC and the process of doing so.
Can You Change the Name of an LLC?
Changing the business name of an LLC is possible. But it’s a lengthy and time-consuming process. Therefore, you should only do so if you’re absolutely sure of it.
Some possible reasons for a name change include:
- Rebranding – Perhaps your business has rebranded itself over time, and you need a new name to promote it.
- Correcting a Typo – This, however, requires a separate form in many states and is usually a shorter process than a full name change.
- Suiting Business Needs – A new name might be a better fit for your business. With changing times, it’s necessary to keep updated.
Before You Change an LLC Name
Before deciding to change your name, you could consider registering a DBA (doing business as) name, which is a fictitious business name under which an LLC can operate. You can use this if you’re looking to launch new products or services and need a new name that works well. This ensures that you don’t go through the complete name-changing procedures just for a new product.
It’s a good idea to conduct thorough research before changing your LLC name. State laws significantly vary with LLC name changes, and proper research will help you understand the process.
‘What should I name my LLC’ is a common question when considering changes to a business.
You should first look into the availability of your chosen name. The majority of states do not allow an LLC to operate with a name that is already taken.
Having the same name as other companies will also hamper your trademark process and could be a reason another company sues you for trademark infringement.
You can quickly check out names on the website of the Secretary of State. Each state, however, operates differently. For example, Alabama permits several LLCs to have the same name—which is an exception to the rule.
Generally, there are rules that each state follows. For example, you cannot:
- Take the name of a leading company.
- Name your soft drink brand the same as Coca-Cola (or other brands).
- Name your LLC after an already existing company operating in the same industry as you.
How to Change an LLC Name
Consider this step-by-step guide of how to change your LLC name after you’ve checked the name availability. The name-changing procedures, however, may vary from state to state.
Obtain Formal Approval
First, obtain a formal agreement of all your partners for the new name. This serves as an official document in case of any future discrepancies. Many states will deny the request even if one partner doesn’t approve.
Amend Your Articles of Organization
After deciding upon your new name, contact your state agency for an Articles of Amendment form (or Certificate of Amendment). The amendment request also requires a filing fee. The forms required may vary from state to state, and approval typically takes up to 30 days.
In many states, if you want to correct a typo in your name, you must fill out a Certificate of Correction (or LCC name correction) form. Moreover, if you’re changing the name because your company merged with another, you’ll need to fill out a Certificate of Merger form.
How Much Does It Cost to Change an LLC Name?
Expenditures for changing the name also vary from state to state. The cost of the amendment form, alone, typically ranges from $20.00 to $150.00. The price is not only limited to the forms; you must also pay for changing your name on various online platforms, such as those located on social media. Costs are also associated with the purchasing of a website domain name or logo change.
Post LLC Name Change
You need to take a few additional steps to ensure a smooth transition of your business name to a new one, including informing various organizations and people. (In this regard, you could seek the help of an LLC service.) Note three steps to take:
Agencies who have issued you licenses, lease agreements, and other permits should be informed once you change the name of LLC—even local, state, and federal tax agencies should be notified. You also need to update your registered agent—make sure you choose only the best one.
Update Financial Records
Your LLC financial records should also be updated, which includes bank accounts, business loans, insurance policies, client contracts, and other financial documents.
Notify and Publicize
If you’ve been in business for a long time, you should inform everyone about the change of your name—update your website and social media accounts, and notify vendors, clients, and media. And amend your bills, brochures, invoices, and business cards, even office stationery.
Changing the name of LLCs is a long and time-consuming process. You first need to obtain a formal agreement from all your partners, then fill out an Articles of Amendment form. After the name change, you’ll need to inform your bank, the IRS, and other authorities about the change, including the media and customers. The cost of this change significantly varies from state to state. The entire process of name changing will take a minimum of 30 days.
You can visit the IRS website and send the name change information letter by post to the given address, which should include such necessary information as your EIN, former company name, and the new one.
No, your LLC name doesn’t need to be the same as your business name. An LLC is a legal name, whereas your business name can represent your brand.
This is often the next question asked after, ‘can you change the name of an LLC?’ You don’t need a new EIN; you simply need to inform the IRS of your name change.