Changing Name Of Your LLC: Free Guide 2023
Changing an LLC name is a significant decision that should not be taken lightly. Your business name is your brand and identity, and it is essential to choose a business name that accurately represents your company’s values and mission. Sometimes, businesses may need to change their LLC name due to rebranding, legal issues, or simply because their current business name no longer fits their business model. Changing your business name can be a complex process, but it can also provide new opportunities to ensure your business is not confused with competitors and to attract new customers.
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Reasons To Change The Name of Your LLC
There are several reasons to consider changing a business name. One of the most common reasons is due to rebranding efforts. Perhaps the business has evolved or expanded its services, and the name no longer accurately reflects what the company does. Alternatively, you may need to change to a new business name due to legal reasons, such as a trademark conflict or a merger with another company. Sometimes, businesses may also need to change their own name to better align with their target audience or to distance themselves from negative connotations associated with the current business name of your LLC. Whatever the reason, changing your limited liability company name can help you stay relevant, competitive, and better aligned with your business goals.
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Prepare Before You Change Your Business Name
There are several steps and local laws to understand changing the legal name of your LLC. Changing an LLC name involves filing an amendment with the state where the LLC was formed, updating internal documents, and updating branding materials. You could practice by using a fictitious business and going through the steps.
Research a New Available Business Name
The first step of the change process is to begin the proper research into the assumed name, trade name, DBA name, and any similar businesses to prevent brand confusion from your name change. Also, to change the business name, you will want to ensure that the name you choose is not already in use, is not too similar to a competitor, and that it accurately describes the business products or services that will be offered. A new business name can be researched through your Secretary of State office, through local Chambers of Commerce, or through state business offices.
Plan Your Rebranding Efforts
To plan a successful rebranding effort, you should conduct market research, identify your target audience, define your brand identity, develop a marketing strategy, and execute the rebrand with consistency and transparency. A good start is to use updated marketing materials with the new DBA name change.
Learn More About LLC Name Change Requirements
The requirements for changing a name vary by state, so it’s best to start by checking the website of the state’s Secretary of State office. They will typically have information on the process and any forms or fees required. You can also consult with an attorney or business advisor who can guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all requirements. This will include notifying all the members of your LLC.
Changing The Name of LLC In 5 Steps
Changing the legal name of your LLC can be a complex process, but by following a few key steps, you can ensure that the process goes smoothly. Here are six steps to changing the business name of your LLC, from researching state requirements to updating your branding materials.
File Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State
To file articles of amendment for an LLC, you will need to first obtain a copy of formation documents and original articles. Your state will have the articles of amendment form from the state where your LLC was formed; check the change box for the company name change. Next, fill out the form with your new company name change and any other required information and pay the filing fee. Next, submit the form and filing fee to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State’s office. This filing may take some time, so be patient. While you wait, you should update all of the business’s internal and external documents. This includes the articles of organization. Appropriate paperwork will also include branding materials with the new name change. Remember, the specific requirements and process may vary by state, so it’s best to consult with a legal professional or business entity advisor for guidance.
Amend Your LLC Operating Agreement
To amend an LLC’s operating agreement, members should review the current agreement and articles of organization, draft the proposed changes, and hold a vote. Once approved, members should sign and date the amended agreement and update all relevant records for the name change.
Notify IRS & Other Tax Agencies
The next step is to notify your state tax agency and the Internal Revenue Service. To notify the IRS and other government agencies about a business name change, you will need to update your business entity tax forms and other legal documents. You will first update the IRS Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) with the name change. You will also need to fill out an amended tax return; this would be necessary if you start the name change mid-year. Other updates will include your state tax forms and other legal documents, your business licenses, and your permits.
Notify Customers, Vendors & Companies
Further, you will need to notify relevant vendors, customers, and any business partners or other businesses that you work closely with about the legal business name change. It is important to note that specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on your location and the nature of your business, so it is always advisable to consult with a legal professional or business advisor for guidance. You should also update all marketing materials with the name change.
Change LLC Name on Business Accounts, Licenses & Contracts
To change the legal business name on contracts and other legal documents, you will need to review each document, draft an amendment to reflect the new name, and have all parties sign and date the amended document. It’s important to keep a record of all updated contracts for future reference. This will include closing the old one and creating a new business bank account, any credit card accounts, credit card companies, and other financial documents or bank accounts.
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The Top 2 Limited Liability Company Services
|Northwest Registered Agent||ZenBusiness|
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Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest’s suite of tools offers services at a reasonable price. The main difference between Northwest and similar entities is that Northwest only offers one paid plan for services. The initial cost is $39 to file the LLC paperwork; all other charges are due as per your state’s regulations. There is a separate option, called Pay In Full. With this option, which costs $225, Northwest will file the LLC, and provide agent services for one year, however, all other charges from state fees, etc., will still apply.
Northwest also has a strict no-data-selling policy and will provide pricing changes in advance. Northwest also offers the ability to pay by the month, with an auto-renew option.
Zenbusiness is a one-stop shop for SMB preparation. Through Zenbusiness you can search for available names, create articles of incorporation, find out the needed documentation for your state and federal filings and registrations, obtain an EIN, and build the business’s web presence through domain names, email, and domain privacy protection.
Zenbusiness offers three tiers of members.
For $49 (Starter Plan), you can form your company within 3 to 4 weeks, file LLC paperwork, get an annual compliance service, search for business names, have phone/email support, and have online document access. The Starter Plan does not automatically renew each year.
For $199 (Pro Plan), you get all of the Starter Plan benefits, plus extras including an operating agreement, expedited filing services, a virtual company guide, and Google Ads credit. The Pro Plan automatically renews each year.
For $299 per year (Premium Plan), you get all of the Starter Plan and Pro plan benefits plus extras including a website, a domain name, and an email address. The Premium Plan automatically renews each year.
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Changing the name of your LLC can be a significant undertaking, but it can also be a smart decision. By following the necessary steps to amend your LLC’s name with the state and update your internal and external documents, you can successfully rebrand your corporation name and attract new customers. Remember to consult with legal professionals to ensure that you meet all legal requirements and to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can change the legal name at any time, but consider carefully why you are changing the name because it is time-consuming in most states. You can do this whether the business is a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. Changing your LLC name can be difficult and will mean writing a new LLC operating agreement, even though this is the same company, changing the name on all business accounts, including business licenses, notifying licensing agencies, paying the required filing fee, filing paperwork, and notify any vendors or partners.
You will need to rebrand with the new business information so that your old customers can find you. To plan a successful rebranding effort, you should conduct market research, identify your target audience, define your brand identity, develop a marketing strategy, and execute the rebrand with consistency and transparency.
Everyone who has an ownership percentage with the business and membership interests in the business should be notified. Vendors, customers, and your various state entities will also need to know about the name change. In most states, this includes the secretary of state, any banks or financial institutions, the IRS, etc. The LLC or multi-member LLC transfer should notify all other LLC members, too.
Yes, a name change will require this in or to continue to conduct business. To amend an LLC’s operating agreement, members should review the current agreement, draft the proposed changes, and hold a vote. Once approved, members should sign and date the amended agreement and update all relevant records.
In some cases, a transfer will mean applying for a new EIN. In these cases, the old EIN will be voided and removed and the new number put in place. The old EIN will no longer be available for use.
Many will choose a registered agent with whom they conduct business to take care of these things. The agent or a freelance writer can assist in updating the LLC’s articles, and any written resolution, and may help brainstorm fictitious business name options for the change. No matter the business type, agents can be used for single-member LLCs and will understand local taxing agencies’ rules, how to create formation documents, and will become a type of corporate officer, although they won’t have a stake in the business.
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Business Name Change | Internal Revenue Service. www.irs.gov. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/business-name-change
Internal Revenue Service. Internal Revenue Service | An official website of the United States government. Irs.gov. Published 2019. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://www.irs.gov/
SE:W:CAR:MP. Form SS-4 (Rev. January 2010).; 2016. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf
IRS. Limited Liability Company LLC | Internal Revenue Service. Irs.gov. Published 2019. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/limited-liability-company-llc
Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement. www.sec.gov. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1345691/000119312512119426/d230618dex1012.htm