If you want to change the name of your Ohio LLC, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we will walk you through each step of the process and explain what needs to be done.
You don't want to miss anything, so it's important that you read this guide carefully. Let's get started.
Step 1: Following the Naming Requirements
Your former Ohio LLC name must have followed the naming guidelines proposed by the Ohio Secretary of State; otherwise, your former LLC wouldn't legally operate. Your new Ohio LLC name should follow the same rules.
A business name for a domestic limited liability company in Ohio must contain the following words: "limited liability company," "company," "incorporated," or "limited."
The name cannot contain any language that implies that the limited liability company offers more than a limited liability.
The full legal name of the domestic LLC must be used in all filings, including Articles of Organization and other initial documents.
Restricted words and phrases (e.g., "Bank," "University") cannot be used in the name of an Ohio LLC unless your company obtains a specific exemption from the state.
The Ohio Secretary of State website offers detailed information about business names for LLCs.
Step 2: Check LLC Name Availability
Business owners must always check whether their desired new LLC name is available. Ohio Secretary of State has a business name search tool that allows business owners to search for a business name and determine if it is already in use.
If the desired LLC name is not available, then the business owner must choose another name. If the desired business name is available, the business owner can reserve it.
Apart from the search tool available at the Secretary of State website, you can also utilize other available methods to see if other businesses are using your desired name.
Make sure to check social networking sites like LinkedIn or Twitter or conduct a simple Google search. If there is a company conducting business under your name, chances are you will have to go for another one.
Step 3: File a Name Reservation Request
Ohio Secretary of State allows business owners to reserve their company name for 180 days before they register it.
If you want to register under a different name but still have to sort out other legal matters for your limited liability company, you can ensure a new business name by reserving it.
All you have to do is file an Application for the Reservation of Name with the Ohio Secretary of State and pay the applicable filing fee.
The required filing fee for online applicants is $25, while mail filing costs $39.
Make sure to provide the necessary information when reserving your new name. Your mailing address, name, and contact information of your registered agent in Ohio (statutory agent) and the company's type are all needed.
After you have filed your request, it will be processed within five business days. You will then receive a certificate of reservation that confirms your new name.
Step 4: Amend your Articles of Incorporation
If your limited liability company plans to operate under a different name, you have to change the initial Articles of Incorporation by filing an LLC amendment form with the Ohio Secretary of State.
If you are not changing your formal business structure or your registered agent, the name change will only require you to file the Articles of Amendment for the business name change.
Update Form 543 (A), also called Domestic Limited Liability Company Certificate of Amendment, allows you to change the name of your LLC.
There is a $50 filing fee for this form. You can file for the Certificate of Amendment online or by mail.
Once processed, a certified copy of your Certificate of Amendment will be sent to your operating address.
Authorized shares and/or par value can also be changed as part of this filing. If you are changing your LLC's registered agent, the name change process is a little more complicated.
The same goes for the change in your business structure. For example, if you are changing from a sole proprietorship to an LLC or switching from a single-member LLC to a multi-member LLC (ownership change).
How Much Does It Cost to Change the Name of an LLC in Ohio?
To file an Ohio amendment to change your LLC name, you need to pay a $50 filing fee to the Secretary of State.
However, you can also opt for expedited service at an additional cost. Expedited service allows an Ohio business to speed up the filing of the LLC amendment to two days.
The Secretary of State charges an additional $100 filing fee for expedited services. This option is only available for walk-in and mail filings.
How Long Does It Take to Change the Name of an Ohio LLC?
A domestic limited liability company in Ohio usually has to wait for seven business days before the Secretary of State processes an Ohio amendment for a name change. Expedited service allows you to file LLC an amendment form quicker (just two days), but it costs an additional $100.
Can I Change the Name of My Foreign LLC in Ohio?
Yes. If your Ohio business is registered as a foreign entity, you have to file a name update form with the Secretary of State.
The form is called the "Statement of Foreign Entity Name." You can find it on the Secretary of State's website. There is a $50 filing fee, and your new name has to be approved by the state.
How Do I Change My DBA in Ohio?
Ohio requires sole proprietorships to file Form 524. If you are a sole proprietor conducting business under a trade name, you can't file the same form as LLCs or corporations. The trade name must be registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. You can file online or by mail.
Does LLC Have to Be In the Name in Ohio?
Yes. Unless your business structure is a sole proprietorship, your company name has to contain the word LLC or any other abbreviation of it. On the other hand, a sole proprietorship can operate with just a DBA, and their name doesn't have to contain LLC.
Can You Reserve a Company Name in Ohio?
Yes, you can reserve a company name in Ohio by filing an Application for the Reservation of Name with the Ohio Secretary of State. The required filing fee is $25 for online applicants and $39 if you file by mail.
Please note that your reserved company name will be valid for 180 days after it has been approved. If you do not file your initial Articles of Organization within this timeframe, the name will become available for other businesses to reserve.
What Is the Difference Between a Trade Name and a Fictitious Name in Ohio?
Fictitious names are also known as assumed names. This is when someone wants to do business under a name that is not their legal name. To do this in Ohio, you must file a Fictitious Name Statement with the County Clerk's office where your LLC is located.
There is no statewide filing requirement for trade names. A trade name is simply the name of your business, which can be the same as your legal name. You do not need to file a trade name statement with any government agency.
However, if you use a trade name instead of your legal name in advertising or on contracts, you may want to register it with the Ohio Secretary of State.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Ohio LLC Certificate of Amendment?
You can obtain a confirmation copy of your Certificate of Amendment from the Ohio Secretary of State Corporation Division.
To order a copy, download the CERTIFICATION / COPY REQUEST form from their website, fill it in, and mail it to the Ohio Secretary of State. Include your check or money order payable to the Ohio Treasurer in the amount of $25.00 for each document requested.
How to Change the Name of an LLC in Ohio...
If you're still feeling uncertain about the process or have specific questions that weren't answered in this post, it might be a good idea to speak to an attorney. A professional will be able to guide you through the steps of changing your LLC name in Ohio and answer any lingering questions you may have.