How to Change an LLC Name (Based on Our Experience)
As a business owner changing your LLC name is a major step when your company is expanding to offer different products and services and you feel the current name does not fit.
To help you take the right steps, I teamed up with our licensed LLC lawyers and spent countless hours researching the correct and updated information on LLC name change.
This article shares a comprehensive step-by-step guideline for changing an LLC name and the key things you must do after adopting the new name.
- To change an LLC name you must file the Articles of Amendment with the Department of State and pay the filing fee.
- In most states, you can submit the Articles of Amendment online, by mail, or in person.
- After changing the name, it's crucial to update the LLC's operating agreement and other internal documents.
- Business owners can also use a DBA or Certificate of Correction to change their business names.
3 Steps To Change An LLC Name
To change the name of your LLC, you must follow these three steps:
Step 1: Choose A New LLC Name
When changing an LLC name in the United States, the first and crucial step is to choose a new name for your LLC.
Each state has its own rules regarding LLC names.
Generally, the name must include an indicator of its limited liability status, such as:
- Limited Liability Company
The chosen name must be distinguishable from other business names already registered in your state. In our case, we checked the availability of a name through our state's business filing agency's website.
Ensure that your new LLC name does not infringe on existing trademarks by conducting a trademark search through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
In today's digital world, we also recommend checking if a suitable domain name is available for your new LLC name.
Step 2: Get Member Approval For Name Change
To secure approval for an LLC name change, start by organizing a formal meeting of the LLC members, following the guidelines set out in the operating agreement or as per state laws.
Send out a notice in advance that includes details about the proposed new name, the reasons for the change, and the agenda for the meeting. At the meeting, explain the reasons for the proposed name change and encourage members to share their views.
Obtain a majority vote for the new name, making sure it aligns with any supermajority clauses in the operating agreement, if applicable.
It's advisable to record the decision in the minutes of the meeting and to update relevant legal documents, such as the Articles of Organization, to officially register the new name.
Step 3: File Articles of Amendment
Filing Articles of Amendment is a critical step in the process of completing a Limited Liability Company name change in the United States.
The Articles of Amendment is a legal document that officially records changes to your LLC's original Articles of Organization.
When changing our LLC's name, this document clearly stated the current name of our LLC and the new name we wished to adopt.
Apart from the old and new names of the LLC, the Articles of Amendment may require additional information such as:
- Date of the original Articles of Organization
- The effective date of the name change
- A statement of the member's approval of the change
There is usually a fee associated with filing Articles of Amendment; the amount varies by state. For example, when changing the name of our Colorado LLC we paid $25.
The completed Articles of Amendment can be filed with the state’s business filing agency, often the Secretary of State's office by mail, online, by mail, or in person.
After filing, it’s important to obtain a confirmation (usually in the form of a stamped copy of the filed document) for your records. In our case, this served as legal proof of the name change.
What To Do After You Change Your Name?
After successfully changing your LLC name, you must update the new name in different aspects of your business and complete these key steps:
- Update your operating agreement: If you have the LLC's operating agreement, it is important to file an Amendment to Operating Agreement with your state.
- Notify clients and customers: Notifying all your customers of the newly legal business name is important so that there are no billing issues in the future after the name change.
- Inform banks and financial institutions: it is important to notify all banks and financial institutions of the new LLC name to avoid billing issues in future transactions to your business bank account. Changing the name on your business bank accounts will help you order new checks and credit cards.
- Notifying government agencies: It's essential to inform government entities about an LLC name change to ensure legal compliance and accurate tax records.
- Updating licenses and permits: Revise licenses and permits to reflect the new LLC name, maintaining regulatory compliance and business legitimacy.
- Updating contracts and agreements: Alter contracts and agreements to include the updated LLC name, ensuring their legal enforceability and clarity in business relationships.
Alternatives to LLC Name Change
Apart from filing the amendment certificate, here are two alternative ways to change an LLC name.
For a business owner to change their business name, you will need to register for a Fictitious Name or DBA (Doing Business As) with your local business license office.
The new business name must be distinguishable from the existing names of other business entities already on file.
Ensure the Fictitious Name or DBA document is filed before you file Articles of Amendment, Articles of Organization, or Articles of Incorporation.
Certificate of Correction
A Certificate of Correction is used to correct errors or omissions in the original LLC formation documents, such as the Articles of Organization.
This is suitable for minor corrections, like typographical errors in the LLC’s name, and is not intended for complete name changes.
Filing a Certificate of Correction involves submitting a form to the state’s business filing agency, indicating the error and the correct information.
The changes that can be made with a Certificate of Correction are limited and cannot be used to alter the nature or scope of the business significantly.
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How to Change an LLC Name - Choose Your State:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How Long Does It Take for a Business Name to Be Approved by the State After Filing Forms?
It takes 1-14 days for a business name to be approved by the State after filing forms. The processing time varies and is determined on a state-by-state basis.
How Much Does It Cost to Rename My LLC?
It can cost anywhere from $10-$100 to rename your LLC. The amount will vary depending on your state.
Is It Possible to Update the Name on Your Ein?
Yes, it is possible to update the name on your EIN after adopting a new name. You will need to contact the IRS and inform them of your request.
Is There Tax or Other Consequences to Changing Your LLC Name?
Changing your LLC name does not have any direct tax or legal consequences for things like liability protection, taxes, or business filings.