How to Change an LLC Name in North Carolina? (Full Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 14, 2024
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As an LLC owner in North Carolina, you may want to change your business name at some point.

To help you complete an LLC name change, I consulted our team of legal experts to provide a comprehensive guide on the state requirements and corresponding procedures in North Carolina.

Read through the article and follow our step-by-step guide on how to complete the process.

Quick Summary

  • A North Carolina LLC has to submit an Amendment to the Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company form to change its name.
  • It costs $50 to change an LLC name in North Carolina.
  • Considering the Harris Poll data, which indicates that 63% of young consumers ages 18-34 support rebranding for brands with controversial names, North Carolina LLC owners might find a name change particularly beneficial in appealing to a younger demographic.
  • In my view, the ease of updating an LLC name in North Carolina offers a valuable avenue for businesses to refresh their brand and align more closely with their evolving company values and customer expectations.


3 Steps to Change an LLC Name in North Carolina

Looking at documents and someone handing over a pen

Here are the three steps you need to follow when changing your LLC's name, a move that could influence a vast segment of the business environment, especially given that small businesses, such as the 1 million in North Carolina represent 99.6% of the entire business community [1].

1. Choose a New North Carolina LLC Name

North Carolina State has naming requirements that you'll need to follow when choosing a business name.

The state expects:

  • The business name to contain the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviations "LLC" or "L.L.C".
  • The new business name to be distinct from other North Carolina business entities.
  • Your business name to not be confused with another business operating in the state.
  • Extra documentation if your business name contains certain restricted words [2].

Use North Carolina's Business Entity Search to check the availability of your name.

From our experience, the best way to check is to enter the chosen name, leaving off identifiers like "LLC" and all other boxes empty.

We also recommend you look up the availability of your company name as a web domain (URL). Next, you can quickly check the US Trademark Electronic Search System or US Patent to see if another party has previously trademarked your name.

Once our new business name was approved, we reserved it for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation Request form online and paying $30.

Note that you must file your Amendment within the 120-day window to avoid reserving the name again.

2. Get Member Approval For Name Change

Using a laptop to file amendment online

Seeking and obtaining member approval helps in preventing disputes within the LLC.

It ensures that the decision to change the name is made transparently and democratically, reducing the likelihood of disagreements or legal challenges from members later on.

3. File a North Carolina Amendment

Complete and file an Amendment to the Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company form to the North Carolina Secretary of State to change your LLC name.

The form requires the following:

  • The current name of the LLC on file with the state
  • The new name of the LLC
  • Effective date
  • Method of adoption, either by members or organizers
  • Signatures of the authorized person
  • Contact information

North Carolina LLCs Amendment to Articles of Organization filings may be made online, in person, or by mail [3].

"To file online, sign in to your account on the Secretary of State's Online Business Services portal."

-Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

Follow the prompted instructions to file.

Online filings are complete after submitting a $50 filing fee payable by credit card.

Submit 2 copies of the amendment document by mail to this mailing address:

North Carolina Secretary of State
Corporations Division
PO BOX 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

If you file in person, deliver to:

2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903

North Carolina LLCs amendments are processed in approximately 7-10 business days by the Secretary of State office if you file by mail. Online filings are approved in 3-5 business days.

The Secretary of State also allows same-day expedited processing if you file by noon at an extra $200 or 24-hour processing at $100.

The Secretary of State will email a certified copy once the document is approved if you provide your email address on the cover sheet for corporate filings.

Read more: How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in North Carolina

What to Do After You Change Your North Carolina LLC Name?

Businessmen holding important documents about changing an LLC name in North Carolina

After you change your North Carolina LLC name, you must update various areas of your business to reflect the change.

You should:

  • Notify government agencies: Update your business name with all other relevant government entities, including local and federal ones.
  • Update contracts and agreements: Update the North Carolina business name on all of your contracts including any employment or independent contractor agreements.
  • Inform banks and financial institutions: Update your LLC bank accounts, credit cards, checks, and all accounts associated with your LLC, like creditors, suppliers, etc.
  • Update your operating agreement: You'll need to formally update your North Carolina LLC Operating Agreement to reflect your new LLC name if you've previously created and adopted it.
  • Update licenses and permits: This ensures that all your business's legal documents are consistent with your new name, maintaining compliance with state and local regulations.
  • Notify clients and customers: Keeping your clients and customers informed about your new business name helps maintain trust, ensures continuity in your business relationships, and avoids any confusion in the marketplace.

Related articles:

Alternatives to LLC Name Change

In North Carolina, when looking for alternatives to changing the name of your LLC, consider these options:

DBA 

Filing a DBA allows your North Carolina LLC to operate under a different trade name, offering flexibility for branding without changing the legal name of the LLC.

Certificate of Correction

If there's a mistake in your original LLC filing documents in North Carolina, such as a typographical error in the name, you can file a Certificate of Correction to rectify this without undergoing a complete name change process.

FAQs

How Long Does It Take the State to Process a North Carolina LLC Amendment?

It takes 7-10 business days for the state to process a North Carolina LLC Amendment to Articles of Organization by mail and 3-5 business days online.

Can I Change My North Carolina LLC Name without Filing an Amendment?

No, you can't change your North Carolina LLC name without filing an amendment. The North Carolina Secretary of State approves name change after you've completed and submitted an Amendment to the Articles of Organization.


References:

  1. https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-NC.pdf
  2. https://www.sosnc.gov/Guides/launching_a_business/selecting_a_name 
  3. https://www.sosnc.gov/forms/by_title/

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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