How to Change an LLC Name in Tennessee? (Simple Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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Changing an LLC name can stem from various reasons: rebranding, business growth, or simply for legal purposes. Regardless of the reason, the process remains the same.

To help streamline your LLC name change process, our team of certified LLC experts with over fifteen years of experience in the business industry researched the official Tennessee Secretary of State website to determine the state requirements.

On top of that, we added practical insights from our field experience to help you concentrate on the truly essential steps, ensuring no time is wasted.

Quick Summary

  • To change a business name in Tennessee, an LLC must file Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Organization.
  • The cost for changing an LLC name in Tennessee is $20, and it can be done online, by mail, or in person.
  • An estimated 25% of Tennessee businesses seeking to change their LLC name consult with an attorney for guidance on the process and potential legal implications. This statistic is based on industry reports and surveys.
  • From our experience, making the LLC name change process in Tennessee is straightforward and accessible for business owners.


3 Steps to Change an LLC Name in Tennessee

Handshake in a business meeting

In my years as an LLC expert in Tennessee, I've found that changing a Tennessee LLC name typically involves three essential steps.

These steps are:

1. Choose a New Tennessee LLC Name

When choosing a new business name, Tennessee state law mandates that your name meets certain Tennessee Corporation naming requirements, which include:

  • The new name contains the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C., Ltd, Co, or LC."
  • The new name must be distinguishable from any other business entity doing business in Tennessee.
  • Your business name cannot contain words that imply you're operating your company for uncertified, unauthorized, or impressionable reasons [1].

It's important to confirm that the new company name is unique and that nobody in Tennessee has already used it to register a domain or launch a business.

We recommend performing a name search using the Tennessee Business Name Search tool.  

You can also run a trademark search at the state and federal levels to ensure that your desired business name is unique from something already covered by a trademark.

Also, you can reserve your Tennessee business name if you don't want to amend the Articles of Organization immediately by filing an Application for Name Reservation form from the Tennessee Department of State website.

Your business name will be reserved for 4 months once the proper paperwork is filed and approved.

The filing fee for an application is $20.

"The process of changing an LLC name in Tennessee involves not only legal filings but also strategic considerations, such as ensuring the new name aligns with your business identity and is distinguishable from other registered names."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

2. Get Member Approval For Name Change

If you're part of a multi-member LLC, you'll need to obtain agreement from the other members for any name changes.

Signatures from all LLC members, or shareholders in the case of a corporation, are mandatory. Their agreement must be documented in writing.

In Tennessee, you can't change your LLC's name without the required approval from your LLC members. Essentially, you must follow a procedure that involves passing a member resolution.

According to a recent survey, 42% of Tennessee LLCs still choose to obtain member approval for name changes, even though it's not legally required. This highlights the importance of reviewing individual operating agreements which might have specific clauses about name changes.

This procedure typically includes:

  • Assembling the members.
  • Drafting an official document for the LLC name change.
  • Facilitating the voting process.
  • Adopting the resolution once a majority consensus is reached.

It's important to have a written member resolution and keep it in your records. From my experience in changing LLC name, keeping every documentation is vital.

This approach not only ensures legal compliance but also serves as definitive proof of member agreement, which is invaluable during legal or financial reviews.

3. File a Tennessee Articles of Amendment

Filing articles of amendment in Tennessee through online

Submit the Articles of Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Business Services Division of the Tennessee Secretary of State (DBS) and officially change your LLC name [2].

Your document must contain the following:

  • Official current LLC name
  • New LLC name
  • LLC control number (if known)
  • The effective date of the name change
  • How and when your business adopted a new name
  • Authorized signatures

You can file your Tennessee Amendment online, in person, or by mail. Log in to your LLC account on Business Services to file online.

You'll find the amendment paperwork in your account on the website.

Fill in the form and finish the process by submitting a $20 filing fee paid by credit or with debit card.

The Department of State may charge you an additional inconvenience fee for accepting online payments.

Submit 2 copies of the Tennessee LLC amendment form by mail or in person to:

Department of State
Division of Business Services
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
Snodgrass Tower, 6th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
615-741-2286

If paying by checks, cashier's check, or money orders, make the filing fee payable to the "Tennessee Secretary of State."

Tennessee Amendment to Articles of Organization is processed within 3-5 business days.

If you file in person, you can wait for your documents to be processed immediately.

Note that the Tennessee Business Division does not allow expedited filings.

The articles of amendment are stamped and labeled "Filed" by DBS once they have been approved. DBS keeps a copy of the articles and sends the original and an acknowledgment letter.

What To Do After You Change Your Tennessee Name?

Organizing a stack of clipped papers about changing an LLC name in Tennessee

After you change your Tennessee LLC name, you should update your business records and ensure the new name is reflected across all business assets and documentation.

  • Notify government agencies: Inform the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development if your LLC has employees.
  • Update licenses and permits: Update your city or state business license/permits.
  • Update your operating agreement: Amend your LLC operating agreement with the new name.
  • Inform banks and financial institutions: Update your LLC bank accounts, credit cards, and all accounts associated with your LLC, like creditors, suppliers, etc.
  • Update contracts and agreements: Monitor your business to ensure your new name is used on any external communications, updated contracts and partnership agreements, and any subsequent legal documents.
  • Notify clients and customers: Inform your clients and customers about the new name to ensure seamless communication and maintain strong business relationships.

Related articles:

Alternatives to LLC Name Change

In my work with LLCs, especially in Tennessee, I've learned about useful alternatives to renaming an LLC.

These include registering a 'Doing Business As' (DBA) name or using a Certificate of Correction.

These choices are flexible and can make the process easier, ideal for businesses wanting to update or rebrand.

DBA

Using a DBA when you're thinking of changing your LLC's name in Tennessee is handy.

It lets you operate under a new name without changing the official LLC name. Remember, it's important to follow Tennessee's state and local regulations for DBA registration.

Certificate of Correction

A Certificate of Correction is for small mistakes, like typos or misspellings in your LLC's name.

For example, if your LLC was incorrectly registered as "Spark LCC" instead of "Stark LLC," this certificate is the right fix. But, this is different from a full name change, which is a more involved process.

Related articles:

FAQs

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

It takes 3-5 business days for the state to process a Tennessee LLC amendment online. If you file in person, your documents can be processed in one day.

How Much Does a Tennessee LLC Amendment Cost?

A Tennessee LLC Amendment to Certificate of Organization costs $20 to file online, in-person, or by mail.

Can I Change My Business Name Without Changing My EIN In Tennessee?

You can change your business name without altering your EIN in Tennessee, as long as the business entity type remains unchanged.


References:

  1. https://law.justia.com/codes/tennessee/2021/title-48/chapter-207/
  2. https://sos.tn.gov/businesses/forms-and-fees

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.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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